An insecure kid who loved music and grew up to be an unhappy rock star and later a happy Christian, Brian “Head” Welch spent his teenage years in Bakersfield, playing guitar, watching horror movies, being mean to his girlfriend, and feeling bad about being mean to his girlfriend. He eventually followed some musician friends to L.A., bringing his family’s alcoholic dysfunction with him into his new life and his new relationship with a meth-addicted spitfire named Rebekah. He and Rebekah did drugs together, beat each other up, had a child they gave up for adoption, and another they kept but were in no shape to nurture. Amid all the drama, Welch formed a band, Korn, whose phenomenal success quickly became one for the rock record books.
Wherever he went, Welch was worshipped as a nu-metal god, but self-loathing and guilt over his personal life prevented him from enjoying his success. Searching for an escape from his “drug-soaked depression,” he opened his heart to “the unconditional love of God,” quit Korn and drugs, and rededicated himself to caring for his daughter and making music on his own terms, most immediately with It’s Time to See Religion Die, his upcoming solo album, whose title refers to Welch’s distrust of organized religion. He’s also written this memoir, Save Me from Myself, which he hopes will inspire others.
As Welch puts it, “I was a closet criminal and the guilt and shame was eating me alive, but I chose to share those things to prove to you that…Christ can and will clear anyone’s conscience from any evil act.” The likeable if not quite grammatical Welch clearly believes in his own rebirth, but he still seems more lost than he wants to admit, which makes his faith a harder sell than he wants it to be. Save Me from Myself will appeal to both Korn fans and born-again Christians, but it would have been a better general-interest book and/or evangelical tool if Welch had waited a few years before looking back.