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Friday, 25 February 2011

O Mentalists, where art thou?

I finished reading Dave Mustaine's autobiography A Life In Metal this week, and I still can't decide if he's an under appreciated genius or a complete tit.

In between talking about how hard he is and how much of a arsemonkey Lars Ulrich is, Mustaine is pretty honest about the superficiality of the scene back in the day; you had to dress a certain way, act a certain way...and by 'certain way' I mean Megadave's way.

I joined the Megadeth party pretty late in the day after Shithouse lent me So Far So Good So What in 2003. Since then I've respected what they've done and it's fair to say Endgame was one of the finest musical moments of 2009. I also listened to their greatest hits for about four straight hours on a 10-hour drive and didn't get bored once.

The thing that irked me about Mustaine's autobiography is that I could have been reading Slash's, or Nikki Sixx's, or one of any other rock legends. Tough youth, into drugs, major commercial success, hump a load of women, descent into life threatening addiction, band and marriage dissolve, artist continues, more drugs and bands, get sober, write a book. The rock star blueprint. It becomes a teeny bit predictable after a while.

But amidst all the massive hair and almost-deaths, these autobiographies show one thing; metallers ain't what they used to be. I don't know whether it's a result of more education (highly unlikely) or the fact that being a musician is less lucrative than it was, but the drug-fuelled alcoholic excess of the 80s and 90s seems to have disappeared from rock music. I'm not suggesting bands should go back to being wasted 24/7 and destroying their organs with prescription meds but it seems that the whole scene has mellowed out a bit. You hear the odd story about Oli Sykes and other young upstarts getting in a bit of trouble, but what happened to inserting phones/fish into groupies and driving Rolls Royce into swimming pools? Are there any genuine, bona fide rock and roll legends coming up through the ranks nowadays? I'm not sure. And based on the difference between rockers in the 1980s and metallers today, what does the future hold? Will the 2020 headlines be restricted to *STOP PRESS: Member of A Day To Remember Farts In Church*?

I'm not condoning drugs and debauchery; I've never done anything other than smoked a bit of weed as I'm a pussy and am far too scared. But it does seem to me that the golden era of obscene headlines about ridiculous excess has well and truly passed.

Farewell mofos.

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