Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review : Too much horror business


I can`t think of a better way to kick off a month of celebrating Halloween than a review of the new book `Too Much Horror Business`by Metallica s Kirk Hammet. For those not in the know, Hammet is known to be a voracious collector of all things horror and comic books. More after the jump...

I vividly recall in 1988 talking to toy dealer Bill Brugeman when his other  line  clicked, he returned and said "Brian, it's Kirk Hammet, I gotta go".
While I'm sure that would have upset some, I was 17 at the time and awestruck. Metallica was one of the few bands in constant rotation in my then surgically attached Walkman, along with the Ramones and Manowar. Moreover so, it was the idea that Kirk Hammet was a toy collector that intrigued me more, at this time I hid my collecting from absolutely everyone. 

So when it was announced that "Too Much Horror Business" was coming out , I wanted it not because I'm a fan boy but  because i knew he'd have a killer collection and I wanted to see it.

I could moan for hours about how collector books have disappointed me over the years,  bad research  terrible presentation and the worst of the worse, a collector/author with no sense of humour or irony. Fortunately, none of these are present in TMHB, it's attractively laid out, well researched and Hammett's comments on the items are often clever and insightful.

Whats more important, this book isn't some ego trip, it's a profile of a passionate collector who just happens to be a famous rock star. I'd like to think it would be no different a publication if Hammet was a guy who made his money in the gravel business. Too Much Horror Business explores the evolution of how and why Hammet loves to collect, his home life, along with the early exposure to monsters offering an escape. It's pretty deep and personal, I was surprised how much I enjoyed those sections.


A second chapter with Kirk discusses "war stories" about the hunt itself, while none of us will probably own an original Boris Karloff Mummy poster. We certainly can relate to the story of it`s purchase and the lengths we go to at times. Hammet also describes the `Celebrity tax` a practice in which a celebrity pays more for a collectible.  I've seen this in action and also seen it when a collector becomes known for his or her collection, so he's not paranoid.

Then there is the goodies, Hammet's monster poster collection is breath taking and unreal, not only are we shown rare posters from the twenties and thirties but Hammet throws in personal favorites that aren't particularly rare (seeing as they also hang in my rec room) but are things he loves nonetheless. That is something that i truly enjoyed about this book, the love shines through, this isn't a guy collecting treasures for treasure's sake, it`s somebody who is buying what he likes.

The chapters range from movie posters, original artwork, props, and of course toys. Two toys chapters in fact (covering the 1960s and 1970s) that while, not completely comprehensive,  are a lot of fun and are peppered with the fun commentary I mentioned earlier. I will also admit that a couple of pages were so similar to my upcoming book, that I'm reformatting photos as we speak.

In summation, I can whole heartily recommend this book for Monster fans and even casual collectors. It`s a fun tome and honestly, I`d buy any collectible book that looked this good, drawing the line at the Mattel Sunshine family of course. now they're scary.....

You can buy it here on Amazon

It's also on Ebay


Caffeinated Joe said...

Now that is an amazing book!

Sabrina said...

This book is really, really cool!

dave said...

nice misfits ref for the book title. we know they love the misfits.

John W. Morehead said...

I'm glad to hear that this book is worthwhile. As a 70s monster kid that's music to my ears. Your book sounds of interest as well.

Anonymous said...

Check out this short doc on the book, it's pretty sweet:


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