School of Hard Rock

I recently came across a book at the library entitled Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. In it, the author writes thirty-five informative and anecdotal reviews about the most famous hard rock groups of the last thirty years. For anyone interested in furthering their hard rock and metal education, this short description of iconic rock groups would be the book to start with.

Another way to educate yourself about rock music is by reading the rock biography. Often filled with the age-old narrative of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll, these books detail individual life experiences within the rock ‘n’ roll world. Musical stories are as divergent as Anthony Kiedes’ (The Red Hot Chili Peppers) on again, off again battle with drug addiction in Scar Tissue , Freddie Mercury‘s (Queen) complex inner life, and Dave  Mustaine‘s  (Megadeath) Metallica heartbreak. The rock bio is an essential part of any rock music lover’s reading list. They are very entertaining!

Or if you’re like me and want to see the other sex represented, check out Rock Chicks: The Hottest Female Rockers from the 1960s to Now.  This book contains short biographies of some of my favorite female rockers. I was enthralled.  I love Suzi Quatro and it was nice to see that she was given credit for inspiring the legendary Joan Jett and many of the other hard-rocking women who are described. Pat Benatar’s growly voice on the song “Hell is for Children” exemplifies why she is also on that list. Another female rocker who is included, Courtney Love, has recently published her meandering and angst-ridden diaries.

The library also has an extensive collection of concerts and music documentaries. A must-watch for aspiring fans of hard rock music is Sam Dunn’s wonderful documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. It provides enlightening explanations of the subgenres within punk, rock, and metal.

And remember, this is just the beginning! There are countless underground metal and hard rock bands that are considered essential listening by music connoisseurs. If the library doesn’t have them in our collection, you can always suggest that we buy them! Or check out one of my favorite Winnipeg metal music stores such as War on Music!

Finally, it is important to go to some shows. Winnipeg has the best collection of hard rock and metal bands of any place in Canada. The illustrated book Call * Response contains a great pictorial representation of some of these hard rock, punk, and metal bands. It was created as a fundraiser for the Kids Help Phone Line, and more volumes are expected to be released. Go buy one!

Manitoba Metalfest 2012 on February 24th and 25th  is the perfect opportunity to support local music. It is an easy and entertaining way for anyone to improve their hard rock and metal music education. Bring on the headbanging! Yah! See you at a show…


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