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Gary Holt of EXODUS Claims Stage Diving and Slam Pits in Thrash Metal Started at Ruthie's Inn

09-23-2011 10:57 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Bazillion Points

In upcoming deluxe thrash metal photo book MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW: Shots From the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter, by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew, guitarist Gary Holt of Exodus (and currently Slayer) claims that the bruising scenes seen nightly at metal shows everywhere first came to thrash metal from punk at Ruthie's Inn in Berkeley, CA.

"From our first show together with Slayer," Holt writes, "to all the shows with everyone from Death Angel, Possessed, Violence, Legacy, and many others, Ruthie's Inn lives in infamy because it's the one and only birthplace of violence becoming part and parcel to an Exodus show. I had never seen a stage dive, a pit, or anything coming close to resembling that before Ruthie's. It was born there, with the help of Wes Robinson and the Exodus Slay Team, and anyone who says different doesn't know what they're talking about or they're lying to you. While the rest of the metal world would later come around and learn the joys of a little good friendly violent fun, it all started there at Ruthie's, end of story."

Holt's full essay joins over 400 color and black and white live, candid, and studio photos in the large-format hardcover MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW book, an untouchable eyewitness viewpoint into the sometimes violent mid-1980s San Francisco metal scene that launched Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, and Possessed, and first supported Megadeth and Slayer. The book will be available December 2011 wherever books are sold, including directly from publisher Bazillion Points Books with a limited two-sided exclusive poster-size dustjacket. See this location for page samples and preorder into:

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Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew are available for interviews.

Bazillion Points is "America's smallest but heaviest book publisher," home to hallmarks of heavy heritage including the much-anticpated DIRTY DEEDS: My Life Inside/Outside AC/DC, by the band's mid-1970s bass player Mark Evans. Past works include: METALION: The Slayer Mag Diaries, HELLBENT FOR COOKING: The Heavy Metal Cookbook, SHERIFF McCOY: Outlaw Legend of Hanoi Rocks, MELLODRAMA: The Mellotron Movie, SWEDISH DEATH METAL, and many more.

For more information and artwork, contact:
Bazillion Points
61 Greenpoint Ave. #504
Brooklyn, NY 11222
+1 (718) 383-7122

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