Slayer Book ‘Remastered’ as Band Continues Farewell Tour
The occasion prompted writer D.X. Ferris to update his 2013 book about the band, Slayer 66 & 2/3: The Jeff & Dave Years, a Metal Biography ... The Post-Repentless Remastered Edition.
"Slayer announced their final world tour this year," Ferris tell UCR. "And they declared [2015's] Repentless their final album. And those were shocking developments. Kerry King and Slayer seemed like they'd be the last Big Four thrash band to tap out, not the first. That news made certain aspects of my book obsolete, so I updated it."
He notes that because he was updating the book anyway, he cleaned up "its look, inside and out. And I added in enough new material to make it worthwhile. Some of it rounds out the picture, updates the unfolding story, and includes a formal survey of the fans' opinions about the group's unparalleled career."
Ferris, who also wrote a book about Slayer's Reign in Blood for the acclaimed 33 1/3 series, has been busy this past year. In addition to the Slayer update, he published The Story of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers late in 2017, compiled a collection of his comic strips in Christmas Sevenfold: Suburban Metal Dad, Compendium Two and wrote the brand-new Good Advice From Goodfellas: Positive Life Lessons From the Best Mob Movie.
"Slayer, Goodfellas and Donnie Iris don't seem connected, but to me they are," Ferris explains. "I've been writing about music and entertainment professionally for almost 20 years now. And when I'm writing profiles, my essential question is never a gawky 'What's that like?' Everybody knows what rock stars' lives are like. My questions are more about, 'How did you do that?' That's where you get the real details of the story, not just some flashy stuff."
The connection, he says, has to do with the characters at the center of all three tales. "They say success is like a prison break: Everyone makes it in their own way," he points out. "And once they make it in, they wall off that route. Slayer and Donnie Iris both had unique, uncompromising careers. They went from underdog outsiders to cult heroes. And Henry Hill from Goodfellas, he's also an outsider with goals: As far back as he could remember, he wanted to be a gangster. He achieves his goals. So, to me, all three stories are about breaking into the realm of success, by any means necessary. All three stories are about creative problem solving."
The Goodfellas book may be the most intriguing of Ferris' new offerings. As the press release notes, it finds "130 teachable moments in the movie's greatest quotes and most unforgettable scenes." He basically turns iconic screen moments like the "You're a funny guy" scene into a self-help manual.
"I've been a fan of Goodfellas since the movie came out," says Ferris. "This summer, I was listening to a lot business podcasts, wading through LinkedIn, and analyzing startup breakout sessions. At the same time, Goodfellas was in regular rotation on cable. I'm a lifelong insomniac. And I started to notice that the questions people had during my day activity were addressed in the gangster movie I was watching at night.
"Henry Hill is a gangster, but he has empathy, he has people skills, and he's a dynamic thinker. The people asking questions at the business seminars and podcasts are achievers, but most of them had no ability to read a room or handle confrontation. So I thought I would match up the two of them."
All of the books are available for order now.