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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472241467

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 13th July 2017

Genre: The Arts / Music / Music: Styles & Genres / Heavy Metal Music

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‘Absolutely hilarious’ – Neil Gaiman

‘One of the funniest musical commentators that you will ever read . . . loud and thoroughly engrossing’ – Alan Moore

‘A man on a righteous mission to persuade people to “lay down your souls to the gods rock and roll”.’ – The Sunday Times

‘As funny and preposterous as this mighty music deserve’ – John Higgs

The history of heavy metal brings brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Bruce Dickinson and Metallica (SIT DOWN, LARS!), to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian black metal scene and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. It is the story of a worldwide network of rabid fans escaping everyday mundanity through music, of cut-throat corporate arseholes ripping off those fans and the bands they worship to line their pockets. The expansive pantheon of heavy metal musicians includes junkies, Satanists and murderers, born-again Christians and teetotallers, stadium-touring billionaires and toilet-circuit journeymen.

Award-winning comedian and life-long heavy metal obsessive Andrew O’Neill has performed his History of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatre-goers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture, and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music.


Those lucky enough to have witnessed Andrew O'Neill's fluorescent (if one accepts that fluorescent black is a real thing) stand up comedy may be expecting a comedy book about Heavy Metal. In contrast, what they will actually get is a brilliantly lucid, comprehensive and well-observed critical overview of this enduring and startlingly diverse musical subculture from someone who genuinely loves the field, who knows it down to its last Satanic scruple, and who is by complete coincidence one of the funniest musical commentators that you will ever read. A History of Heavy Metal is a comprehensive landmark analysis of an enormous area of music that has been too long without such a thing, and has the massive advantage of the funny being turned up to twelve. A loud and thoroughly engrossing love-story.
Alan Moore
Loud, unapologetic and full of love, Andrew O'Neill's essential and much-needed History of Heavy Metal is as funny and preposterous as this mighty music deserves.
John Higgs - author of The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds