Having taken the reins as Ozzy’s lead axeman at the tender age of 19 and now fronting Black Label Society, Zakk Wylde epitomises the metal dream. In Bringing Metal to the Children he shares his accumulated ‘wisdom’ and introduces us to a cast of characters that includes his ‘Immortal Beloved’ (his apparently insatiable wife), his ‘crotchal Mjцllnir’ (look it up and work it out), his ‘Black Label Armada’ (band and crew) and, most important of all, the ‘sacred emblem upon [his] iron chin’ (his beard).
Bringing Metal… is ‘co-written’ (read: ghost written) by some bro called Eric Hendrikx. Nothing wrong with that – Ice T’s The Ice Opinion was ghost written, and that’s the greatest literary work of the modern era. Given that no really cares about Hendrikx, in order for the arrangement to work he should have remained hidden – you know, like a GHOST. He doesn’t. You’re reading something that’s supposed to be Wylde, but then Wylde interjects with comments directed at Hendrikz, drawing unneeded attention to the fact that he didn’t actually write much of the book. Again, standard issue, but the upshot is that you never know if the funny bits – and there are many – are Wylde being Wylde, or Hendrikx being Wylde, or Wylde being Wylde but actually written by Hendrikx. Confused? Exactly. The illusion that ghostwriting relies on is broken.
Despite this, and irrespective of whether it’s Wylde or Hendrikz actually writing it, the book itself is pretty damn entertaining. If you can get over the annoyances and take it for what it is – an amusing and expletive-heavy account of one man living the dream – Bringing Metal…is perfectly pitched at the audience it’s designed for. Buy it for the lulz alone and you’ll be right.