In his new memoir, “Fathers, Brothers, and Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, and Anthrax,” Anthrax bassist Frank Bello tells the story of how he went from being abandoned by his father to achieving worldwide fame in one of the Big Four bands of American thrash metal.
Bello, who recently spoke with Highway 81 Revisited (you can view the full interview below), grew up in a working-class, Italian American family in the Bronx. After his father left his mother and Bello’s siblings, he moved in with his grandmother, where he lived with his uncle, only slightly older than him, Charlie Benante. Benante, a drummer, would form Anthrax, and Bello would become the band’s bass player when he was still a teen and working at another uncle’s deli between tours.
While Bello’s book includes tales that will intrigue metalheads — like being on tour with Metallica when its bassist and his good friend Cliff Burton was killed as well as his relationships with Pantera’s Abbott Brothers, Ronnie James Dio and Lemmy Kilmister — the heart of the story is his difficult childhood, the strong women who raised him and coping with the devastating loss of his brother, Anthony, and how seeking revenge could have derailed his life.