Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Living in the Dark

Dark Days – A Memoir - D. Randall Blythe (DaCapo Press)

Imagine…the unimaginable. What is one of the worst possible scenarios that you can come up with and now kick it up a notch and realize it’s all real. I am talking the stuff that movies are made of, you know; truth is stranger than fiction stuff.

You are a modestly successful rock star; we’re talking comfortable, not crazy blinged out, garage full of exotic cars kinda rock star, but a pretty cool life doing what you love. Your tour takes you to the old city of Prague in the Czech Republic, but instead of being met at the airport by adoring fans you encounter a phalanx of armed to the teeth policemen who take you into custody the minute you step out of the jet way and inform you that you’re being held for manslaughter. Apparently on your last concert visit to Prague out of self-preservation you decked a young fan, who unknown to you, later died from head injuries.

This is the nightmare that is all too real to D. Randall Blythe, lead singer for the metal outfit lamb of god. Dark Days – A Memoir is Blythe’s recounting of the harrowing tale. The book takes on a very authentic feel early on, with reproductions of notes scrawled in a very rough hand; not sure if they are contemporaneous notes taken at the time or from Blythe’s recollections, but they offer a depth of clarity that is amazing in its level-headedness, yet painful in their desperation.

His description of the dank, crumbling, 123 year old prison and the dark cell he called home for over a month from shortly after his arrest to his making bail reads like something straight out of a James Bond movie and a villain’s lair.

Dark Days illustrates Blythe’s iron grip on his reality; this guy knows pretty clearly who he is and his place in the world, truly a rarity for a rock star. He lays things open about his “drinking and drugging” issues and his sobriety. Oddly enough, his sobriety came about prior to the legal issues he faced; it was undoubtedly challenged by the case.




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