Local Librarian Pens Heavy Metal Memoir
Long before she became a librarian, Anna-Marie O’Brien was a fan of hard rock and heavy metal music. In her new book, Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian, she recounts how, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Los Angeles and began working in the music industry, first for Megadeth, and then for Metal Blade Records, who’s founder helped discover bands like Metallica and Slayer.
“Over the years I’d mention to parts of this story to people, and it was always the same reaction: “This is unbelievable! You should write a book!” so finally, I wrote the book. I think people are surprised that I am both a fan of heavy metal music, and a working librarian.I don’t quite fit the stereotypes”, she says. In addition to being a married mom of two, she’s worked for the City of Tempe for 16 years.
Growing up in the 1980’s, she was often inspired by rock publications like RIP Magazine. “RIP had the best original articles and photos of the bands I liked.” As she was writing the book, former editor of RIP Magazine, Lonn M. Friend, reached out to her on Instagram and struck up a friendship. “Imagine my delight when he agreed to write my foreword. It’s been like another dream come true. He’s a legend to us heavy music fans.”
Although she recounts throughout the book her run-ins with rock stars and other interesting characters on the Sunset Strip, she realized after reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild that her own story was similar – a woman alone in an unfamiliar and unforgiving wilderness. “Ultimately, it’s a survival story. A story of being lost, and then found. Except my adventure takes place in the Hollywood, and has a better soundtrack”, she jokes.
Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian is now available on Amazon.
Anna-Marie O’Brien will be joined by Lonn M. Friend at the Tempe Book Festival on Saturday November 2, to sell and sign copies of her new book.