Read Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict by Seb Hunter Online


Seb Hunter wasn't just a heavy metal fan. He was a blind devotee who threw away his education and future prospects to become a rock star. In Hell Bent for Leather, he reaches into the most embarrassing depths of the family photo album to reveal his Wayne's World-esque teen years, taking readers on a (very loud) musical journey from his first guitar to his first gig and on,Seb Hunter wasn't just a heavy metal fan. He was a blind devotee who threw away his education and future prospects to become a rock star. In Hell Bent for Leather, he reaches into the most embarrassing depths of the family photo album to reveal his Wayne's World-esque teen years, taking readers on a (very loud) musical journey from his first guitar to his first gig and on, through groupies, girlfriends, too many drugs, spiraling egos, musical differences, and finally, the end of the dream -- and a much-needed haircut.In this nostalgic look at heavy metal culture, Seb Hunter has given us a moving portrait of adolescence and chasing your dream, reminding us all that it's better to have lost in rock than never to have rocked at all.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more....

Title : Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060722937
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict Reviews

  • Elaine
    2018-11-09 10:44

    This guy is pretty much a douche but the book is still funny. I was going to give him two stars but I just remembered that he called motley crue "shit" so he gets only one star from me.

  • Eh?Eh!
    2018-11-20 08:53

    hilarious! a memoir of a time that must be cringe-inducing for the author now but at the time was so serious and important to him, all with dry british wit, interspersed with a metal primer. i now know the correct way to dress metal, and the 6 steps of putting on a metal show (actual playing is last).

  • East Bay J
    2018-11-13 07:30

    Seb Hunter’s Hell Bent For Leather rules. It really does. It’s the kind of story that has all the requisite chills and thrills (and spills) but is told in a light hearted, witty, non self important/indulgent/loathing voice that keeps it well away from being an irritating struggle to get through. At times, it is nothing short of hilarious, though it may be less hilarious to those who have never done their time in the world of metal.Metal is funny. No, seriously, it’s super funny. Trust me. There are those who take it 100% seriously but the rest of us, whether we love it or hate it, know damn well metal is a three ring circus laugh riot. It looks funny, it smells funny, it acts funny, ergo it is funny. Hunter has tapped into that hilarity and rather subtly detailed it in all its glory.Metal fans are funny, too. They like to argue about what is and isn’t metal. Like, years ago, if Hunter and I were sitting in a pub, I might ask what metal he is into and he might say Dogs D’Amour, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and KISS. I would respond that I do not think of any of those bands as metal at all but more as hard rock. He might then ask what metal bands I am into, in which case I would list off Iron Maiden, High On Fire, Cirith Ungol, Celtic Frost, Slayer, etc. He would get why I questioned his list of bands but would not give a hoot and would ask me something funny and British like, “What about the ‘DC?” I would reply, “AY CEE DEE CEE is a rock ‘n’ roll band and please don’t call them “the ‘DC;” it sounds like some stupid teen TV show.” And so it would go.I’m not saying I support or subscribe to the notion of genrefication. In fact, I am opposed to it. One of the great beauties of music is that it’s there for you to define and enjoy. Or not.Hunter does address his more or less open ended way of defining “metal” in a pretty metal sort of way: “If you think I’m being free and easy with my heavy metal tagline, I don’t care. It’s how artists were perceived by metal fans that’s important here, not what their music actually sounded like.” Yes. Just so.What Hunter gets very right is the passion, indeed the obsession, that metal fans have for their music. That, for me, is one of the best things about this book. Metal fans like their bands and often hate your bands (especially if they dress differently than their bands) and they’re decidedly unconcerned with the logic (or lack thereof) in their opinions and statements. It’s a very adolescent mentality but it’s also extremely entertaining to overhear at your local watering hole.“Slayer sold out after Reign In Blood, man.”“No way! South Of Heaven is awesome!”“Okay, it’s not bad, but it’s no Reign In Blood.”“Dude, nothing is Reign In Blood except Reign In Blood. At least they’re not as bad as Metallica.”“Yeah, man, Metallica betrayed their fans! Those guys are pussies!”“Too bad Cliff died, man. He would never have put up with the crap these guys have pulled.”“CLIIIIIIIFF!”It’s awesome. It really is.So I read Confessions from an increasingly adolescent metal head point of view, up to the point it became more a memoir than a book about heavy metal (dirty trick, there, Hunter) and it was really fun. I’m not kidding. Like, he calls Anthrax the “U2 of metal.” And I was, like, "Excuse me? What the f*ck did you just say? The U f*cking 2 of f*cking metal? I don’t think so, sailor!" Like that, see? It’s fun to get all riled up! Made me feel sixteen again.The glam metal thing, though. To me, that’s an oxymoron, like “military intelligence” or “music business.” I don’t think there’s any such thing. I think that’s what the lady boys told themselves so they would still feel all butch and tough in their scarves and camisoles. But I believe that, deep down inside, they all knew they were not metal. And, really; keyboards are girly but makeup and women’s clothes are not?I will admit I went out and bought that first Poison LP the second it came out. It just seemed like they were having such fun in the video for “Talk Dirty To Me”! I couldn’t help it! I thought they were like The New York Dolls or something. Never thought of ‘em as any kind of metal, though.We agree about death metal, though. Especially the Norwegian death metal thing. Good grief. I didn’t realize the Society For Creative Anachronisms had a metal chapter, right? Am I right? Satanic/Pagan Renaissance Faire, anyone?He’s also correct about that Priest cover of “Johnny B. Goode”. It is wretched. And Maiden's Live After Death probably is the best live album, ever. And he’s spot on with his descriptions of Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘N’ Roses. And I love the thing about Aersosmith being the real Smiths. YES!!!He made up that thing about Iron Butterfly playing the first drum solo in ’68, though. Jazz drummers have been indulging in those since at least the 40’s. Bloody drummers. But what he made up is a riot!Biggest laugh/revelation was learning Pantera used to be a girly glam band. I didn’t know! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! From glamor girls to jock rockers to follow a trend! Priceless.None of that is the point, of course. What this book is about is Seb Hunter, the man, the myth, the legend in his own mind. I don’t mean that in a snarky way. We've all been there, one way or another. It’s a treat to hear Hunter’s story told Hunter’s way. And it’s because of his blunt, brutal honesty that this book works so well. He does not pull any punches and actually kind of lines himself up and takes his time for the ones he aims at himself. It’s damned charming and engaging and extremely entertaining.Just like Tiggers, this book is fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. I can’t say all metal fans will like it, though; just the ones who like to read and who learned not to take themselves so seriously. Those ones will find it hysterical.

  • Jody
    2018-11-16 11:30

    Unexpectedly fall-off-the-couch funny. It's a Heavy Metal (always capitalized in the book) memoir, but would recommend to people who like deadpan humor and have a medium-sized interest in music. A few enjoyable parts, among many:The "Lewd, Crude and Tattooed: Glam!" subchapter, in which Hunter names Glam subcategories ("Junkie Vampire Glam (LA Guns), Guys, It's Not Working Glam (Jetboy)," then delves deeper into Poison ("..they winked in all their photos! Why did they do that? It was incredibly exciting...")The advent of the pointy headstock (a cosmetic change to the end part of an electric guitar, where the turning pegs are) "shook the Metal world to its stack-heeled foundations" The how-to instructional bits, including dress, name, logo and performance (below):"These inflatables pretty much design themselves. But if you've given your album a more abstract title, like Lunging Sodomy for example, then you need to consult some 'conceptual artists' (or your tour manager), and choose an inflatable that you feel will get across the essence of the album title. Remember, the audience will need to be able to make the connection between the two, or they won't understand what's going on. The Lunging Sodomy tour, and you've got an inflatable of a giant machine-gun? Eh? But a massive blow-up backside being clutched either side by a pair of leather-gloved fists? Of course. This is the Lunging Sodomy tour! … Since Eddie the Head features on all of Iron Maiden’s album covers, you might be worrying about how the band managed to stay ahead of the game. How could they find a new way of presenting the same thing inflatably onstage every year? Did they leave him at home a few times? Did they have a spaceship or something else instead? No, they did not.”

  • Paisley McClellan
    2018-10-22 09:45

    I just loaned this to someone in Sarasota who never gave it back before I moved! Seb Hunter is to Chuck Klosterman as Johnny Carson is to Ryan Seacrest He reminds anyone who lived through the hair metal '80s just how ridiculous it all was while managing to paint an endearing portrait of an awkward teenager with a guitar and a dream. Plus, he's British so he's awesome.

  • Larry
    2018-11-10 10:52

    Great read about a guy who spends his youth and 20s trying to make it as a rock star. Funny and well-written. I enjoyed this book as what it is meant to be. There are no life-lessons or self-help programs here. It is strictly entertainment, like a good episode of Cheers!

  • Sandi
    2018-11-04 06:33

    At a young age the author became obsessed with heavy metal music and this memoir recounts his quest for stardom in a band along with giving a primer on all aspects of metal.

