Not to often I can say I have read the same book 3 times over cover to cover. But when it comes to Brent Jensen’s spin on his life growing up in Sudbury as a teen in the 80’s listening to Metal this book resonated with me on a whole other level and I will tell you all why its been read that many times!
For followers of this Blog(I thank you) you may be asking why now are you reviewing this book as you have already reviewed Brents other two fabulous novels in Leftover People that chronicles and documents Brent’s U.S.A Book promo tour for No Sleep with an American Writer Named Chris Long(Knock Knock) and Brent’s latest book All My Favourite People Are Broken which Brent journeys into the forest(literally) to a cabin with a buddy named Garvey and they put the iPod on random and dissect all kinds of music between them. Both Leftover and Fav People are highly recommended and have both have been reviewed here!
I first came across No Sleep via the Bravewords website and once i read about the fact that some dude basically wrote about the whole genre I grew up to and worshipping all things Metal, I clicked quicker than you can say Dogs D’Amour and No Sleep was delivered straight to my mailbox.
Once I opened the book and seen the Contents and Titles of Chapter 1 – A Shout Out to the Devil as well as Chapter 5- Metallica,Slayer,Raven,and…Dokken? Chapter 6-Living on a Thrash Metal Prayer I knew I would be immersed in this book and it’s safe to say I read it within 2 days. I was hooked never being a junkie this 295 Page Book blew me out of the water and became my needed fix. It wasn’t before too long that I sent Brent an email telling him what I thought of his book and how it basically summed up my musical habits here in Thunder Bay within the same decade that Brent wrote about.
Brent emailed back and Like I have said previously I probably came across as some blabbering lunatic or a fruit loop to be honest going on how great of a read this book was. I also didn’t want to come across as some ass kisser. (Ha…maybe I did?!) but the damage had been done as Brent had emailed back.( Thanks Brent for not putting a restraining order out on me!)
In the book Brent you can see how music is the foundation of one growing up. You read all about Mr Jensens first concert which was Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister back in December 1984 at the Sudbury Arena. Brent delves into everything about the show on how it wasn’t even marked on their tour program. How Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson said Maiden would come back.(Maiden never did) and you can sense the reason how this show would come full circle for Brent. More on that later!
It’s cool that Brent talks about the next two concerts he seen which was Metallica/Metal Church & Kick Axe? in December of 1986 and Alice Cooper/Sword in 1987 all in Sudbury.
Kerrang the British Metal Magazine had a huge impact on both of us as it was basically written by a bunch of Hooligans who had a real flair on capturing Metal at the time in the roaring 80’s unlike the American Magazines like Circus & Hit Parader which as Brent describes them as ‘Handlers for the Record Company’s” in other words they just gave hand jobs to get the bands as the articles were bullshit! (ask Axl Rose) Kerrang was real deal the only knock it was always on import for $5 every two weeks yet the real plus was what you were reading was pretty current.
A ton of bands are reviewed from Brent own cassette collection. You name any band and Brent gives a paragraph or three to them. Cinderella/Keel/Krokus/Saxon/Tesla/Van Hagar/Danger Danger/Vain/Sleez Beez many more acts are written and explained in detail and how they resonated in Sudbury. Tesla is one band that is written about and you see how it was a long process on how they finally won over Brent.
Must also mention that there is a Top 5 list of song’s Brent never ever wants to hear again. Ha…I can’t divulge all the sordid details now can I?
One of my favourite chapters of the book is titled So Much For Hollywood where it is reviewed when the Blaze Bailey fronted version of Iron Maiden played Hamilton. I won’t say wether its a good review or a bad review but its friggin hilarious! Also in this chapter Brent discusses when old members return to their bands after splitting. One of the best analyzations of this is Aerosmith where Brent writes and I quote him..
“There is Old Aerosmith and there is New Aerosmith. Old Aerosmith is that slutty Jezebel that would take you upstairs to deliver the groceries at the end of a sloppy late night boozefest. New Aerosmith was the beautiful prom queen with great smelling hair you were proud to bring home to Mom. Both got your rocks off but one cut through the artifice and did it on a much more primal level.”
That paragraph sums up Aero verbatim! Pure Brilliance! Wish I wrote that!
No Sleep comes Full Circle when Maiden announce there Powerslave 2006 Tour! Once you read this book you will know what I’m talking about here!
Don’t let the title of this book fool ya friends, You can be from anywhere in the world and relate as we are all fans of the genre of music.
Geez,how many dudes from Sudbury can actually say they had the personal emails of Tommy Lee and Wolf Hoffman at one point?
Such a Great Read is No Sleep Easily one of my all time fav’s Get it!
(I must also mention that Brent is now doing a No Sleep Til Sudbury Podcast that you can download on iTunes for free and it’s a great listen as Brent Interviews people in the music industry and just plain music fans on the songs that make there skin vibrate! )