David Ellefson did us all a favor when he wrote “Making Music Your Business”. In it, we all saw just how messed up and incredibly expensive the music industry is. For example, how many of you have needed to hire an attorney, a booking agent, and a business manager just for you to make money and grow your business?
Amazingly, Ellefson wrote that book without sounding like he was holding his hand out in the industry. The spirit of that book was to inform and educate musicians and curious fans about how the business side of the industry works.
Now, with the release of “My Life with Deth”, we receive Ellefson’s personal testimony of the industry. Fortunately, this story goes much deeper than just the highs and lows of being a rock star.
While most autobiographies of metal stars from the 80’s and 90’s include tales of excess and waste (and this one does too), “My Life with Deth” offers something more: redemption, hope, and change as a better way. Many stories of metal stardom spend 90% of their pages detailing drugs and sex, and then, they spend the last 10% trying to convince you that sobriety and settling down has improved their life. Most fail in the attempt.
“My Life with Deth” is different. In it, we do hear about Ellefson’s drug problems. We learn about the financial struggles he endured. Megadeth’s band conflicts are famous, and for the first time, we hear Ellefson’s respectful side of things.
But there is more. We even learn of his honest faith in Jesus Christ. He speaks of being involved in a church and starting MegaLife ministries. He speaks intimately of his wife, Julie, and their two children.
At first, my only complaint was that the book was too brief coming in at fewer than 250 pages. But after a second reading, the book gives another face. Yes, there are stories of wild and crazy antics traveling the world in one of thrash’s greatest bands. Yes, there are stories of rehab and the rebuilding of a life. But Ellefson has decided to focus on a life out of those things more so than a life nostalgic for the past. It shows the reader and fans that Megadeth (or any other huge band in the day) has provided him a great life. But that is it. His life is more important than “Peace Sells”.
I only hope readers will listen.