  • Kate
    2018-11-10 04:53

    The sound a keyboard makes: the sound of lettuce. Thank you, Seb Hunter for giving me something I can keep forever.

  • Neal Fultz
    2018-11-07 04:43

    In the same vein as say, Chuck Klosterman, but more glam and more British.

  • Jenn Estepp
    2018-11-17 07:27

    Pretty funny and only a little bit cringe-worthy. It definitely brought back a few memories, not all of them good. I was never a metalhead, but very metal-adjacent, so I definitely recognized bits.

  • Pete
    2018-10-25 03:51

    Great little book about the trials & tribulations of an 80's wannabe Sleaze Rocker.

  • Gina Covarrubias
    2018-11-04 11:50

    Hell Bent for Leather is a gateway drug that leads to the hard stuff, like leather pants. According to the “customers who bought this book also bought” feature on Amazon, the people who bought Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict frequently purchased leather pants immediately afterward. I must assume this is because, as the title states, heavy metal really is addictive. During the height of hair metal’s popularity I lived less than an hour from the Troubadour and the Rainbow, but I was too darn punk rock to go. After reading Seb Hunter’s hysterically funny ode to heavy metal, I can’t help but feel like I missed out on something. Not necessarily something I would have enjoyed at the time, but something just the same. Had Hell Bent for Leather been written a couple of decades earlier, I might have learned to appreciate the subtle nuances of metal before I was too old to bang my head. This book is a love letter to a pyramid spike riddled genre that will make you swoon over metal right along with Mr. Hunter. I never got the impression that Seb was condescending toward metal music or its fans while I was reading this book. He was just poking good-natured fun at how seriously he took both metal and himself at the time, the same way other people do about Beatlemania, disco dance moves, liberty spikes, and countless other things from other eras that we remember fondly enough that we can now appreciate their absurdities. To the contrary, this book is the main reason I am now laughing with metal rather than at it. I never thought I would say this, but I love Iron Maiden. My husband and children can now attend Slayer concerts without the fear of having to listen to me complaining about the cost of tickets. Whether you are into metal or not, if you are a person who ever went through a stage where you defined yourself through the music you listened to, you will relate, and you will laugh. If you weren't around during the glam metal heyday, Hell Bent for Leather will make you wish you were, only perhaps with less Aqua Net.

  • Justin
    2018-11-08 10:48

    Part memoir, part tongue-in-cheek pop culture analysis, Seb Hunter's Hell Bent for Leather is essentially Fargo Rock City : A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota from an English perspective. Like Chuck Klosterman, Hunter discovers heavy metal at a young age and immediately falls in love. Unlike Klosterman, Hunter takes his love to the next level - starting a band.Hell Bent for Leather is at once endearing and frustrating. Hunter is honest about his love affair with metal (I'll pause here to note that roughly 5% of the bands Hunter cites would be classified as metal today), but he's also a bit too embarrassed, as if he has to apologize for enjoying music that critics universally loathed.As a straightforward memoir, Hell Bent for Leather is a compelling and completely enjoyable read. This tale of a wannabe rock star, presented by someone who can actually write, was what kept my interest. Hunter's various expositions on the different types of metal, while humorous, were either inaccurate or unnecessary (or both), and tended to fail where Fargo Rock City succeeded.I didn't love everything about this book, but Hell Bent for Leather was still a very enjoyable look at a young man's quest for rock n' roll stardom, and the impact this kind of music can have on its listeners. There is enough in the way of humor and personality to make up for its occasional flaws, and I could definitely see it appealing to anyone who enjoyed Fargo Rock City.

  • Cameron
    2018-11-18 03:25

    The embarrassing memoirs of a metal-head, now just a regular guy. Get the gist? A look at the whole Metal culture from the perspective of someone who lived it then came out the other side.It's entertaining, very detailed descriptions of specific metal customs, very vague outlines of Seb Hunter's life. You can never be entirely certain what's been left out in terms of narrative, his exploits, while sometimes cruel, are never unforgivable and never make you turn from him in disgust. He even rips off a bank for two and a half grand.What struck me most was the fact that it's a book that nearly anyone could have written, if you look back at those days when you played in a band with a bunch of guys you didn't like. And then half of it reads like some kind of Encyclopaedia Metallica. Think Moby Dick; for every little bit of narrative you get a chunk of dull facts about whales (or, in this case, Metal). This caused the book to lag as it went on, and then ends abruptly when Seb trades his Les Paul for a Tele and people tell him (now that he's dropped the whole metal thing) that he was "actually really cool".On the whole the book can be quite enjoyable at times, though I can't be entirely sure if this is down to the stories of Seb's life or the fact that his band remembrances will stir up old memories for most people who started a band in their youth, thinking that was all their life would ever be.

