Book Review: Fathers, Brothers, and Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment and Anthrax

Fathers, Brothers, and Sons is the autobiography of Anthrax bassist, Frank Bello. This is the second autobiography from an Anthrax band member following Scott Ian’s 2014 book, I’m The Man. Fathers is a short read, with Bello discussing his family life and his desire to be the best father he can to his son, Brandon. There are rock stories abound; however, these stories revolve around the book’s theme of family and friendship.

Fathers is a dynamic book that is barely over 200 pages. Frank is a family man and acknowledges how his grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles showed him unconditional love as a child and encouraged him to pursue a career as a musician. This book is not a detailed account of rock debauchery, as Anthrax is not a hard partying band. Frank speaks about his love of music, playing bass, and the friendships he makes on his musical journey. Frank will discuss recording an album and then reminisce about the time he met Iron Maiden, or his grandmother’s cooking. This interrupts the flow of the book at times especially when he is in the middle of a good touring story. While it is commendable that Frank is very thankful for his family, he could have expounded on his time on the road, song ideas, and the recording process on albums like Among The Living or Sound Of White Noise.

Anthrax fans may be a little disappointed at the lack of coverage on Anthrax’s discography. However, Frank’s purpose in writing his memoir is to give fans words of wisdom and the importance of family. Fathers is a quick read and complements I’m The Man as it shows another perspective on Anthrax. Frank’s played in the band for nearly 40 years and metal is still his safe home.

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