In brief: The unauthorised story of the early days of The Killers from Las Vegas to Hot Fuss.
The good: There are some cute early pictures of the band.
The not-so-good: There are a lot of spaces in this book so it won’t take as long as you think to read.
Why I chose it: Do I need to explain this? Entertainment in the lead up to the Australian leg of the Wonderful Wonderful tour.
Publisher: Manic D Press
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
In a normal situation, I wouldn’t read an unauthorised book about my band, particularly if they were my favourites. Nor would I read one that’s over ten years old – I’d presume that I already knew everything from that era. But I love The Killers and I love cheap books, so combining these two was a painless choice.
The Killers: Destiny is Calling Me is an interesting read, although it is very short. There are a lot of white gaps in the pages which mean you will race through the book pretty quickly. I read this over the course of one evening and I wouldn’t consider myself to be a speedy reader, particularly when there are a lot of pictures to examine. This is the feature that keeps this book going – lots of pictures and some that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Some aren’t professional shots (early days of the band) so the quality isn’t great and all are black and white. If blonde Dave is your jam or you ever wondered what Michael Valentine looks like (yes, he is real), this book is worth a read. Just don’t expect to come out of it an expert on the band/Super Victim.
I did find some interesting facts about The Killers that I didn’t know. Ted Sablay (who is the lead guitarist on the current Wonderful Wonderful tour) is mentioned several times as being a musical genius to can turn his hand to any instrument. There’s also some information on pre-Killers bands for Ronnie and Dave’s alias, Tavian Go.
I think this book would have been great as more of a picture book plus facts on the band. While a discography of a band with one album and several CD singles is nice, it’s a bit scattered and incomplete with only US releases plus ‘imports’. Now even back in 2004/5, there were ways to check out overseas CDs. There are no mentions of Australian releases, some of which had completely different track listings. The book kind of feels like it was hastily put together on the back on Hot Fuss‘s release without a huge amount of research or background – what the author knew from friends and associates rather than a heap of research. It is interesting, but it’s not the definitive resource for all things Killers.