I’m the Man: The story of That Guy from Anthrax

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I’m the Man:  The story of That Guy from Anthrax

By Scott Ian
With Jon Wiederhorn

Foreword by Kirk Hammett

Da Capo Press – 2014
ISBN: 978-0-306-82334-3
316 Pages, $28.99

I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax is a super cool book to read.  Not only do you learn the history of the heavy metal powerhouse band Anthrax but how a young kid from Queens who grew up reading comic books, skateboarding and watching horror movies lived out his dream.  You’ll also gain details about Metallica’s beginning and other bands like Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth, Ozzy and Public Enemy as well.

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The thing that I liked most about I’m the Man is Scott Ian’s conversational writing tone.  It felt like he was sitting next to me telling his story.  The way he comes across makes it easy to like him because he’s a no BS kind of dude, admits his faults and shares his passion for horror movies, comic books  and metal music (the New York Yankees also but being a Red Sox fan myself, that wasn’t as cool).

Scott Ian grew up an average Jewish kid living in a small apartment in Queens.   After hearing “Rock and Roll All Nite” on the radio and then later seeing KISS live at Madison Square Garden in the late 70s it all but sealed his interested in being a band himself.  After weaning himself on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, he would help form the band Anthrax, who would go onto to become one of the BIG FOUR thrash metal bands (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax).

There are your typical silly stories of getting high, drunk, stoned and acting like an idiot.  But all rock ’n’ rollers seem to make the mistake of falling into that trap.  In Ian’s case, he almost died smoking weed when smoking it caused him to pass out and fall into a full blown seizure.  He found out later that he was allergic to the chemical within pot so he could get high again and possible die or stop.  When he took mushrooms it almost influenced him to jump off the 2-story balcony in New York City and later out of a moving car.  It just baffles me how overrated those things are because to be honest, I’ve never heard those vices actually helping someone live better, especially long term.  It’s proof how peer pressure and following others can lead you down a dead end path or off a cliff of sorts.

What Anthrax fans will value about this book is get an education how the band functioned from album to album.  They didn’t always have fun as personalities clash, goals changed and the band had to make hard decisions based on their long term outlook.

Scott Ian’s story includes two failed marriages, broken contracts, being dropped from a label and leaving an entire album unreleased.  But there’s also backstage practical jokes, drinking lessons from the late Dimebag Darrell and marrying Meatloaf’s daughter.

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Altogether it’s hard to put down, keeps you entertained and even gives insight into the wild world of heavy metal.

www.dacapopress.com

 

Help Veronica Freeman Achieve Her Goals

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Veronica Freeman has been cast to play a crucial role in the “Wraparound” for Devil’s Five.  Please look @ her Kickstarter campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1199363488/veronica-freemans-now-or-never to make donation.  It would V accomplish her finishing her solo album & tour.  Plus after seeing her video, you’ll understand why it’s smart to be on her good side:)

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As Above, So Below

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As Above, So Below

Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Written by Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle

Starring
Perdita Weeks
Ben Feldman
Edwin Hodge
Francois Civil
Marion Lambert
Ali Marhyar

Because of the high price of movie tickets, working 2 jobs half the year, producing & directing my latest film and general disinterest in what’s playing, in 2014 I only saw two movies in the theater.  That’s the lowest amount since before I could go to the movies on my own.

I don’t watch a lot of TV so I don’t believe I ever saw the trailer for As Above, So Below.  On the first day in September, one of my co-workers at my job, who is also a horror enthusiast, told me she saw great movie that just had opened and that I should go see it, called As Above, So Below.  I was reluctant at first but then I looked up who made the film.  It was the two brothers who were responsible for Devil in 2010.  That was all I needed to know.  I loved everything about Devil (click to read my review), so I had to see this movie and two days later it was the second film that got me out to the theater (the other was Oculus).

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The Dowdle Brothers didn’t disappoint me.  What is so fantastic about As Above, So Below is the far-reaching psychological ideas the movie presents in the form of all sorts of metaphors and their implications.  It took balls to make a film that tackles the deep ground this movie does and I give not only the filmmakers credit but the movie studio, Universal Pictures as well for having the courage to exhibit it.  This isn’t a lazy remake, inane sequel or brainless CGI action flick that Hollywood normally makes.

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A young alchemy scholar, Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) continues her dead father’s (Roger Van Hool) work, searching for the philosopher’s stone, a legendary alchemical substance said to be capable of turning base metals into gold and silver and grant eternal life, which was originally discovered by Nicolas Flamel.

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After uncovering the Rose Key in a cave in Iran, Scarlett travels to Paris.  She coaxes her former boyfriend George (Ben Feldman) to help her along with Benji (Edwin Hodge) who is a cameraman who documents the whole quest on video.  Together they translate Flamel’s headstone, which leads them to a point underneath the streets of Paris.

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Scarlett enlists the assistance of a guide named Papillion (Francis Civil), his girlfriend (Marion Lambert) and their friend Zed (Ali Marhyar) to search the Catacombs beneath Paris, France.  Once they get underground amongst the skeletal remains of over 6 million dead bodies things start getting weird.

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Like The Descent, the subterranean world automatically generates oppressive conditions that bring natural suspense: dark, dank, tight spaces and the almighty unknown.  Let’s face it being four stories underground amongst endless tunnels with seemingly no way out, would probably scare the bravest soul, especially when the lights go out.

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As Above, So Below is all about the mental and emotional state of a person and how it effects us not only in our physical existence but after death.  It is cavernous, intense subject matter that should sear into your consciousness.  The Dowdle Brothers are carrying a theme that runs through the last two films.  It’s something that reminds me of the crux of Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners and makes these films more important than just a fright films. 

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The Dowdles take you on an Indiana Jones type adventure with a female lead that becomes terrifying.  But this movie is not just about the scares.  I don’t want to give anything away but what ultimately happens, the paradox puzzle presented is masterfully captured on every level.  The way the ending plays out and exactly how it’s photographed has stayed with me to this day. 

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For all these reasons, As Above, So Below is the Best Film of 2014.

http://www.legendary.com/films/asabovesobelow