In the 1980s the rock journalist’s life was one of sharing long bar tabs, exotic substances, and stinging hangovers with our music heroes. Coupled with the nefarious activities conducted in the tour buses, clubs, and just about anywhere on the sunset strip, theirs was a life we would marvel at in our favourite magazines with jealous glee.
This was the life Kirk Blows lived in his 20s as a writer for the eminent rock rags Metal Hammer, Raw, Guitar magazine, and contributor of a slightly more saucy article to Penthouse on numerous occasions. Blows has talked, toked, and toiled with bands in tour buses, clubs, and hotels across the world. Hammered: Heavy Metal Tales From The Hard Rock Highway is a collection of some of his funniest, most enlightening interviews and encounters with rock stars big and small from the 1980s and ’90s, presented it in all its colorful glory.
There are hilarious back-biting and baiting conversations with members of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden calling each other names, a heartbreaking interview with Motorhead’s Lemmy, and a beyond-the-call-of-duty impromptu spell at a Metallica gig as James Hetfield’s monitor guard. KISS, Queen, Status Quo, and Sepultura bare their souls while on occasion Blows bares his anatomy.
Much in the same vein as Mick Wall’s superb Appetite For Destruction, there are present-day thoughts and exposition on the drinking, drugs, and douchebags. As much a memoir of the people and places of the ’80s and ’90s that made the rock and metal journalistic landscape especially in London, a lifestyle which rarely exists anymore, if at all.
What really makes Hammered a joy to read is it feels like Kirk Blows is an old mate telling you stories of what he has been getting up to. It’s informal, honest, painfully funny, and it will give anyone a view of rock stars that many will have never seen before.