As those of us who strive to strike the right balance between fidelity to the metal militia and our solemn parenting responsibilities know only all too well, we should not depend upon the American education system alone to transmit essential knowledge.
Sure, memorizing state capitols and multiplication tables is wonderful and necessary, but can we truly say our children are receiving a well-rounded education if they remain unfamiliar with, say, the impact of Diamond Head and Saxon or the basic building blocks of thrash or the appropriate level of guitar volume? (That is, of course, “as loud as it will go.”)
Into this breach now steps a dream team of sorts: The legendary Howie Abrams — author of the crucial Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains and The Merciless Book of Metal Lists as well as a key player in seminal heavy releases from Madball, Sick of it All, Prong, and many others via In-Effect and Roadrunner — graffiti artist/illustrator/tattooist extraordinaire Michael “Kaves” McLeer, and perhaps the biggest, most consequential heavy metal band of all time.
And the volume they have created together is not merely a clever and colorful journey through the history of both the genre and Metallica that will delight fans young and old while providing a great ancillary aid for heavy metal homeschooling, but also a legit opportunity to do real good: A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation, “which is dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services.”
Check out an exclusive peek at the “G” page from The ABCs of Metallica as well as some thoughts courtesy Abrams himself on the book and its meaning, which can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the official Metallica store. (Be sure to peep the rad book/toddler shirt bundle in the latter…)
“I first saw Metallica open for Venom in 1983 when I was 15. I’ve now seen them live at least twenty-five times…
“Kaves and I had done a couple of alphabet books prior to The ABCs of Metallica, but I never thought we’d have the opportunity to work with a band of their stature — and one I’ve been a fan of since their appearance on that first Metal Massacre compilation.
“Kaves was actually part of their Obey Your Master art show several years back, and also did a live painting at their Orion festival in Atlantic City.
“Coming up with what we did for each letter of the alphabet felt natural. The band approved our first pass at the letters and we just executed it from there. We wanted to represent Metallica’s long history, as well as their achievements, but had to focus on keeping it kid-friendly, as it is a book for children.
“To have been able to create this along with the band has been a bucket list kind of adventure. For kids to be able to learn to read and learn about Metallica is just friggin’ amazing!”