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Heavy Hitters: Motorhead, Metallica, Brann Dailor & Maynard James Keenan

Paul Gargano gives his ears some rest and recommends some heavy (and not so heavy) reading

Sometimes we need to give our ears a break, so this week I’m straying from my weekly vinyl recommendations and instead suggesting four books for every rock fan’s collection. Don’t worry, they run the gamut from lots of words to no words at all. A few even require crayons…

BRANN DAILOR'S 101 CLOWNS OF THE CORONAVIRUS

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I wish I could draw. I’ve tried. I can’t. But I can write, so during Covid I wrote about vinyl every day on my Instagram to pass the time. Mastodon drummer and all-around amazing guy Brann Dailor found another way to pass the time - drawing clowns. Brann loves clowns. And you’ll love the drawings: Jaws clown, bigfoot clown, Easter Island clown, Baphomet clown… you get the point. He drew a clown a day for 101 days and partnered with our colleagues at Revolver to make this awesome coffee table book and conversation piece. I pre-ordered the autographed bundle – a few remain, as do several other shirt, print and book options. Get your Bozo on!

MOTORHEAD COLORING BOOK

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We’ve established that I can’t draw, but I can color in the lines. Take that, obnoxious kindergarten teacher who told my mother that I was messy and would never amount to anything! My mother-in-law got me a heavy metal coloring book for Christmas last year, and it’s pretty awesome – apparently it's a good way to relieve stress (or so I'm told). It's an even better way to see what Lemmy would look like in neon colors. Dust off those Crayolas! Added bonus? You don’t need to stop with Motorhead. We also have Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and Megadeth coloring books to choose from. There’s even a second Motorhead book, Lemmy Kilmister: Color The Aces Of Spades. Gift buying was never easier! 

METALLICA: BACK TO THE FRONT

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A few weeks ago, I hailed Master of Puppets as one of the greatest albums in my vinyl collection, so it’s only fitting that this week we shine some light on the inside story of the epic album and one of the most venerated periods in Metallica’s history. Featuring 276 pages of behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, the hardcover tome offers the ultimate deep dive into the iconic metal classic. More than just the story of the album, it’s also a testament to bell-bottomed bassist Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a tour bus accident supporting the record. This is a must-own for any Metallica fan and self-respecting student of heavy music. 

MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN: A PERFECT UNION OF CONTRARY THINGS 

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Call me crazy (I’ve been called a lot worse), but I’m more interested in reading about Maynard James Keenan’s life outside of music than I am his life in Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. Not to say I don’t love his music. It doesn't get much better than Tool in my opinion, and the debut from A Perfect Circle ranks up there as one of my favorite albums (note to self: we need to get Mer De Noms on vinyl in the Metal Edge store) – but I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing MJK a few times, and he’s as intriguing as the music he creates. He was in the Army. He worked in a pet store. And he makes some amazing wine. This is a book I’m looking forward to reading.