The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands

with 38 comments

Back in 1995/1996 I was still married to my now ex-wife.  She was a voracious reader and during our brief marriage it inspired me to do some reading.  Most of the time it was band/musician biographies.  Sometimes it was just catching up on John Saul books (all of which suck anymore).  One day I went to the library and was just thumbing through the reference books and came across “Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands” by Mark Hale.  I cracked it open and just started freaking out.  This book had just about everyone in it that was a metal band.  It spans from the late 60s to about 1990 and does a wonderful job of cross-referencing bands, listing albums and catalog numbers.  There’s an index in the back of musicians, band names, countries of origin and record labels with catalog numbers.  It’s a pretty extensive hardcover book.

Hale gives descriptions of the bands and does his best not to inject bias.  It’s 540+ pages of heavy metal goodness.

My ex and I split up in late 1996 and by early 1997 I had started my own CD sales business.  I was mostly doing it by word of mouth between friends, eBay and had started an online music store, Acacia Music (defunct).  I checked the book out from the library several times and finally called the publisher to see if they still had any copies.  Luckily they did.  Having a business license and tax ID number, they sold me the book for $75.  One of the best investments that I have ever made.

The book has 2 editions.  The first edition had a run of 750 copies and the second run of the first edition had 250 copies.  That’s it!

Somewhere along the line I decided to get it signed by bands that were in it.  If I remember correctly the first signatures were by Warrell Dane/Jim Shepherd (Sanctuary) and Jon Schaffer (Purgatory 60 aka Iced Earth) when Nevermore and Iced Earth were touring together in 1999.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of bands who are in it and some of the encounters were pretty random.  I think in the coming months I’ll start writing about the signatures and how I obtained them.  Many of them had some good stories attached to them.  Typically I get the same reaction, “What the hell is this and where the hell did you get it?”

If you’re a fan of metal, especially the pre-1990 stuff, this book is a must have.  They typically don’t come cheaply but you can generally find some on Amazon.com.  Most of the copies there are ex-library copies.

Here’s the current list of signatures (updated 3/30/2021):