  • Ciara
    2018-10-27 03:35

    basically, for anyone who is recovering metalhead (such as myself, ages three to thirteen), this book RULES! seb hunter was a metalhead to the max! he did the big hair, tight pants, leather jewelry, fey, bony, chain-smoking thing & got his ass kicked by military types as a result. he was in various metal bands & had his MOM design their show flyers (one of my favorite stories in this book was about him instructing his mom on how to illustrate the skeleton he wanted on a show flyer--he suggested that the skeleton should be smoking a cigarette, but she balked due to the unhealthiness of smoking; she didn't want easily-influenced children to see the smoking skeleton & decide that smoking was cool). he was even in a few bands that started to achieve some limited degree of fame, but eventually the heavy metal bubble burst & hunter unabashedly recounts his experience hearing nirvana for the first time & how he pretty much immediately shed a decade's worth of hairspray & eyeliner & started wearing cardigans & writing grunge songs. AMAZING. just amazing. i only gave the book three stars because it's just not the kind of thing i feel i can rave over in good conscience, but for what it was, it was AWESOME.

  • Dr. Detroit
    2018-10-27 09:44

    If you're looking for the companion piece to Chuck Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City" - and really, who isn't? - your crotch-rock mothership has just landed.Seb Hunter takes a more hands-on approach to his obsession than Klosterman, combining tight pants, loose morals, and empty pockets into a workable formula toward his penultimate goal: becoming the sixth member of Hanoi Rocks, Finnish street urchins who very well may have been huge - or at least really big - had not that idiot Vince Neil killed their drummer Razzle in 1984 while driving his Pantera drunk. The Rocks went tits up, eventually reuniting 18 years later with replacement members but failing to recapture lightning in a jar.Along the way, Hunter takes the occasional break in his tour diary of life in the comatose lane, hours spent babysitting bar stools, and searching for that great E chord in the sky to explain the rules, rituals, dress code, accouterments, and ugly-guitar ramalama of heavy metal and it all plays out like nothing so much as a stoned and hygienically-questionable God spreading the law to the Israelites from high atop Mount Sinai. Infectious, yes. But so is avian flu.All this is a fancy way of saying “I like it.” You should too.

  • Lee Selwood
    2018-11-13 09:32

    Clearing out my books I put this to one side to lend to a friend, I read it years ago when it came out and really related to it. I decided to read it again before I gave it to him and thoroughly enjoyed it once more. This is more of memoir than a book directly about Heavy Metal. About how a type of music can consume you when your young and shape your life. It starts off describing a love for the music in all it's forms and progresses to how it shaped his life in starting a band and hunting for fame and glory.If your a recovered Heavy Metal fan that can still enjoy a Scorpions album whilst realising how ridiculous it all really is then there is a lot to relate to in this. If you still believe in death to false metal then you probably won't like it's light hearted digs at various factions of the Metal Genre. I'm glad I dug this out and look forward to picking up his other books. Incidently the Author Seb Hunter is the driving force behind making the film the Elder. As in(Music from) the Elder by Kiss regarded in many circles as one of rocks biggest mistakes.

  • Jim
    2018-10-31 10:33

    I read this funny, moving and well-written book in under twenty four hours, so it joins the ranks of the very few books that have grabbed me in this way. For me, this is how Fever Pitch should have affected me if I'd been as into football as I was into AC/DC, but as I read through the chapters the music, like the footie in "Fever Pitch", became secondary to the tale of growing up. The author's relationship with his family, his mates, his girlfriends, his dad and, throughout it all, himself is what kept the interest. It made me think that most of us have our share of spice in life, or at least what seems like spice to us. I read a couple of reviews on Amazon which seemed to miss the point, written as they were by bona fide Heavy Metal fans. This isn't a book for listing the bootleg albums of The Tigers of Pan Tang, like "Fever Pitch" wasn't about to list the greatest substitutes who played less than fifteen minutes for Arsenal. It's about growing up, and for a forty year old (forty-one year old, why do I find that hard to concede?!) those memories are ones you enjoy raking over.

