There is more to the Ides of March than just rupturing your neighbor’s Sunday morning silence by cranking Side 1, Track 1 of IRON MAIDEN’S Killers album. March 15th now marks the latest addition to music libraries around the world via the print release of Southeast Of Heaven: A Metalhead’s Journey
by The Great Southern Brainfart
‘s founder & editor, Don de Leaumont, available now on Amazon.
Two years in the making, Southeast Of Heaven
(SEOH) is a memoir comprised of forty-two (some very personal) essays capturing over thirty years of a life in love with not only music, but with metal specifically. Meet the author’s Styx and Iron Butterfly-loving father (whom the book is dedicated to), who tells his young son to punch his bully in the face. Relive how a local New Orleans radio DJ at WRNO FM gave a 13 year-old Catholic school boy the chance to discover a musical meaning of “communion” in the 1980s. Recall your own experience of being a social outcast and lining up four hours early to enter a General Admission show and run to the correct side of the stage to stand by the musician who understands you with “the weight of 300 to 1,000 people pushing into you as you brace yourself against the barricades, praying you won’t crack or break a rib.” Not only does this book document a life lived with, in, and through music; it also honestly captures the stories that belong to so many others.
Website editor for the past eleven years, singer-songwriter, gigging musician, and now newly minted print author, de Leaumont casually admits from his home in Georgia:
“I’m 46 years old and I ain’t getting any younger. The older I get, the harder these stories are going to be to remember, so I wanted to write them down while I could still remember them, just for posterity’s sake. As I was compiling them, my friend and mentor Katherine Turman
told me she thought I should write a book. So I did.”
A print book in a digital world? de Leaumont laughs.
“I’m old-school and I love physical media… I like being able to hold something. Old-school book readers still love to have a book to hold the same way vinyl collectors like staring at album artwork and getting lost in the credits and liner notes. I want readers to search for little mysteries in the book’s cover, connect the people in the stories with the pictures they see on the book’s pages, and even trigger a memory from an event in their own lives. That’s all part of the experience. And part of my experience making this book a reality was working with some great people: My wife, Lizzi; Katherine Turner – my editor; Victoria Basnuevo – my proofreader; artist Tommy Smith… they all worked really hard to make this book as good as it could be. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
As a lifelong devotee to music & a truth-telling music journalist, the soundtrack to de Leaumont’s life experiences has as much range as his varied (sometimes painful, hilarious, or surreal) life encounters & relationships with a carousel of monumental artists including: ALICE COOPER, IRON MAIDEN, KISS, JUDAS PRIEST, DIO, TWISTED SISTER, SCORPIONS, KING CRIMSON, RUSH, W.A.S.P., PINK FLOYD, CAPTAIN BEYOND, THE RAMONES, TESLA, and RATT, among others.
A proud music nerd & believer in the entertainment factor of random music knowledge (“Did you know Black Sabbath had a vocalist named David Donato after Ian Gillan who only recorded a handful of demos with the band but never joined?”), de Leaumont has also curated a Spotify playlist
to allow readers to listen to the songs as they read about them in SEOH
. Not only will this enhance the telling of his own stories, they’ll most likely yank you back into a memory you thought you’d long forgotten.
Readers are encouraged to post photos of SEOH
among the books, magazines, and graphic novels in their own personal libraries using the hashtag #MetalheadsRead on de Leaumont’s Instagram page. Participants will be eligible to be chosen at random for the chance to be interviewed by him for his “Talkin’ The Talk” podcast.
SEOH on Spotify: