Billy Squier

BOOK REVIEW: Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal


Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

by Eddie Trunk, 2011, Harry N. Abrams publisher

Here is a book that I heartily endorse — for beginners.  I bought my best bud Peter a copy of this for his birthday a couple years ago.  For a guy like Peter, a general survey book like this is perfect.  It’s boiled down to the essentials, by a guy that many trust:  Eddie Trunk.

I normally don’t go for this kind of book, because what can Eddie Trunk tell me about Judas Priest in three pages that Martin Popoff didn’t in his excellent book, Heavy Metal Painkillers?  So this book is for the people that just want the facts, ma’am.  Anybody who’s listened to Eddie Trunk’s show on Sirius XM knows that this guy is the real deal — he knows his stuff, he knows the bands personally, and he doesn’t pander. He has a genuine love for the music, all of it. His personal touch helps make his radio show that much more enjoyable. Same with this book.

After Rob Halford’s forward, Eddie presents his essential hard rock and heavy metal bands, in alphabetical order. AC/DC, Aerosmith, and all the way down the line. You may take exception to some of the bands that he skips over (I read on a message board that Quiet Riot were ticked that they’re not in here) but I think by and large he hit the nail on the head. The bands that he does include…well, it’s hard to argue against them, and you only get so much page space, right? And this is a gorgeous book. Full colour photos, every page. Beautiful. Lots from Eddie’s personal collection, you’ll see a very young Eddie Trunk meeting the bands as a kid!

In addition, Eddie gives you a discography for each band (not perfect, there are a couple errors here, as in inevitable in a book like this). He also lists the members of the bands, and the most important ex-members and sidemen. So when you get to Queen (and yeah, you may argue that Queen is not a hard rock band) you’ll see the four original members, and Paul Rodgers listed beneath them. Finally, Eddie gives you his list of his ideal mix CD for each band. Go ahead and make your own, and see if you agree!

As a gift to Peter who likes the music but doesn’t know the details, he gleaned plenty from this book.  Before reading it, he only knew of one Billy Squier song. Eddie Trunk got him up to speed. Thanks Eddie!

5/5 stars

For a guy like me, and quite possibly you as well:

2.5/5 stars

Added note:  I know there is a Part II as well, but I have not checked it out.