Rock Reads: Metallica: The Thrash Stash by Jerry Ewing

Reviewed by Kevin Wierzbicki

The story of Metallica has been told many times before both in books and on film. Still, fans will find this book, another Metallica bio, a must-have. The band's history is here, from early '80s beginnings through to the poorly received 2011 Lulu collaboration with Lou Reed, and Ewing's narrative is augmented with lots of photographs, many of them rare.

There's a brief bio on every former member, and a list of bootlegs that'll make the Metallica completist drool. But the book, a box set really, isn't called The Thrash Stash for nothing, and stash aplenty there is.

The hard cover book is presented in a sort of scrap book form with lots of pockets holding all kinds of goodies. The front and back covers each hold posters; one from a sold out show in Belgium during the 1993 Wherever We May Roam tour and the other touting a 1985 concert in Oakland. These are replicas of course, as are the other insertions found throughout the book: mostly tickets, flyers, mini posters and a couple of peel-and-stick special access passes. Two of the coolest inserts are a band statement from the Troubadour in Los Angeles showing that Metallica got paid a whopping $36.90 for a 1982 show and a Guitar Center receipt made out to Cliff Burton showing that the late bass player paid $1100.00 for an Alembic guitar, case, and strap.

There are 20 enclosures in all, some of them a bit delicate, and these perhaps should be removed to a safer location if the book is to be left out for guests to fondle, and owners of The Thrash Stash will definitely want to show it off. For storage on a book shelf though, the whole thing comes in a sturdy (and illustrated) slipcase that'll keep the set well protected.

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