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Yellen, David
Too Fast For Love (Book Review)
February 2016
Released: 2004, Powerhouse Books
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I have been on a quest for the past several years to write a review of virtually every book about Hard Rock and Metal that I can. I have known about TOO FAST FOR LOVE for the better part of a decade but always balked at purchasing it for no definable reason. This past Christmas a friend got me this book for Christmas so I was delighted to add it my collection.

TOO FAST FOR LOVE was initially published back in 2004 on the small Powerhouse Press group specializing in Fashion, art, music, photography and more. It is a nicely presented hard cover coffee table book that is essentially a collection of photos on glossy paper. It starts with a brief an unwelcome and unhelpful introduction by self-appointed Metal critic Chuck Klosterman, where he proceeds to denigrate the subjects of the portraits and talk about himself in a rather smug and self-serving way.

David Yellen sub-titled the book Heavy Metal Portraits but it stems from an earlier project. In the year 2000 he went into the field and toured America with a number of bands; Cinderella, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Poison, Slaughter and Ted Nugent. He took photos of concert-goers, the fans and presented them in an exhibit at a gallery in NYC. I can just see the well-dressed, hip and urbane, art-intelligentsia mingling with glass of wine in hand scoffing at the subject matter, much like Klosterman does. The natural conclusion of all this was the publication of the photos into the book TOO FAST FOR LOVE.

I suppose my initial hesitation to spend money on this book was substantiated as this book when it comes down to it is just photos…just plain old shots of fans. I’m not a photographer so I am not qualified to judge composition, lighting, technique etc. Perhaps these are superbly executed photos but my instinct is that Yellen was trying to capture a subject matter, which in reality is not all that unique or amazing. I go to concerts all the time and see people dressed like all the time, so what is the big deal? I suppose if you have never been to a Heavy Metal concert this would be a fascinating look at the sub-culture but to me it was just…photos. They tend to be portraits more than action or casual shots.

Maybe I’m missing the point and have a vague distaste of others who put people under a microscope and judge them, but then again, technically, Yellen does not judge, and the camera doesn’t lie. An average rating for an average book about the average concert goer but this could be seen by some an intriguing look at the fashion sense of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans. If you are looking for a photo-essay book about Metal fans for your collection, Jorg Bruggeman’s book METALHEADS-THE GLOBAL BROTHERHOOD is far superior.
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