AC/DC Simon Wright
Accept Udo, Peter Baltes, Wolf Hoffman, Herman Frank
Ace Frehley Anton Fig
Aerosmith Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford
Aftermath Charlie Tsisolis, Steve Sacco, John Lovette, Ray Schmidt, Eric ? (not in the book)
Agony Column Stuart Laurence
Alcatrazz Graham Bonnet, Gary Shea, Jimmy Uvena
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper
Amulance Rick Baez, Bob Luman, Chuck Hamilton (not in the book)
Anthrax Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Joey Belladonna, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello
Armored Saint Joey Vera, John Bush, Phil Sondoval, Gonzo Sandoval
Assalant Mike Botello
At War Paul Arnold, Shawn Helsel
Attacker Mike Sabatini, Pat Marinello
Autograph Steve Lynch, Randy Rand
Banshee Terry Dunn
Baron Steele Joe Szabo, Al Ortiz
Battlezone Paul Di’Anno
Bitch Betsy
Black N Blue Pete Holmes, Jaime St James, Patrick Young
Black Roses Chuck Wright
Bloodcum John Araya
Bloodlust Sandy K
Britny Fox Johnny Dee
Bullet Fitty
Bullet Boys Marq Torien, Jimmy D’Anda, Mick Sweda
Celtic Frost Tom G Warrior
Chastain Leather Leone, David T. Chastain, Mike Skimmerhorn, Ken Mary, David Harbour
Cheap Trick Tom Petersson, Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen
Cinderella Tom Keifer
Cirith Ungol Tim Baker, Robert Garven, Mike Flint, Greg Lindstrom, Jim Barraza (not in the book but verified inclusion based on other resources)
CJSS Les Sharpe, Russell Jenkins
Damien Thorne Ken Starr, Rick Browz (not in book but played on original demos)
Dangerous Toys Scott Dalhover, Meark Geary, Mike Watson
Dark Angel Gene Hoglan
Death Tripper  Jerry Blanco
Deceased King Fowley
Deliverance Glenn Rogers
Destruction Schmier, Mike
Détente Steve Hochheiser
Devastation Rodney Dunsmore, Alex Dominguez, Louie Carrisalez
Diamond Rexx S.St. Lust, Andre
The Dictators Handsome Dick Manitoba
DIO Rowan Robertson, Craig Goldy, Vinny Appice
Dirty Looks Paul Lidel
Dokken Jeff Pilson, George Lynch
DRI Felix Griffin, Josh Pappe (RIP)
English Dogs Graham Butt (one of the funniest inscriptions ever…you had to be there)(signed while playing with Sabbat)
Enuff Z’Nuff Chip Znuff, 3 non-original members; none of them in the book
Exodus Gary Holt, Tom Hunting
Faster Pussycat Taime Down, Brent Muscat, 2 non-original members
Fates Warning Frank Aresti, John Arch, Jim Matheos, Victor Arduini, Steve Zimmerman, Joe DiBiase
Ferrari Oni Logan
Flotsam and Jetsam Eric AK, Kelly David Smith, Ed Carlson, Michael Gilbert
Forbidden Tim Calvert, Paul Bostaph
Forte’ Rev Jones (band not in the book)
Glacier Mike Podrybau
Great White Jack Russell
Grim Reaper Steve Grimmett
Joe Hasselvander Joe Hasselvander
Hawkwind Nik Turner
Hellion Ann Boleyn
Helstar James Rivera, Larry Barragan
Hirax Katon W. DePena
Hurricane Kelley Hansen
Impaler Bill Lindsey, Commander Court
Jag Panzer Chris Cronk (also listed with Fates Warning), Harry Conklin, Joey Tafolla, Rikard Stjernquist, Mark Briody, John Tetley
Jaguar Garry Peppard
Jet Red Brad Rang
Juggernaut Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus, Scott Womack
Keel Scott Warren
Killer Dwarfs Russ Dwarf, Bryce Dwarf
King Diamond Mikkey Dee, Pete Blakk
Kingdom Come James Kottak
Kreator Ventor
Krokus Marc Storace, Chris Von Rohr, Mandy Meier
LA Guns Philip Lewis, Tracii Guns, Steve Riley
Lethal Tom Mallicoat, Glen Cook, Dell Hull, Jerry Hartman (not in book but played on Programmed)
Liege Lord Joe Comeau, Tony Truglio, Matt Vinci
Lizzy Borden Alex Nelson (RIP), Lizzy Borden, Joey Scott Harges
Loudness Minoru Niihara, Akira Takasaki, Masayoshi Yamashita, Masayuki Suzuki (not in the book)
Lydia Von Huston Jennifer Batten
Manowar Ross the Boss
Manilla Road Mark Shelton
Medieval Steel John Roth, Bobby Franklin, Jeff Boydston
Megadeth Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson
Metal Blade Records Brian Slagel
Metal Church Craig Wels
Mindless Sinner Christer Göransson, Magnus Danneblad, Jerker Edman, Christer Carlson, Tommy Viktorsson (Formerly Johansson)
Militia Mike Soliz, Rob Willingham, Phil Achee, Tony Smith, Jesse Villegas
Vinnie Moore Vinnie Moore
Motorhead Lemmy Kilmister (RIP)
MSG Michael Schenker
Mythra Vince High, John Roach, Alex Perry
Mystic Force Keith Menser
Necrophagia Killjoy (RIP)
Nuclear Assault Dan Lilker, John Connelly, Glenn Evans
Obituary James Murphy
The Obsessed Wino
Odin Shawn, Jeff and Matt Duncan, Randy O., Aaron Samson
Omen Kenny Powell, Steve Wittig
Ostrogoth Mario “Grizzly” Pauvels
Overkill Bobby Ellsworth, D.D. Verni
Ozzy Tommy Aldridge
Pentagram Bobby Liebling, Victor Griffin
Picture Laurens Bakker, Rinus Vreugdenhil
Plasmatics TC Tolliver
Pretty Boy Floyd Steve Summers, 2 non-original members
Purgatory 60 (Iced Earth) John Schafer
Q5 Evan Sheeley, Rick Pierce, Jonathan Kay
Queensyche Geoff Tate
Quiet Riot Rudy Sarzo, Sean McNabb, Frankie Banali (RIP)
Racer X Juan Alderete (as “Jeff” in the book)
Rage Peavey Wagner, Manni Schmidt, Chris Efthimiadis
Rainbow Joe Lynn Turner
Randy California Mark Andes (while playing with Firefall)
Rapid Tears Brian Frank
Ratt Stephen Pearcy
Raven John Gallagher, Mark Gallagher
Rigor Mortis Bruce Corbtt (RIP), Casey Orr, Harden Harrison
Riot Don Van Stavern, Bobby Jarzombek, Rick Ventura
Rising Force Yngwie Malmsteen, Anders Johansson, Jeff Scott Soto
Rods Carl Canedy, David Feinstein, Gary Bordonaro
Ulrich Roth Uli Jon Roth
Rotting Corpse John Perez, Mando Tovar
Rough Cutt Matt Thorne, Chris Hager
Running Wild Stefan Schwartzmann
Ruthless Sami DeJohn
S.A. Slayer Bob Catlin, Art Villareal
Sabbat Martin Walkyier, Andy Sneap, Simon Negus, Simon Jones
Sacred Rite Peter Crane, Jimmy Caterine, Mark Kaleiwahea
Sadus Steve DiGiorgio
Saint Vitus Mark Adams, David Chandler, Scott Reagers
Salty Dog Michael Hannon
Sanctuary Warrel Dane (RIP), Jim Sheppard
Satan Brian Ross, Russ Tippins, Graeme English, Steve Ramsey, Sean Taylor
Satan’s Host Patrick Evil (not in book but confirmed original)
Scorpions Francis Buchholz, Herman Rarebell
Screamer Jim Dofka
Sentinel Beast Michael Spencer
Sepultura Paolo, Jr, Andreas Kisser
Skid Row Sebastian Bach
Slauter Xstroyes Paul Krathy
Slayer Dave Lombardo
SOD Billy Milano
Steel Prophet Steve Kachinsky
Stryper Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet, Oz Fox, Tim Gaines
Syrus Al Berlanga, Michael Vasquez, John Castilleja
Takashi Danny Stanton
Ted Nugent Derek St. Holmes
Tesla Troy Lucketta, Tommy Skeoch, Brian Wheat, Frank Hannon, Jeff Keith
Testament Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian, Eric Peterson
The Rods Carl Canedy, David Feinstein, Garry Bordonaro
Thin Lizzy John Sykes, Scott Gorham
Thrust Ron Cooke
Triumph Rik Emmett
Trouble Ron Holtzman, Eric Wagner, Jeff “Oly” Olson
T.T. Quick Mark Tornillo
Turbin Doug Morrison, Neil Turbin
Twisted Sister AJ Pero (RIP)
Tygers of Pan Tang Robb Weir
Tyrant Greg May
Tyrant’s Reign Phil Fouch, Ken Miller
UFO Paul Chapman (RIP), Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond (RIP), Andy Parker
Vatican Vince Vatican, Vic Grabouski, Brian McNasty
Venom Mantas, Abaddon, Demolition Man
Vendetta (Chicago) Klyph Black
Vinnie Moore Vinnie Moore
Voi Vod Away, Snake, Blacky
War Cry Rich Rozek, Phil Fouch, Karl Miller (neither in the book)
Warlock Doro Pesch
Watchtower Jason McMaster, Ron Jarzombek, Billy White, Rick Colaluca
Wendy O. Williams Greg Smith
Whitesnake David Coverdale
White Lion Greg D’Angelo
Wicked Angel Joseph Valdez (book only lists the singer, validated here)
Winger Kip Winger, Reb Beach, Rod Morgenstein
Wishbone Ash Andy Powell
Wolfsbane Blaze Bayley
Wyzard John Alvarado, Buster Grant (as Gilbert Grant Guzman in the book)
Y&T Dave Meniketti

