With Metal Collector: Gathered Tales from Headbangers, author of 60 books, Martin Popoff went to his readers with the following requests:
Tell me a cool story of a great deal you got, or a major purchase, or just a crazy, awesome shopping trip you once made.
Tell me a cool story about obtaining autographs, either successfully or crashed in flames! Note: this is my favourite question—I’d rather have five of these stories than anything else here.
Tell me a cool story about meeting one of your rock ‘n’ roll idols, either casually in town or for a photo etc. If you have more than one, bring it on—I find these fascinating.
How about an amazing concert experience or two? But not just if it was cool. Only if something very weird or historic happened, either on stage or in the crowd.
What are a few of the very coolest things you have? Perhaps tell me how you obtained them. How about a weird piece of memorabilia?
What is your very fondest memory of wanting something so bad, and then finding it, buying it, getting it as a present etc.? Or maybe one of the earliest or first records ever?
Finally, why do you collect music stuff?
For four years he complied their stories, and the answers in the aggregate have now become a touching, amusing, occasionally disturbing (and more than occasionally drunken) celebration of manic fandom, with a focus on hard rock and heavy metal but the occasional side-trip into pop, punk and prog just to warm the cockles.
Popoff adds a couple dozen of his own fondest magic moments on the job, interviewing rock stars, and in the process, often letting his own autograph habit get a little out of control. The end result is an action-packed but accessible ramble an’ reverie on the nature of stuff, written by—and for—our tribe of happy headbangers.
The book includes the proof in the pudding, pictures of autographs obtained, pictures of fans with rockers, shots of folks’ collections and their most cherished items. Popoff also participates, with pictures of many albums he bought as a teenager and now has autographed and in many cases framed up and displayed in his office.
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