RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

David Ellefson with Joel McIver – My Life with Deth
Howard Books


Rating: A

David Ellefson is the bass player for Megadeth.  In fact, he co-founded the band with Dave Mustaine.  He also left the band, worked a ‘real’ job, went to college, found God and became a Preacher, started a religious organization called Mega Life and then, against the odds, rejoined the band. Suffice it to say…Dave’s been kinda busy…

Despite the breakneck speed of his life, he was able to team up with rock journalist Joel McIver to tell his unique tale of overcoming addiction, finding a spiritual path and still being able to be in Thrash Metal band.

The first thing that comes across in this book is Ellefson’s commitment to his lifestyle.  And we mean all of them…his music, his family, Dave M, his God, his friends and this very project.  Dave is a sincere and genuine good person who has overcome alcoholism and drug addiction, been to hell and back and is in a better space than he could have ever imagined.   

I am not sure which is most amazing, Rob Halford of Judas Priest coming out of the closet and the traditionally homophobic male Heavy Metal fans still accepting him, or Ellefson professing his faith and love of Jesus and having Metal fans still revere him. Either way, this says a lot about Metal Heads as they often get pigeonholed as stupid, daft, headbanging, partying, Satan worshiping maniacs.  Apparently, there is more to them than meets the eye, as they appear to be open-minded, self-sacrificing, accepting and loyal human beings! Who wudda thunk?   

In a way, Ellefson has a unique perspective, as I am not sure this guy has spent too much time in the real world.  Let me explain…he spent 18 years secluded on a farm in Minnesota and then moved to Hollywood right out of high school and formed Medadeth with Mustaine.  He spent the next few years playing music and pretty much partying, trying to get a record deal. Finally, he got famous, addicted to drugs and toured the world.  He eventually dropped off the Metal machine and got a sort of real job at Peavey where he hooked other musicians up with endorsements.  Along the way, he became a member of recovery groups and, then, found God and Church and eventually made it full circle when he rejoined to Megadeth. 

I am not saying he has not lived life on the contrary, his experiences are vast and cover highs and lows that most Americans cannot relate too.  However, his lack of 9 to 5, regular American life gives him a perspective that is totally unique.  Ellefson has a quiet confidence and a commitment to honestly and enlightenment. 

While the book is light on the horror stories of addiction, he gets his point across.  He does the same with his spirituality.  He does not get pushy, rather he tells how it works for him. 

After reading this book, one walks away with a huge amount of respect and admiration for Dave.  One may, or may not, agree with what he did, how he did it, or what he believes in, but one can’t argue that he believes in it and that he is extremely grateful for what he has and is totally passionate about life.  This is a book that contains honesty, integrity and sees the good guy win in the end. 

Dave Ellefson may not be a household name, hell, he’s not even the most famous man in his own band, but in this book, Dave becomes not only a star, but also a true hero.   Through it all Dave remains humble, yet he deserves everything he has achieved, both in this world and beyond. 

You won’t find a rock star dropping his emotional guard any lower than David Ellefson.  This man is being gut level open and honest about who he was, what happened to him and who he is today.

The bottom line is to stop reading this review, and buy Dave’s book…and read it, instead. 

By Jeb Wright