Susan’s Book Coveting: Murder, Front Row, and the Bay Area


Mmm. Talk about a recipe for ambrosia here, baby! I don’t know how this one slipped past my ever-vigilant eye, but thanks to the awesome Jeremy Wagner for the head’s up on it.

Have I teased you enough? Is it time to come clean and tell you what’s going on?

Two long-time, hard-core, die-hard (and any other compound adjectives I can think of, in a positive vein) Metallica fans have put out what might be my ultimate book. It’s called Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter. These fans? They’ve transcended being fans, actually. They are a part of that Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter, themselves.

They are none other than Harald Oimoen (yes, the legendary Harald O) and Brian Lew.

Here’s the blurb:

In the 1980s, the San Francisco Bay Area was heaven for hardcore headbangers. Shunning Hollywood hairspray and image in favor of a more dangerous street appeal, the Bay Area thrash metal scene was home to Exodus, Metallica, Testament, Possessed, Death Angel, Heathen, Vio-Lence, Attitude Adjustment, Forbidden, and Blind Illusion — and served as a second home to like-minded similar bands like Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Anthrax, Megadeth, and more. Beginning as teenagers taking snapshots of visiting heavy metal bands during the 1970s, Brian “Umlaut” Lew and Harald “O.” Oimoen documented the birth and growth of the local metal scene. Featuring hundreds of unseen live and candid color and black-and-white photographs, Murder in the Front Row captures the wild-eyed zeal and drive that made Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth into legends, with over 100 million combined records sold.

Dude. Can I say little inspires me more than pictures and visuals? This is manna from heaven. Ambrosia. It’s mainlined chocolate.

And it had better not let me down…


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