Tuesday, January 7, 2020

I Am Morbid- David Vincent with Joel McIver (Jawbone Press)

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   I'm not a death metal guy and never have been, I can't get past the vocals and yet I found this book riveting and fascinating because it's so much more then the story of a guy who fronted one of the prominent bands in the genre. Most memoirs follow the usual pattern: childhood, band formation and career highs followed by the inevitable lows, drugs, alcohol, finding god and redemption. So how does this differ? Well try this for starters, when Morbid Angel imploded the first time David went and drove a taxi in Florida. The reason: he became a self-confessed dick around people and his way of tackling it was to interact with others in the hope that understanding them might reveal the key to his own behavior.

   Everything centers around self-sufficiency and his constant need to improve himself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations to see how you react. Question everything and come to your own conclusions. Respect the opinions and beliefs of others but don't judge. Whatever works. In the last chapter he shares his views on money, government, failure, goals and yet he never comes across as preachy about any of it. Spock from Star Trek is one of his role models, I'm not kidding.

   His music is covered in depth too and there's a brilliant chapter on songwriting and keeping motivated after you have tasted success, I'm not alone in questioning the hunger or more importantly the lack of as bands get comfortable and wealthy. If you are a fan of individual tracks there's a breakdown at the end of each chapter of a couple from each album. Plus there's the inevitable hilarious road stories and some harrowing ones too.

   After reading this will I go back and listen to Morbid Angel and the other bands David has played with? Probably not but man do I respect the guy for what he has become as a person. Sharing a beer with him would be fascinating. Once again a great job by Joel McIver for getting down in print what makes the guy tick.

    Music book of the year already and it's only the first week of January. It's out on February 11th. Heavy stuff.