Ok, so first off, I’m the slowest fucking reader known to man. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s my adult ADD and the fact that I can barely sit still for more than five minutes but no matter what the reason, I love reading. I can’t stand fiction. I have no time for fiction as it bores the living shit out of me so I tend to read nothing but music biographies/autobiographies. I’ve read some amazing ones and I’ve read some shit ones (I’m talking to you Tony Iommi). While I love reading books by the artists, I find myself way more enjoying books written by the insiders (Lonn Friend) and the critical fan (Chuck Klosterman). When some dude named Brent Jensen appeared on my radar with his book “No Sleep Til Sudbury”, I felt compelled to give this book a read.
Again, like I said, I’m a slow as fuck reader but once I get into the meat of a book I can’t put it down and it’s off to the races I go. Brent’s book starts off telling the story of growing up in the small, remote Canadian town of Sudbury. As I read his story of growing up a metal head in his town I immediately found a connection with him. I could totally relate to his excitement of when a big band such as Iron Maiden or Metallica would roll into his town, his quest for metal records in the record stores, and his connection to the music that guided him through the years of his youth in a somewhat nowhere town. The reason I could relate to this is that while I was growing up in New Orleans (which surprisingly didn’t always get the best of the best shows), as a kid I felt that isolation and understood finding that solace and even identity in heavy metal music.
As the book progressed, I found myself feeling less like I was reading a book and more like I was having the same kind of discussions I have with my best friend regarding metal music only this time it was one sided. At times, I would find myself reading passages and then saying shit like, “What? Did you really just dog on Eddie Ojeda and call him a crappy guitarist? Brent, you better step off bro” and “Whoa dude. You just referred to David Coverdale as David Coverversion” and laughing out loud. I loved the fact that Brent is every bit as opinionated as I am and that one page would have me wanting to high five him over his dogging of Manowar but then wanting to slap him and be like, “What the fuck broheem” over his calling Cinderella “fake blues.” Thems fightin’ words right there! Just when I’d want to slap him he comes back with this Whitesnake drinking games in which his friends would all do shots every time David Coverdale said the word, “love.” See what I mean? Fucking hilarious.
No Sleep Til Sudbury is such a great book and I really enjoyed it. Where Klosterman’s work is a collection of professionally written and released articles/editorials, No Sleep Til Sudbury is more like the kind of book that I would write and I mean that with all due respect. Brent Jensen wrote a book as a fan sharing his opinions and stories. He didn’t write this to win a Pulitzer Prize or any other kind of accolade but if I had I guess (and I’m 99.75% sure I’m right), Brent wrote this book for no other reason than he wanted to. Much like Brent, I have stories of growing up a metal head, I have strong opinions which get me some hate mail, and at the end of the day I just fucking love talking about, debating, and arguing about metal music and all of its awesome ridiculousness.
After reading Brent’s book I found myself wanting to do two things: write a book of my own and to have him alone for an evening of drinking beer, listening to obscure metal bands and just flat out throwing it down. No Sleep Til Sudbury truly is a fantastic read. I always say that I learned more about metal from conversations with other fans than I ever did from any self-proclaimed journalist (Lonn Friend excluded of course) or any major publications like Rolling Stone or Hit Parader. No Sleep Til Sudbury is just like sitting in a friend’s basement talking music over beers while listening to warped copies of The Last Command and arguing whether “Sex Drive” is really a good song or if it’s just shit filler. I am so glad I read this book and may even have to have another read of it just to catch shit I may have missed! Great job Brent, even if you did talk shit about Eddie Ojeda… you hoser.