MF 273 : Angelo Spenillo on moving forward as a professional metalhead
Updated: Jun 29
On the season 7 premiere, I speak with three-peat guest, Angelo Spenillo, about his new book I am a Professional Metalhead and how music has influenced his career. We also chat about how we met, Cobra Kai, and more. www.bemovingforward.com.
I first met Angelo in fall 1998. We were transfer students to Georgetown Law, lost in a sea of strange faces. In law school, you typically forge your deep friendships in the first year. You survive the trenches together, form study groups, get into high school-like drama, explore your new neighborhood, laugh, sometimes even cry over everything from breakups to getting a B on your final exam. That’s the law school bonding experience or surviving your first year. Both Angelo and I had this but at different schools. Being a transfer is, to use a trite cliché, like “being a fish out of water.” You’re in a new school, a new environment, surrounded by people you don’t know. It’s like being a first-year student all over again, only with the responsibilities and workload that assume you know the ropes.
Angelo and I first met at a library tour for transfer students (yes, we’re nerds). There were only three of us. Like me, Angelo was newly arrived just trying to figure things out.
This would become a recurring theme throughout our law school lives and beyond.
Flash forward several years later and we’re waiting for the results of the bar exam. He’s working for the federal government and I’m working at a mid-sized law firm in DC. We meet up for lunch and we’re both miserable, so much so that we make a pact that if we fail, we’re going to join a trucking school. At that time, any job other than the one I was doing seemed like a better path to happiness.
A few more years later, I’m working for a Fortune 500 company. Meanwhile, Angelo has done everything from working in a small law firm to guitar sales. I recruit him into the company and we reconnect. It’s during this time that I learn about Angelo’s passion for metal music.
In today’s conversation, we talk about how metal has influenced his career and life decisions. All of this is detailed in his new book I am a Professional Metalhead.
Being a non-metalhead, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be an interesting story. What I didn’t anticipate was being swept up into Angelo’s past life, from his early days in high school to college. I also got insights into those years that our paths crossed in law school and beyond; all from the point of view of someone who has been a lifelong metalhead.
In today’s episode, we talk a lot about what motivated him to write this book, and share some lessons, including one of my favorite concepts:
MCZ” or metal comfort zone, which is a very unique framework to look at how you evolve in your musical tastes but also for bigger life decisions.
We also talk about his life, his many careers, which are as varied and twisty as mine and of course, our favorite series, Cobra Kai.
Check it out and even if you’re not a metalhead, take it from me, this is a book that will send some great inspirational notes into your mind and heart as you take the next steps to move forward.
Get Angelo’s book I am a Professional Metalhead
Past episodes with Angelo
Check out our holiday movie commentary for “A Christmas Carol” (1984)
What’s Angelo reading
The Reprobation series by Catherine Fearns
Connect with Angelo
Get I am a Professional Metalhead (Paperback or for Kindle)
What I’m reading / read
Ninth House by Alex Stern (**)
Books by John
Check out my Amazon author profile.
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