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FRANK BELLO Fathers, Brothers And Sons: Surviving Anguish Abandonment And Anthrax

By Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor
Monday, November 8, 2021 @ 1:35 PM


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When I first read that Frank Bello from ANTHRAX was going to write a memoir, I knew that I had to read it. In full disclosure, I have been a fan since I was a teen 35 years ago. I've lived and followed the lineup changes throughout the band's history and have embraced all of them. Loyalty in this genre of music is in our blood. This art form provides us with a release or an outlet for many different forms of internal or external anxieties that we have. From reading Frank Bello's book, the music he creates and that we love and embrace, has gotten him through many tough times in his life also.

Frank , which I will refer to him as throughout this review, goes into detail not only during the down times in his life but also triumphant moments not only in his career with ANTHRAX but also as an actor, which I didn't know about before reading this book.

The book opens with a foreward by Gene Simmons, which for Frank was a huge moment as all the members of ANTHRAX are big fans of KISS. As teens, Frank and his friend stalked KISS when KISS would record in New York and met Gene by shear will and determination.

These traits follow Frank and serve him well throughout this book and have helped him achieve his goals and also persevere throughout the hardest moments in his life. Frank describes his father leaving the family at the age of 10 and also details the tragic loss of his brother and the court case that followed and the effect it had on him then and how it still does today. Frank also discusses his friendship with the guys in PANTERA and the losses of Vinnie and Dimebag and others including Dio and Lemmy. Frank also talks about the 9/11 tragedy, but the book isn't all about doom and gloom.

This book is truly one to read for the positive and life leading messages that Frank gives throughout the novel. Many of these he learned from the first few people he dedicated his book to in the strong women in his life that he says made him strive to be a better man. His mother Rose, grandmother Tina and his wife Theresa all have played a huge role in Frank's development as did his Uncle Joe, whose deli Frank worked at as a boy making 2 bucks an hour, which I can relate to.

These are just a few of the people you will get to know by reading Frank's book along with learning about specific places and timeframes not only in the Bronx but in New York in the 80's. There are other memorable characters that Frank describes throughout and we haven't even gotten to him joining ANTHRAX. Frank also describes the extreme life changes & choices and the music and moments that led him to joining what would become one of the biggest metal bands of all time while still in high school at the age of 18.

Frank also tells stories that take you back to a place in history and as you read them, it feels like he is sitting next to you at a bar and he's describing his fanboy moment while talking about meeting some of the biggest names in music and movies. His thoughts and emotions regarding these meetings are completely relatable to us, the fans, as he was also one before he started playing music.

What's great and memorable about Fathers, Brothers And Sons is the complete honesty that comes off the pages as you read it. Frank goes into detail about his insecurities and the fact that therapy has played a big role during difficult times in his life and he's not shy talking about it. It has been cathartic for him and it comes across this way throughout the pages.

Well does he go into detail about his time in ANTHRAX you ask?? Of course he does. From the band's inception to the present day 40 years later. Are you looking for salacious facts about in fighting or band members leaving? Frank hits on a few things but his hands are not bloody like other authors writing about their times in specific bands but the business side of the music industry is discussed and how it has effected ANTHRAX through the years. He also goes into why he took a break from ANTHRAX and joined HELMET for a tour shortly thereafter before returning for the ANTHRAX reunion in 2005.

Reading about the band and his history in it is insightful but once again what I liked about it was finding out the other nuances of Frank's life and his other loves. Not only the people but the movies and TV that have influenced him and his love for acting and sports.

The reader can relate to many of Frank's likes, loves and life experiences, and how he and his wife Theresa are raising their son Brandon and when you are finished reading the book there are many takeaways that can help you in our everyday lives. Anyone of any age can read this memoir and take from it positive elements like perseverance, drive and making the right choices and how you manage and use your time, can and will lead to success. I'll leave out the others for you to ingest them for yourself when you read this memoir as I highly suggest you do.

Lastly, even though Fathers, Brothers And Sons: Surviving Anguish Abandonment And Anthrax by Frank Bello deals with many heavy topics, the book leaves the reader uplifted and ready for anything, especially if they are ever "Caught In A Mosh".

4.5 Out Of 5.0

Fathers, Brothers And Sons: Surviving Anguish Abandonment And Anthrax
By Frank Bello with Joel McIver is available wherever you by books
Buy On Amazon


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