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“Waking up in a hotel room in North Carolina in a pool of blood! And looking over with a bad hangover going, Oh my god, did I do that?” ~ Jay Reynolds (past Megadeth guitarist, current Malice and Metal Church guitarist), on his worst groupie experience.

That’s one of the responses you’ll read in author Michael Toney’s Tales from the Stage: Volume 1. Released in June, this is the second book published by Toney. The first being Tales from the Cage, a book with a similar format to the second book, featuring interviews from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) experts.

In the book introduction, Toney explains he played in Detroit hard rock/metal bands in the 80s before earning a Hotel Management bachelor’s degree in 1990. He worked in the hotel industry until he lost his job in 2011. Jobless and with more free time he decided to follow his passion and interview rock professionals about life and career experiences.

Toney uses a Q&A format in Tales from the Stage, asking hard rock and metal musicians, along with music industry professionals, random questions. The average music fan may not have heard the names of many of the individuals interviewed, but they are all key players in the music industry; working with some of the biggest rock names including KISS, Meat Loaf, Megadeth and Billy Squier. Toney mixes more bland questions such as “what city were you raised in” and “are you registered to vote” with more interesting tidbits such as “what was your craziest groupie experience?” Questions start out slow, but keep reading and the real meat of the interview starts to appear.

The Q&A format makes it harder to digest; a story format would more likely grab the reader’s attention. Even with the interesting nuggets of information Toney offers, he doesn’t delve deep enough into the subject matter. When you read about a guitarist waking up next to a pool of blood, the average reader wants to know more details. Toney leaves the reader hanging at various points throughout the book, asking initial questions, but leaving out follow-up questions to get to the real dirt, which can be frustrating.  Hardcore metal and hard rock fans may find some new facts and enjoy reading some of the stories, but the average music fan may feel bored by the questioning and the lack of more well-known musicians.

Order the book directly from the author’s website.



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