Guest Column: Three Books You Need To Read By Burn The Army’s Jordan Smith

Check out these three tomes on pot, Satanism, and homelessness

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In our undying efforts to bring you engaging columns you won’t find anywhere else, we’ve reached out to the metal world seeking submissions for a new subject: Three amazing books you have to pick up and devour.

Seeing as you read this blog everyday, we went out on a limb and assumed you’d maybe want to get some decent book suggestions from some of your favorite bands, too. So today, we continue this series on rad, must-reads with an entry written by Burn the Army‘s Jordan Smith.

“Smoke Signals” by Martin A. Lee
I’ve read several books on the history of cannabis and it’s social and moral impact on society, but this one definitely stands out. Lee has done his research. The book begins with the noted inceptors of the plant into American popular culture — jazz musicians.

One of the more interesting facts presented is that Louis Armstrong had such an affinity for the stuff that he would often carry a pouch of it around his neck. With vivid, incredible storytelling, he then goes on to explain many more cultural influences that would bring marijuana to the legendary status it would come to maintain. Lee takes a true stance of authority on the subject, going on to paint a brilliant picture of the social climate brought about by Nixon’s drug war.

All in all, this book has something interesting for anybody even remotely interested in the subject.

“Evasion” by Anonymous
“Evasion” is, simply put, an amazing read. It is the memoir of a late-teen or twenty something guy who travels around living out of dumpsters, sneaking into music fests, hitchhiking, and generally living the more extreme end of the nomadic lifestyle.

The stream of consciousness with which the book is written is captivating, to say the least. Covering all aspects from dealing with fellow nomads to trying to sleep when it’s so cold you think you might die. The author also explains in detail some of the simple and innocuous cons he learned to employ as survival tactics. There’s really not much more I can say about this book other than, “read it.”

A must-read for fans of brutally honest memoirs and crusty sympathizers.

“Lucifer Rising” by Gavin Baddeley
It is refreshing to read a book about modern Satanic worship that was not written by an overtly religiously biased author. I have begun reading several books on the subject only to quickly stop when I realize that it’s just a misguided bully’s 400-page stab at Judas Priest.

In this book, Baddeley covers all areas of the occult from European origins of the Black Mass, Hitler’s obsession with black magic, the infamous Hellfire Club, and going as recent as it’s influence in heavy metal music. The book is a deceptively quick read due to the fact that it’s pages are adorned with large illustrations and photographs. No complaints from this guy, though. Every one of the pictures is completely relevant to the subject matter and definitely adds to the level of engagement.

Fun fact: Upon publishing of this book, the author was ordained a minister of the Church of Satan by Anton LaVey.

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