To us, Maynard James Keenen was someone who made some very good, somewhat expensive wine. To many others though he is a progressive metal rock star and an icon. He can be seen sitting on the right end of the bar in this picture.
This biography was reasonably easy to read, unlike the book about the owner of the FloraBama bar. His life story had many twists and turns of fate as well as planned choices and opportunities seized. His ability to plan to meet his objectives is clear by his choice to enter the military where he endured several years of regimentation so that he could have the resources to attend art school once he left the military.
The path he took after leaving the military diverged from that regimentation so radically he was unrecognizable to many who had known him.
The book does an excellent job of giving many of his choices a good discussion. However the depth of anger and emotions often seemed white-washed to make the book more palatable to less angry readers. There are occasional areas where Maynard’s disgust for “normalcy” shows through in some of the profane quotes and in his music lyrics such as ” Fuck you God”.
I will say I did try to listen to some of the songs he had written and performed. They seemed to be mostly vulgar screaming. I am sure someone will take issue with my description. I would refer them to the “old” part of OldMassRambler and offer no other response.
His path eventually leads to Arizona where he started this small winery. For that we were grateful for we enjoyed our bottle of Merkin Wine.
This book is very readable and worthwhile. I would not recommend his music. I do recommend his wine.
Bonus points: Google Merkin and have a good laugh.