photo & text by nacrowe
to access our review of SCOTT IAN's other 2017 memoir ACCESS ALL AREAS click HERE
much like his other release ACCESS ALL AREAS: STORIES FROM A HARD ROCK LIFE (DA CAPO PRESS, 2017), which i covered in a previous review, legendary THRASH METAL guitarist SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAX is a more than capable narrator of his own life story in his debut book I'M THE MAN: THE STORY OF THAT GUY FROM ANTHRAX (DA CAPO PRESS, 2014), which sees him overcome a troubled childhood with a neurotic mother, two failed marriages and surviving the music industry over 30 years with his mind and band intact.
it may be due to his long-term sobriety (minus a few PANTERA and OZZY tours) that the detail of his recollections seem to be precise and noteworthy. i made the point before in the other review that his writing style is very utilitarian, much like his guitar playing and this is holds true with this book as well. he tends not to embellish and hold himself to account for past misjudgments and moral lapses, which only further gains his voice credence in the reader's mind.
of interest to me with this book, which is very much a traditional chronological affair (unlike ACCESS ALL AREAS which is more a series of interesting stories), is the beginnings of THRASH METAL and MEGAFORCE RECORDS. specifically the stories IAN chooses to tell about his friend and legendary bassist/composer CLIFF BURTON (R.I.P.) and the formative years of METALLICA and ANTHRAX. sharing the same indie label and manager provided him a front row seat to their early development which is compelling in historical terms. you really get a sense of the brotherhood of that early scene that carried on throughout their entire career, most famously in the BIG 4 concerts that happened this past decade.
i have to say that i also enjoyed his humor. too many times METAL bands take themselves and their image way too seriously (i'm looking right at you SLAYER) and even though ANTHRAX come off juvenile and goofy from time to time, in the end they come across as themselves: a bunch of METAL dudes from NYC.
and i can't fault them for that.
if you're interested in THRASH METAL, this book is worth your time and is a painless read, which is not always the case (cough, cough COREY TAYLOR).