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.  This book blows away any of that Martin Popoff crap.

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  Most of the copies there are ex-library copies.

Here’s the current list of signatures (updated 5/15/2018):

AC/DC – Simon Wright
Accept – Peter Baltes, Herman Frank, Wolf Hoffman, Udo Dirkschneider
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, Jimmy Waldo, Gary Shea
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
Baron Steel – Joe Szabo, Al Ortiz
Battlezone – Paul Di’Anno
Bitch – Betsy
Black N Blue – Pete Holmes, Jaime St James, Patrick Young
Black Roses – Chuck Wright
Britny Fox – Johnny Dee
Bullet – Fitty
Bullet Boys – Marq Torien, Jimmy D’Anda
Celtic Frost – Tom G Warrior
Chastain – Leather Leone, David T. Chastain, Mike Skimmerhorn, David Harbour, Ken Mary
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 Jinkens
Damien Thorne – Ken Starr, Rick Browz (not in book but played on original demos)
Dark Angel – Gene Hoglan
Death Tripper – Jerry Blanco
Deceased – King Fowley
Deliverance – Glenn Rogers
Destruction – Schmier, Mike
Detente – Steve Hochheiser
Devastation – Rodney Dunsmore, Alex Dominguez, Louis Carrisalez
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
English Dogs – Graham Butt (one of the funniest inscriptions ever…you had to be there)
Enuff Z’Nuff – Chip Znuff, 3 non-original members
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
Forte’ – Rev Jones (band not in the book)
Glacier – Mike Podrybau
Great White – Jack Russell
Grim Reaper – Steve Grimmett
Hawkwind – Nik Turner
Hellion – Ann Boleyn
Helstar – James Rivera, Larry Barragan
Hirax – Katon W. DePena
Hurricane – Kelley Hansen
Iced Earth/Purgatory 60 – John Schafer
Impaler – Bill Lindsey, Commander Court
Jag Panzer – Chris Cronk (also listed with Fates Warning), Harry Conklin, Joey Tafolla, Rikard Stjernquist, Mark Briody, John Tetley
Jet Red – Brad Lang
Juggernaut – Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus, Scott Womack
Keel – Scott Warren
King Diamond – Mikkey Dee, Hal Patino
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
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
Manilla Road – Mark Shelton
Manowar – Ross the Boss
Medieval Steel – John Roth, Bobby Franklin, Jeff Boydston
Megadeth – Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson
Metal Blade Records – Brian Slagel
Metal Church – Craig Wells
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
Motorhead – Lemmy Kilmister
MSG – Michael Schenker
Mystic Force – Keith Menser
Necrophagia – Killjoy
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, Joe Hasselvander
Plasmatics – Greg Smith, T.C. Tolliver
Pretty Boy Floyd – Steve Summers, 2 non-original members
Q5 – Evan Sheeley, Rick Pierce, Jonathan Kay
Queensyche – Geoff Tate
Quiet Riot – Rudy Sarzo, Sean McNabb, Frankie Banali
Racer X – Juan Alderete (as “Jeff” in the book)
Rage – Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt, Chris Efthimiadis
Rainbow – Joe Lynn Turner
Randy California – Mark Andes
Rapid Tears – Brian Frank
Ratt – Stephen Pearcy
Raven – John Gallagher, Mark Gallagher, Joe Hasselvander
Riot – Don Van Stavern, Bobby Jarzombek, Rick Ventura
Rotting Corpse – John Perez, Mando Tovar
Rough Cutt – Matt Thorne, Chris Hager
Running Wild – Stefan Schwarzmann
S.A. Slayer – Bob Catlin, Art Villareal
Sabbat – Martin Walkyier, Andy Sneap, Simon Negus, Simon Jones
Sadus – Steve DiGiorgio
Saint Vitus – Dave Chandler, Mark Adams, Scott Reagers
Salty Dog – Michael Hannon
Sanctuary – Warrel Dane, 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 – Uli Roth, 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 (Blackmoor in the book)
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
Turbin – Doug Morrison, Neil Turbin
Twisted Sister – AJ Pero
Tygers of Pan Tang – Robb Weir
Tyrant’s Reign – Phil Fouch, Ken Miller
UFO – Paul Chapman, Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, Andy Chapman
Vatican – Vince vatican, Vic Grabouski, Brian McNasty
Vendetta (Chicago) – Klyph Black
Venom – Mantas, Abaddon, Demolition Man
Vinnie Moore – Vinnie Moore
War Cry – Rich Rozek
Warlock – Doro Pesch
Watchtower – Jason McMaster, Ron Jarzombek, Billy White, Rick Colaluca
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
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – Yngwie Malmsteen, Anders Johansson, Jeff Scott Soto


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.


    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


    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! (:


    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


    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:


    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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