Written by The Metal Files

April 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm

38 Responses

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  1. The BOOK! The greatest tome of knowledge ever. I thought Quiet Riot signed it? I didn’t know Pete Holmes signed it though. I need to find a copy one day.

    Daniel

    April 13, 2010 at 7:33 am

  2. yeah I need to own that. I know I’d end up inadventantly memorizing half of it.
    lucky sod.. lol… but at least I have a gig coming up

    http://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/this-should-be-interesting-filling-in-with-the-fantastic-five/

    kingbiscuitpants

    April 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

  3. Not only does this book look and sound unreal… those signatures! Oh, the stories that go along with them… man, I will be reading as fast as you write!

    Keep carrying that book around where you go… it’s worth every droplet of sweat! (:

    metalodyssey

    April 13, 2010 at 11:03 pm

  4. Most impressed by-James Murphy
    Most surprised you have his signature-Steve Summers

    Metal Mark

    April 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

  5. I got the Murphy one when he was in Testament. I actually spent a weekend with Summers and the back several years ago…it was pretty insane, literally.

    Sean (The Metal Files)

    April 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

  6. […] Unfortunately Overkill wasn’t at the game that day.  When I got to meet Dave, I had him sign The Book and got to talk to him for a few minutes one on one.  He was cool, very gracious.  I asked him if […]

  7. […] Triptykon was announced to play Emo’s and I was in.  I mean c’mon.  It’s Tom G!  I bought the meet and greet pass mainly to get his signature in the book. […]

  8. Is it better than HEAVY METAL ENCYCLOPEDIA? I have that book and its pretty cool, i have alot of books on punk and metal, Slayer reing in blood is great, i have like 40 books on this, American Hardcore,Lords of Chaos,Bandg your head, etc ect

    ill look for this one

    Mosh

    November 16, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  9. i think this book is better than most but is only current to about 1990ish. well worth the $ if you can find one.

