|Brian Tatler with John Tucker – ‘Am I Evil?’ (Self Published)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Wednesday, 24 March 2010 07:00|
It's not often that I sit and read a book from cover to cover in a little over a week, but that's exactly what happened with this autobiography from Brian Tatler, erstwhile guitar hero of the NWOBHM legends Diamond Head and godfather to thrash metal icons Metallica and Megadeth. From the moment I picked 'Am I Evil?' up I was enthralled, and almost immediately I found myself not doing my usual trick of skipping to my favourite eras but dutifully reading each chapter in turn savouring the band's story as it unfolded before me.
Having picked this luxurious hardcover edition up at a show on the recent Europe tour, Gaz E actually commented at the time "that the book should be an interesting read for your generation, well you grew up with the band, it's your era", and he couldn't have got it more spot on if he tried. This book is an absolute treasure trove of facts and trivia for fans of the band, following the four school mates' humble beginnings in Stourbridge, through their never say die journeys through the UK pub circuit to their ultimate career peak at 1982's Reading Festival, at which point their whole rock 'n' roll world started to turn more.... well pear shaped really.
The book encapsulates these initial highs and the lows that followed, but somehow manages to replay the story in a refreshingly non-judgmental way that makes you genuinely empathise with the guys involved. The underlying sub plot of (long term Diamond Head fans) Metallica and Megadeth's rise to superstardom while their heroes fell from grace is also both fascinating and ultimately equally heartbreaking to read.
But think again if you believe Brian's story ends with the near farcical tales that surrounded Diamond Head's ground (and band) breaking third album 'Canterbury'. No, this book takes you through the multiple reformation years, Radio Moscow, and even Brian's folk/tribute band years, before reaching the here and now with the story of the now Sean Harris-less version of Diamond Head who, thanks to Brian's perseverance and tenacity regarding all things Diamond Head, appear to be going from strength to strength as a creative unit and this book draws to a fitting close as the band play their first ever shows in Japan in 2008.
Tightly written in conjunction with John Tucker (who also worked with Biff Byford on his book 'Never Surrender') this is the story of what could have been and what should have been. The greatest band ever to come out of the NWOBHM who were seemingly mismanaged and subsequently overlooked by an industry that nurtured far lesser bands to become international superstars.
Gaz really was bang on when he made that initial judgement call about this book. For anyone who remembers Diamond Head from their first time around, this an essential read. For anyone who remembers Diamond Head from their second or third time around or has a mild interest in anything related to Metallica or Megadeth, this is an essential read. If none of these apply to you then you're reading the wrong fucking website.
You can order your copies of Brian's superb book here.