Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berseker’s Guide to World Tour Domination
By Zakk Wylde with Eric Hendrikx
(2012, HarperCollins/William Morrow & Co.)
While I’ve always thought Zakk comes across as a cool guy, I’ve never been a huge fan of the music he’s played. That’s not a knock on his skills, I know he’s a great guitar player it’s just that Ozzy has never appealed to me much and I think all Black Label Society albums sound the same, give or take a few tracks. Still, when the opportunity to read this book came about, I figured it would be worth looking into because Zakk is a true rock star yet seems much more down to Earth than other “rock stars”.
If you’re looking for a detailed history about Zakk’s life, you aren’t going to find it here. You do pick up bits about Zakk’s early days and his family and home life but this is less of an autobiography and more of a humorous take on the good & bad that occurs on the way to finding your place in the world as a viking god of metal. The book is what the title says: a guide to world tour domination.
Mostly told through Zakk’s voice, co-author Eric Hendrikx handles a lot of the introductions to each chapter and a number of sidebars. Each one is so hilariously over the top, making metal sound so epic and majestic you’d swear these intros were written either by Jack Black or Manowar. There are also a few other “guest” writers such as UFC fighter Forrest Griffin, WWE pro wrestler Chris Jericho, TNA pro wrestler Bully Ray (aka – Bubba Ray Dudley), Zakk’s wife and various other friends & BLS bandmates.
This book is definitely not for the timid. The book is filled with very colorful language on each page and lots of gross out humor. If you’re turned off by tons of cursing, alcohol, detailed accounts of bodily functions and lots of talks about penis & vagina don’t bother picking this book up. The things Zakk says about his wife! That gal has a great sense of humor to sign off on this book.
There are stories involving Ozzy but the book mostly focuses on Zakk’s time since starting up Black Label Society. It’s obvious Zakk takes heavy metal and the Black Label brotherhood very seriously but at the same time everything is open for jokes. I really enjoyed the self-deprecating humor that Zakk displays in the book. Nothing is off limits and the book is written tongue in cheek. He’s not some rock star looking down on everyone trying to play it off like he’s the coolest guy around (though he may be) saying “here’s what you need to do if you wanna make it like I did, kid”.
Zakk may not drink anymore but he’s comes across as the kind of guy you could just walk up to and shoot the breeze with at a bar and have totally normal conversation. Books like these can sometimes be used as a weapon to take shots at certain people but Zakk doesn’t do that here (well, maybe other than the music labels) and I have to commend him for that. It’s a fun book with not a single self-important or mean-spirited page to be found.
While Ozzy fans and BLS fans should have a particular interest in this book, I also recommend it to metal fans in general if you’re looking for a good laugh and some fun/gross stories about playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band.