Eddie Trunk on His Heavy Metal Book and Which Band He Thinks Should Have Been Huge
For the better part of 30 years, heavy metal fan/journalist/guru Eddie Trunk has made his living doing what he loves – carrying the torch and providing a platform for the bands he loves.
The self-professed “ultimate fan” is now in his eighth season of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic. He also hosts two radio programs: Eddie Trunk Live on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s “The Boneyard Channel” and the FM-syndicated Eddie Trunk Rocks, heard in New York City on Q104.3 FM and many other affiliates around the country.
He also has a new book out, ‘Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal,’ and in addition to some incredible stories and backstage memories, it boasts many rare photographs. “The photos, for the most part, have never been published before,” explained Eddie of the book. “Photographer Ron Akiyama has been my friend for 30 years and went with me to the shows so, for instance, when I went onstage with Ozzy, he got the shot! “
Trunk recently spoke with Noisecreep recently about the book, and how much the music still means to him.
You and Ronnie James Dio were close friends – you dedicated the book in part to him. At the Ronnie James Dio memorial last year in Los Angeles, you did an impressive job of “hosting.” How tough a day was that for you?
Very. Ronnie transcended the industry for me. There are guys who are friends because of what I do and then there are guys like Ronnie – he was different. He was the real deal and a real friend to me. I spoke to him a lot while he was sick and when he passed away, I was planning on flying to L.A. for the service. His wife Wendy asked me to say a few words, and then she asked me to actually sort of host the whole thing. It was a little bit daunting, but if there was anyone I’d want to step it up for it was Ronnie. Now a year later I’m still asked about it. I appreciate that greatly because if anyone deserved it, it was him. He was the best and I really miss him.
As I say in the book, I’d written the chapter about Ronnie before he passed away. After he died, I went back in and re-wrote the chapter to make it up to date given what had just happened. It’s the most fresh, raw chapter in there. I talk about Rob Halford and I going up to pay our final respects together. Besides Ronnie, Halford is the other guy that has become a true friend to me in this business. And he wrote the foreword for the book.
Watch Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler on ‘That Metal Show’
For all the great stories in the book, your love and respect for the music really shines through.
The reason I got into this business, coming up on 30 years, was for that reason. I love these bands, I love this music, and I just wanted to share it with other people. I just wanted to spread the word. It’s so frustrating to me that this genre of music is marginalized and stereotyped – it still bothers me that it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. That still drives me nuts. So I’m still trying to break down the barriers stereotypes.
There’s a good story in there about the rare chance you had to interview Rush drummer Neil Peart.
I was working at VH-1 Classic. I’d interviewed Geddy and Alex, twice, and you know, Neil is shy and reserved and does not really do interviews. I’d gotten a call from a book publisher doing press for one of Neil’s books, about him biking all over the country after the tragic loss of his wife and daughter. Neil wanted the interview to be with me because he’d seen me talk to Geddy and Alex and he felt like he trusted me- that I ‘got’ the band. It was a great honor. He showed up at the door with zero entourage. Just wearing a backpack and a baseball cap – the most unassuming guy in the world. You’d never know it was him. After, he went out for a smoke and I went outside with him. We kept talking out there, in the heart of New York City, and not one person passing by realized who it was. Just amazing.
Is there anyone you’ve not spoken to that you’d like to interview?
There are a couple. I’d love to do something in depth with Jimmy Page. I met him very briefly, but there are so many things I’d like to ask him. Also, Eddie Van Halen. I have interviewed on the phone, but I’d love to do something really in depth with him, in person. He’s a fascinating musician who revolutionized things so much – I can only imagine how cool that conversation would be.
Early in your career you worked at the legendary Megaforce Records. Was there one band on the label that you felt should have been bigger?
The one that comes to mind is King’s X. They’re a band that still to this day has not fully connected to the public. It’s been 30 plus years, and they’re so loved by other musicians and their hardcore fans. But the support, in my opinion, is still nowhere near it should be. That’s an amazing band.
Watch ‘Over My Head’ from King’s X
Pick up ‘Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal’ at this link.