Fathers, Brothers, and Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, and Anthrax
w/ JOEL MCIVER
November 2, 2021
Frank Bello, bassist with the legendary New York thrash metal band Anthrax since 1984, has sold over ten million albums, travelled the globe more times than he cares to count, and enthralled audiences from the world’s biggest stages. His long-awaited memoir would be a gripping read even if its pages only contained stories about his life as a recording and touring musician. While those stories are indeed included—and will blow your mind—Bello also focuses on deeper subjects in Fathers, Brothers, and Sons. Once you’ve heard his life story, you’ll understand why.
Born into a family of five, Frank grew up in difficult circumstances. His father abandoned his wife and children, and Frank’s mother moved heaven and earth to keep them fed and educated. Left with no male role model, Frank found inspiration in heavy metal bass players, following their example and forging a career with Anthrax from his early teens—first as a roadie, and then as the group’s bass player.
International stardom came Frank’s way by the mid-to-late 1980s, when he was still in his early twenties, but tragedy struck in 1996 when his brother Anthony was murdered in New York. Although the case went to trial, the suspected killer was released without charge after a witness, intimidated by violent elements, withdrew his testimony.
Two decades later, Frank is a father himself to a young son. Like many men who grew up without the guidance of a dad, he asks himself important questions about the meaning of fatherhood and how to do the job well. This is the wisdom which Fathers, Brothers, and Sons offers readers.
Despite the emotive nature of these topics, Fathers, Brothers, and Sons is a funny, entertaining read. A man with a keen sense of humor and the perspective to know how surreal his story has been, Frank doesn’t preach or seek sympathy in his book. Instead, he simply passes on the wisdom gained from a lifetime of turbulence, paying tribute to his loved ones in a way that will resonate with us all.