    The Metal Files

    November 16, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  10. […] and share our joy with them.  Added bonus for me was getting Lemmy and Mikkey’s signatures in my book.  […]

  11. […] with John Gallagher of Raven.  It would also be a good opportunity to get some more sigs in The Book.  Raven’s drummer at the time was Hasselvander from Pentagram, a band that I am a HUGE fan […]

  12. […] back into Hollywood to catch Odin’s soundcheck and to get Randy O and Aaron Samson to sign the book.  I got to watch them do 2 or three songs, got my signatures and hung out with Shawn and Jeff […]

  13. […] I got to speak to him for a few minutes.  He graciously signed The Book and some CDs for me.  It was a fun evening, very relaxing. Billy White Share […]

  14. […] asked him if he was going to be around for the night as I wanted to run over to my apartment to get my book and Juggernaut CD for a signature.  He said he was there for the night and would sign anything.  […]

  15. […] you’ve been paying even minor attention to this site, you know my obsession with getting The Booksigned when opportunity presents itself.  I had nothing to do yesterday afternoon and decided to […]

  16. […] About a month or so ago I caught word that Jack Russell’s Great White was going to be playing a smaller Austin venue so of course I bought a ticket.  Not to mention I wanted Jack’s signature in The Book. […]

  17. […] just get right into this. You’ve seen me talk about The Book several times and my outer metal nerd was in full effect yesterday. I left work and went straight […]

  18. […] and got to meet Dave and his son outside the bus.  I had Dave sign a few CDs and had him sign The Book.  When he signed my River’s Edge soundtrack CD, he said, “We were on this?”  It […]

  19. […] and was happy for a chance to see him play live…and of course to have an opportunity to get the book […]

  20. […] feel like they should have been so much bigger.  I got to meet him for a minute and he signed The Book.  Another huge signature for my […]

  21. […] was only $6, but it wasn’t convenient.  My real reason for going at all was solely to get The Book signed.  NERD.  I […]

  22. […] signing in town and I figured it was a perfect time to finally meet him and to get his book and mine signed.  I arrived a few minutes early, picked up my copy of his book and hung out with my good […]

  23. […] At the hotel, we got our gear together for the night.  Him with CD covers galore and me with The Book.  I had purchased a canvas shoulder bag to carry that in and to house whatever swag I […]

  24. […] did get Cronk to sign the book and also ran into Jerry from San Antono’s Death Tripper who are also listed in […]

  25. Reblogged this on The Metal Files and commented:

    Updated.

    The Metal Files

    May 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm

  26. […] this week I took the decision to buy the VIP/meet and greet pass to hopefully get The Book signed.  Immediately after paying for it, I received an automated email stating the details and […]

  27. […] with him to meet Alice Cooper and of course I accepted.  What a wonderful signature to get in The Book!  We made the 3 hour trek to Dallas around noon, got parked, got our tix and made our way through […]

  28. […] Andes, was in Heart during the 80s, and Spirit and Canned Heat in the 70s.  I looked him up in The Book and he’s listed with Randy California, so that solidified my decision to go to the […]

  29. […] that AJ Pero from Twisted Sister was playing drums for these few USA shows.  So of course I had The Book with me as well as the first 3 Twisted Sister CDs.  We got to speak with him after the show and […]

  30. […] but it didn’t happen.  No big deal.  One of the reasons I was going to this show was to get The Book signed by Phil Lewis and Steve Riley of LA Guns and hopefully Stephen Pearcy.  More on these […]

  31. […] drums after February 9th. That didn’t happen. Either way, both Bobby and Vinny are both in The Book, so I was set either way.  The band comes out and opens with Death Alley Driver by Rainbow and […]

  32. […] I was afforded a moment to get on the bus with Doro.  It was a cool few minutes.  She signed The Book and my Triumph and Agony CD.  The tour manager was rushing me off the bus so I didn’t get […]

  33. […] into my hotel and went to the venue to see if any of the guys were hanging out and to try and get The Book signed.  Score.  I got to meet Mandy Meier and Chris Von Rohr (only original and founding member) […]

  34. […] Saint guys went back to their hotel after signing The Book (thanks, Jeff!) to rest and clean up and Jason and I hung out while some of the local openers were […]

  35. […] a cool guitar solo part that Dave jammed out on.  They ended right at 11PM.  Of course I brought The Book with me and Kelz has a stack of CD and tape covers.  After the place cleared out a bit they came […]

  36. […] a 25 minute or so nap, I throw on my clothes, grab The Book, and walk the 3 blocks to the venue, Bombay Bar and Grill.  Upon walking in, I’m given my […]

  37. […] bands, but there’s usually a mission behind it and that’s to get certain musicians in The Book.  With Foreigner, two of the guys were in 80s metal bands that I liked and actually have a little […]

  38. […] not into Manowar beyond their first album, Battle Hymns, but The Dictators have 2 folks that are in The Book that I wanted to have added: Handsome Dick Manitoba (HDM) and Ross the Boss.  Add to the fact that […]


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