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Obrecht, Jas (Editor)
Masters Of Heavy Metal (Book review)
Released: 1984, Quill
MASTERS OF METAL is one of the earliest books ever published about Heavy Metal. Jas Obrecht was the former Editor of Guitar Player Magazine and he has edited this collection of articles and stories about the origins of Heavy Metal that originally appeared in the magazine between 1968 and 1983.
The book itself is an oversized paperback, with several dozen black and white photos. As MASTERS OF METAL is an offshoot of a guitar publication, the book focuses heavily on guitar heroes. Obrecht contributes a short introductory essay about the origins of Metal and then the book falls into a pattern of a brief introduction, perhaps a brief essay then an interview followed by a short discography. Many of the Guitar Gods of the era are in the spotlight; Hendrix, Schenker, Rhoads, Blackmore, Page, Nugent, Iommi, West, Moore, Van Halen and a few more band-focused sections with artists like Judas Priest and Def Leppard. There is quite a bit of gear talk in each interview and some funny questions that probably would not get asked today, such as Mike Varney asking KK Downing and Glenn Tipton if anyone in Judas Priest is a Satanist! There are lots of neat things for fans, a surprisingly non-boastful, gear-oriented chat with Ted Nugent, a cool interview with Michael Anthony of Van Halen and a tribute to the recently deceased Randy Rhoads and more.
Like many books from that era, MASTERS OF METAL is a very interesting snapshot of the early years of Heavy Metal. As such these books are important documents in the constant war against the revisionists (who run certain Metal databases) who try to try to rewrite history for their own selfish means by deliberately excluding bands they don't like or understand. If people really want to get a better understanding of how Metal was formed and how it evolved, this is an excellent starting point. It might seem a bit dated now, but as an older fan I really enjoyed this book about the masters of Metal.
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