  • Marissa
    2018-10-27 06:40

    There might be something interesting in the last 7/8 of this book, but I'll never know. Because it's impossible to get that far. The first four chapters are written by a metal fan who absolutely loathes the fact that he loves metal. You can feel the shame dripping off of him as he describes his first true love, AC/DC - which is not a fun way to read about AC/DC. Maybe if you're some sort of ironic-irony-loving, self-loathing hipster, this is the right book for you. But if I just wanted to listen to people whine about liking metal, I could go to a metal show. At least there, we love that we hate that we love metal.

  • Baronation
    2018-11-01 03:38

    I'm a few years younger than this guy, but I went through the same stuff as this guy. The crappy bands that went nowhere, the awful living conditions and the constant knock backs and fails. Seb seems to have been a lot more successful with the ladies though. Basically this is two different books in one. Firstly it's the story a failed musician who went nowhere, the high points being a few gigs at The Marquee and a live review in Kerrang, the low points being homeless. The other story is an overview of the metal scene and what it was like to a metaller in the mid to late 80's. Recommended for any fans of metal or want a good laugh at a never say die metalhead.

  • Em
    2018-10-28 03:34

    oh shit, i laughed for hours on this one... and the author eerily had the exact same birthday/year as me, had specific same life-changing teen experiences, and had an over the top, geeked out obsession with metal--like making a fake ACDC tape, with sleazy song titles and hand made cover art and everything, to try and convice his 11-year-old best friend that it was a new release and he was totally cooler than him for scoring it first! I have to admit the last third of the book dragged my enthusiasm, but it was still so worth it.

  • Tpeter
    2018-10-28 08:47

    Positive surprise!- I bought this really cheap at a virgin megastore some years ago, without really expecting much. It was a total page-turner - a hymn to the stupid and wonderful genre that is heavy metal, in the form of a personal account of going from listening to ac/dc tapes at age 11, to being in a LA/sleaze band later on, with added details about most heavy metal sub-genres. A brilliant read, a true page-turner.

  • Reader
    2018-10-27 11:38

    Was a little disappointed but shouldn't be. My expectations were too high.Coming of age tale about a guy in the '80s who loves metal music and gives it a spin, until he ditches it in his early 30s. The photos are priceless.Some of the narrative gets tedious, but there are moments of poking fun at himself that make it work. Some rants like Chuck Klosterman but without any of the intellectual pretense.Good if you're looking for nostalgia of that period.

  • Dave-o
    2018-10-31 04:45

    This book is a must for anyone who grew up in the 80's/90's listening to Metal, Hard Rock, glam (I refuse to capitalise glam) or Grunge you will recognise yourself in Seb Hunter's tales. It bounces between the author's own journey through Metal and a who's who and what's what of one of the most derided but passionately supported music genres. It's funny, forthright and told with pathos.I have recommended this book to every fellow brother of the cult of Metal that I know. \../

  • Hilary Mortz
    2018-11-20 07:34

    This must be my favourite rock memoir of all time. I work in a holiday resort in Cyprus and my friend working in the car hire shop next door to our studio found it on the back seat of a returned car; she gave it to me because she knew I am into Metal. I have read and re-read it quite a few times since then.Lovely, lovely book full of humour and humanity.

  • Katelyn Phillis
    2018-10-25 09:43

    dA great book for anyone that likes metal music, or is a die hard metal-head. Has an interesting take on certain bands, and their members.The way that Seb writes makes it seem like he's an old friend sitting down and talking with you about his life.Would be rated 5 stars, but he talked about AC/DC and Kiss a lot, which both bands I feel are over-rated.

  • D'Anne
    2018-10-29 06:54

    Interesting look at the British heavy metal scene via the lens of a guy who tried and failed to make it big. Lots of historical info about the British metal scene interspersed with the author's personal account. The author argues that Kurt Cobain killed metal. But he also argues that it deserved to be killed. So.

  • Deanna
    2018-10-29 03:49

    This was an enjoyable read, even though it took me forever to finish. I has this one going at the same time as Lisa Gardner's latest and just didn't find much time for reading either one. Seb Hunter seems to have a good sense of humor. And his breakdown of some of the music I grew up with was sometimes hilarious but mostly spot-on!

  • Deyara
    2018-10-30 09:24

    Not really what I was ecpecting, but a good read all the same. Not as funny as How to be a Better Person, but doesnt drag. Seems pretty down-to-earth.

  • Gemma lovatt
    2018-11-03 07:33

    Book by a Wannabe rock star, tells his story of growing up with heavy metal, his bands, the glam (hair) bands live in London. A very good read and has just the right amount of hummer you can see yourself their Seb goes into grate detail throughout the whole book.