Written by Charlie Hanks, vocalist for Las Vegas metal band bipolar., Screaming Away is a story of survival.
When I began reading the memoir, I was really shocked. Having met Hanks a handful of times, and seeing her live as well, I would have never guessed that someone who went through such terrible things could come out on top and mask some things. I would have never in a million years guessed that she went through these events just from outside observation, and her decision to tell her story takes a big pair of balls and is straight up inspiring.
This isn't a memoir that reads like a diary, but one that actually makes you think about how bad things do happen. So, if you're looking for Go Ask Alice, this isn't your book. However, much like the story of many musicians, Hanks kept her focus and used music as an outlet, like many of us do, for positive reasons. I'd like to stress though that this isn't just for musicians; this is for everyone.
Hanks prefaces the book by stating that she's spoken to everyone mentioned and has made up with most and that this is simply from her perspective, which I actually appreciate and admire. I've always said there are 3 sides to every story, and while her side made me want to punch the other people involved, the way she handled it was with grace and understanding. That being said, she doesn't sugarcoat shit. She speaks from the heart, delivering a raw encounter of a life that many have lived but don't speak of.
As a woman who is also in the industry with a day gig and kids as well, her struggle with family members, band members, and all around people in general gave me the feeling of not being alone. I don't feel like female metal heads, musicians, journalist, photographers, etc. have a lot of women we can relate to. Let's be real, we don't know much about Doro's personal life and Lita Ford isn't exactly #lifegoals . Hanks is kind of like Batman, the heroine we need, especially for a younger generation of female metal heads who feel like because of their family situation or scene that they won't be able to do what they love for find someone they love.
I'm hoping that Hanks puts out another book at some point, or multiple, that focus on each individual aspect of her life. I'd love to read an in depth novel on her career or her advice on raising a kid in the industry. Again, it's something I don't think women in the industry have a lot of access to, and much like music, if it reaches one person; that's the goal.
If you don't read it yourself, then get it for someone who you think would appreciate it. The book already has rave reviews on Amazon, and coming in at under 200 pages, is a quick burn that you won't want to put down.
Pick up a paperback or Kindle version HERE ! Seriously. Go now.
PHOTO CREDIT: Screaming Away cover ©Charlie Hanks ; Original photo ©Justin Koteff - Red Flame Photo