By Pat Prince
There may be no bigger personality in heavy metal/hard rock. Eddie Trunk's name is known and appreciated by all those who love this type of music. His vast knowledge of these genres — coupled with his television shows, radio broadcasts and Web sites — have enlightened many of the hard 'n heavy flock. His has an ear for talent and a solid interest in all the music news and debates listeners crave.
This year, he has put out a welcomed book, "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal" which describes the impact heavy music has had on him as a music lover and an individual. Part guidebook and part diary, it's hard not to love all expressed in the book's pages. As any dedicated fan, Trunk shares his passions and experiences in a musical universe that matters so much to him. If you understand this kind of passion and commitment to a particular type of music, you will love everything about this new Eddie Trunk book.
"The rewarding thing about it is that I've gotten unanimously amazing response from it," says Trunk. "From fans and critics alike. It's really cool to see it connect with so many people who love this music on so many different levels."
As mentioned above, "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal" (buy it now) is a nice combination of music history and personal anecdotes, formatted into different chapters on significant bands of the hard and heavy genre. One of the forefathers of Heavy Metal, Judas Priest's Rob Halford, called Eddie Trunk "the living, breathing backstage pass" and the book does add a real backstage experience that many music fans would never get the opportunity to know about.
"That's exactly where I was going with it. I would still like to do an autobiography some day. Maybe that will come at some point but I find that when you still need to work in this business — as I do — it's kind of hard to write the way you want to write it because you have to be brutally honest and say the negatives," laughs Trunk.
"I never shied away from that," he continues, "in all the things I do now but I just feel that's probably something better done when I'm starting to faze out of the business a little bit."
"But this book became a hybrid of a lot of different things. It became a hybrid of the photos tying in with the stories, an overview of these artists, a list of sorts with the playlists, some anecdotes with "Did You Know?" stuff — and just about every single band featured in the main chapters has at least one personal story. So there's really something in there for everybody, depending on what you are looking to get out of it. And for me it was a great first introduction into the publishing world. ... being the fist book it was the best kind of way to put my toe in there."
One story has Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash trying to take special-edition CD sets from Eddie's personal collection. But it was not seen as a malicious act. "He was a fan and he wanted them. But he didn't want to go to the store and buy them at the time," explains Trunk. "He tried to pull out his money and just pay me for them. And the thing I was most proud about in that particular story is that I stuck to my guns. Even though he was Slash I didn't cave and say 'Take them.' I physically took them from him and told him 'Get out of here.'"
Over the years, Eddie Trunk gave away most of his vinyl collection and replaced it with newer formats. However, he has been smart enough to keep his collection of unique vinyl and other material. "The one thing I collected as a kid was U.K. imports, and U.K. magazines. I would go to a record store all the time and buy Kerrang! when it came out and then I was really big into buying singles because in England they would always release 12-inch singles of all these bands I loved. And you only could get them in England. They always had really cool jackets and stuff, and there were also picture discs and things like that. Those were the one things I was smart enough to keep when I decided to dump a lot of the vinyl. The vinyl I dumped was just regular catalog titles. And also, being in radio back in the days when vinyl was played on the radio, I have a lot of the promotional singles as well. And working at a record store for years I have a ton of 45s and picture sleeves, even non-heavy rock stuff. like a Prince 45 of "Purple Rain" on purple vinyl. I knew from working in a record store that when anything came out as a picture sleeve it was a big deal. You used to have customers who would come in and they didn't care who the band was or what the song was, as long as it was a picture sleeve they would buy it."
Trunk realizes the street cred Goldmine has in the music collecting community. Once looking for hard-to-find items from the band Piper, he immediately turned to Goldmine. "I took an ad out in Goldmine long before the internet. Billy Squier had a band called Piper on A&M, prior to being solo, and I loved the two albums of Piper and I was dying to get them on CD. I even talked to Billy himself and he knew that Japan had issued a limited run and he didn't even have it himself. So I needed a way to put the word out, so I took an ad out in Goldmine, and I ended up getting a response from a record store in Indiana. After getting them I burned a copy of each as a safety and then I started hearing rumblings that Universal in the U.S. was going to put them out in a new edition. So before the word got out on that I thought,'Let me dump these things.' I took another ad out in Goldmine and sold them," he laughs. "But then I freaked out because they ended up canceling the U.S. releases. Ironically, a few years ago, a label called American Beat finally put them out in the U.S., both albums on one disc. So I felt a little redeemed but it was touch and go there for a while."
This kind of passion for music is contained in the 240 pages of "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal." Yes, the book does go behind the scenes of Eddie's professional career (VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, Sirius/XM radio's Eddie Trunk Live, the FM-syndicated Eddie Trunk Rocks, etc) but it goes beyond that — it goes to the core of what it is to be a die-hard fan. Plainly speaking, it's a music book that truly is essential.
Note: Goldmine's online store is offering a special savings on the purchase of "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal." Click here to check it out.