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Dark Days: A Memoir by D. Randall Blythe
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Dark Days: A Memoir

by D. Randall Blythe

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Please read my original and full review on my blog:
https://nerdybookaddict.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/dark-days/

Wow. Just wow.. I have so much to say on this book. It was longer than most books that I have read so it took me a bit longer to read the whole thing and write my review on it. Prepare for a long one! So I am a HUUUUGE fan of Lamb of God. No joke. I have been a fan for years. I own all of their albums, I have tons of posters hanging on my walls, and a numerous amount of band t-shirts, I have even seen them live. I had followed and supported Randy in his whole ordeal with what had happened during one of his shows where he was falsely accused of manslaughter for pushing a fan offstage which ultimately ended in his death. So of course when I knew that he was writing a book about all of his ordeals with the situation, I just HAD to read it. This book came out not very long ago and I rushed to get it the day that the library had it available. This book has so much humor in just the right places as well as seriousness put together. I was hooked with just the first few sentences and was in major happiness mode knowing that I am reading a book that the singer from my favorite band had wrote. You can really see his voice, his personality in every single sentence in the book. He is very honest, speaks nothing but the truth. This is a very emotional book and had me laughing and in a certain part towards the end I had even cried. (which I will talk about a little later.) This book will have you laughing, and crying, and just sitting on the edge of your seat. When reading this book I have learned how selfless he is. I had never realized how amazing, thoughtful and caring this guy was until I read his book. I was just a regular fan who was all about their music, but now I am a fan who respects him and his decisions he made. I respect the whole band in sticking together through his situation as they were there for him no matter what. I definitely look up to him now as well as the rest of the band. Knowing what kind of guy he really is. This is a rare thing to find in people these days. This book is very inspiring. Randy gives great advice for people who are dealing with drug addictions, legal troubles, drinking problems or just plain out having a rough life. He also explains that it is not just about being a musician in a band to actually make a career out of it. It’s actually very hard work. You can’t just slap on the image and expect to become famous or to have success in the industry. Randy talks about touring, writing music, his life struggles, and the fact that he was being blamed for a crime he didn’t commit let alone remember some of the events that took place. He tells of his emotions of how one of his best friends from Slipknot had died. (I use to listen to this band back when I was starting High School but they changed their music style and sadly I am not impressed anymore.) Paul Gray had died the same night of the incident where a fan was pushed off stage and had died. Randy has also toured with Dimmu Borgir (Another band that is definitely in my top three list.) When Randy was stuck in Pankrác Prison, Ozzy and Sharon Osborne had went out of their way to write him a character letter for the judge and had also said that they would host Ozzfest in Prague and have the judge choose where all the money earned from the concert would be donated to charity of his choosing. Randy wrote that he had been in the Ozzfest tour twice in 2004, and 2007. (I actually went to the 2007 one which was the “Free Fest.”) I actually saw them at a signing table in Arizona and screamed how awesome I think they are. Every single band member of Lamb of God smiled and acknowledged that they had heard me. Anyways, in the book Randy goes into great detail on the conditions of the prison that he had stayed in for well over a month and explained the histories of the prison and the country that was holding him there. He painted an absolute beautiful picture of the country and I could literally see it as if I was there. He mentioned how inmates in the prison when it was first opened were executed and that same room is now pretty historical and still has the original guillotine. In majority of the book he talks about the inmates that he had roomed with and how he tried communicating with them as they didn’t speak any English and made a few friends while he was incarcerated. So about the part of the book where I had cried... I had never known this but he had a daughter who unfortunately had passed away as soon as she was born of a heart defect. She was also born at 7 months which is very early. His feelings and how he talked about other parents going through this situation made me break down and cry. I have also experienced this as my one year old had passed away and was also a preemie. His feelings were exactly how I felt and how I feel to this very day. Him writing about this helped me know that I am not alone. I'm not the only parent who still grieves for their child years after they left this Earth. If I could I would thank him for sharing this very personal moment and helping me. Telling me that I am not alone in this and our children are always with us. He gave me hope and a feeling that there is someone there that is going through the same exact thing I am. Thank you so much Randy... This book is something you really should pick up and read. Even if you are not into this type of genre of music, this book has history, experiences surviving in a prison setting, and getting over hard addictions. I think that anyone would enjoy this book if they take the time to read it all the way to the end. I for one am not all all disappointed in the book and I recommend this book very highly. ( )
1 vote KristyKhaos | Aug 9, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0306823144, Hardcover)

Lamb of god vocalist D. Randall Blythe finally tells the whole incredible story of his arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic over the tragic and accidental death of a concertgoer in this riveting, gripping, biting, bold, and brave memoir.

On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall "Randy" Blythe was looking forward to a few hours off—a rare break from the touring grind—in which to explore the elegant, old city. However, a surreal scenario worthy of Kafka began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to Pankrác Prison—a notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis' torture units had set up camp during the German occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed, awaiting trial and serving sentences in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions.

Two years prior, a 19-year-old fan died of injuries suffered at a lamb of god show in Prague, allegedly after being pushed off stage by Blythe, who had no vivid recollection of the incident. Stage-crashing and -diving being not uncommon occurrences, as any veteran of hard rock, metal, and punk shows knows, the concert that could have left him imprisoned for years was but a vague blur in Blythe's memory, just one of the hundreds of shows his band had performed over their decades-long career.

At the time of his arrest Blythe had been sober for nearly two years, having finally gained the upper hand over the alcoholism that nearly killed him. But here he faced a new kind of challenge: jailed in a foreign land and facing a prison sentence of up to ten years. Worst of all, a young man was dead, and Blythe was devastated for him and his family, even as the reality of his own situation began to close in behind Pankrác Prison's glowering walls of crumbling concrete and razor wire.

What transpired during Blythe's incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal is a rock 'n' roll road story unlike any other, one that runs the gamut from tragedy to despair to hope and finally to redemption. While never losing sight of the sad gravity of his situation, Blythe relates the tale of his ordeal with one eye fixed firmly on the absurd (and at times bizarrely hilarious) circumstances he encountered along the way. Blythe is a natural storyteller and his voice drips with cutting humor, endearing empathy, and soulful insight. Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is D. Randall Blythe's own story about what went down—before, during, and after—told only as he can.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 04:12:19 -0400)

"Lamb of God vocalist D. Randall Blythe finally tells the whole incredible story of his arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic over the tragic and accidental death of a concertgoer in this riveting, gripping, biting, bold, and brave memoir. On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall 'Randy' Blythe was looking forward to a few hours off - a rare break from the touring grind - in which to explore the elegant, old city. However, a surreal scenario worthy of Kafka began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to Pankrc Prison - a notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis' torture units had set up camp during the German occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed, awaiting trial and serving sentences in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions. Two years prior, a 19-year-old fan died of injuries suffered at a lamb of god show in Prague, allegedly after being pushed off stage by Blythe, who had no vivid recollection of the incident. Stage-crashing and -diving being not uncommon occurrences, as any veteran of hard rock, metal, and punk shows knows, the concert that could have left him imprisoned for years was but a vague blur in Blythe's memory, just one of the hundreds of shows his band had performed over their decades-long career. At the time of his arrest Blythe had been sober for nearly two years, having finally gained the upper hand over the alcoholism that nearly killed him. But here he faced a new kind of challenge: jailed in a foreign land and facing a prison sentence of up to ten years. Worst of all, a young man was dead, and Blythe was devastated for him and his family, even as the reality of his own situation began to close in behind Pankrc Prison's glowering walls of crumbling concrete and razor wire..."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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