Bang Your Head – The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal – Review

Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal, David Konow, Three Rivers Press, 2002.

I always have been fascinated with both music and history and a book about the history of a particular music is just like killing two birds with one stone. I have read a few books about the history of heavy metal and Bang Your Head is the least elevating one. Of course it was a fun read, but all Rock n Roll books are fun to read. The only thing that made me bought this book is the fact that I have yet to find a book about the rise and fall of the 80’s Cock Rock scene, and this book, although not as comprehensive and thorough as I hoped it should be, contained some murky information about the craze, the 80’s world wide fad, which helped launch MTV to a gainful and profitable broadcast.

Towering hairs and cans of hair sprays, fishnets and spandex, groupies and backstage passes and the unforgettable Power Ballads and yes, the bands. Bands in the likes of Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Quiet Riot and Poison took the world by storm. It made its way to the Malaysian shores and before you know it, Search, Wings, Lefthanded and May, just to name a few, became Sunset strip’s little ambassadors.

The book is 496 page thick and the front cover depicts the dullest book cover I have ever seen. Being a person who normally judges a book by its cover (literally), it would have been better if the publisher opted to coat the front cover black and print the title somewhere in the middle white, I would have bought the book right there and then. The cover was sort of a cut and pastes assemble, with xerox quality coloration that I believe for the purpose of going after the old school fanzine feel.

The story telling was light; it gave a good bird’s eye view of the cock rock scene back in the early 80’s; the book was a fun read nonetheless but it could have been better though. Besides the lack of depth, the book was also in short of photos. You do not write a book about Rock N Roll, describe the glorious vista of the legendary Sunset Strip, illustrate hundreds of crazy ass bands and have just a couple of photos in it!