Friday, June 7, 2013

METALLICA: Nothing Else Mattered

Metallica....I will be the first to admit that the VERY first song of Metallica's I heard was One...and what a cracking tune it is, I saw the clip for One on Rage early one Saturday morning (like 3 a.m when they played a random metal tune)....and this prompted me to find the Justice album, which I promptly purchased ...I must mention that I also walked out with Kill'em All and Ride the Lightning at the same time...what can I say, In for a penny, in for a pound.

I also got stuck into finding about the band as well..and usually this came courtesy of Kerrang, and the first Kerrang story I found after searching through my pile of said brilliant mag was, sadly, the story about the bus smash...and being a bit of a bass fan, I was gutted  to say the least...I trowled throught the albums and found a Cliff solo called Anasthetia ...great, scratch that..FKN BRILLIANT.

So for a while I flogged the albums to death, then I heard rumblings of a new album being done with the same producer that did Motley and Bon Jovi..this struck me as a tad weird...not that I hated those bands, far from it ...but I was curious as to what Tallica was gonna come out sounding like...need not have worried the Black album came out just frigging fine...and umpteen millions agreed with me....;)

I'm not a big believer in muso's or sportspersons being made to be role models BUT...let me just say, that if I ever get a chance to see Lars, I'm gonna give him a spray...back when the Sunset strip was taking off , Metallica made some comments in various mags that hair metal fans were fags and needed a squishing...and it just so happened that beside my Metallica and Iron Maiden patches I had a Poison and a Motley patch, so I got a touch up that resulted in stitches ..SO THANKS FOR THAT ULRICH ..and i'll chuck in Scott Ian from Anthrax ( who also shares space in my collection) too for said spray..

Metallica was founded because teen tennis star Lars Ulrich, after coming to the states found that he was as good a player as he thought SO not wanting a "normal" job he went to his other love Heavy Metal, one of his mates from the tape trading circuit was putting together a compilation album. lars asked if he could get a track on it the mate said Lars got stuck into finding players for said tape...after putting an add in recycler or something he found Ron McGoveney and his musical soul mate, James Hetfield...they banged out a version of Metal militia for the Metal Massacre compilation album with Rons music teacher on lead guitar...

they decided to keep it going and looked about for a lead guitar, the guy they found was Dave Mustaine ...Dave was a whiz on the axe, still is, but he had more front than woolworths and while they all liked a drink Mustaine tended to get a bit fkn nasty when on the turps, to the point of pouring a beer over Rons bass and wrescking the pickups, Ron kicked 'em out of his families garage and to be fair I dont blame him, I probably woulda belted Mustaine meself...a mate of Lars told them about a band called Trauma and in partiuclar the bass player of said band Cliff Burton...

they were stunned at what they saw, they hooked up with Cliff, palyed him their stuff, which he dug, the only requirement he asked was that they move to San Francisco were he lived, they didnt mind, Sunset Strip, while they had supported Saxon and even sold out a few shows themselves,  the strip hadnt been real kind to 'em as it was on the cusp of the hair metal explosion...

so they packed up and hauled arse up the road a few hours...they got stuck into practicing and gigging,recording a demo tape called NO LIFE TIL LEATHER, the lads eventually got a call from Johnny Z of Megaforce records to come to NY and record their debut, Metal Up Your Ass, which was renamed KILL EM they loaded up the U Haul and headed East...they got there and met Johnny and Marcia Zazula and hung out with Anthrax a bit...Johnny Z wasnt impressed with Mustaines bullshit while he was drunk and told the band to flick him post haste, which they did...

Mustaine didnt forgive them for a good long while...he formed Megadeth to try and knock Metallica off their perch...good attempt BUT it didnt work....the boys called a mate from Frisco Kirk Hammett of Exodus to see if he wanted the gig, Kirk said yep and headed off to NY to hook up with his new bandmates ...the album went birko and they toured for a good long while off it, even as far as going to Europe and touring with Raven.

Time came for a second album and they recorded Ride the lightning, I dig this album a lot..due probably to having two of my favouite NWOBHM songs being covered by the boys "AM I EVIL" and 'BLITZKREIG"  recorded in Sweden with Fleming Rasmussen,  this album was also grabbed up by the metal community..By the way if you can get a copy with a green cover ..your sitting on a goldmine.....the boys toured this one into the ground as well, hooking up with Tank, WASP and Armoured Saint along the way and finishing the tour at San Franciscos "Day on the Green" with 60, 000 of their best mates.

then came the Masters of Puppets, this album reached # 29 on the Billboard charts, I bet that stunned the hippies at Rolling Stone, the boys toured with Ozzy this time out, mind you Hetfield busted his arm skateboarding and for the first time, John Marshall came to the rescue and finished the American leg of the tour.

Sept 26th 1986 while in the midst of the Damage Inc Tour the metal world lost one of its true originals when the Metallica tour bus hit some black ice and rolled a few times and Cliff Burton was thrown out a window and was crushed by the bus...pretty f**ked huh?..yep.

The band in the midst of grieving held tryouts for a new bass player, they admit to being horrorfiyingly drunk the whole time ...BUT...they were together enough to hire Jason Newstead from Flotsam and Jetson...mind you, poor old Jase got hazed something terrible (for years apparently) and his bass got turned down in the mix for Justice...hardly the right thing to do, I still think it stinks to this day, BUT, I wasnt missing a mate while trying to maintain a world class band I guess you have to cut them some slack.....Speaking of Justice...this is where they hit my radar proper, but, you knew that...;)

After they recorded Justice and did their, now standard, lap of the planet...they decided that the 8 million chord changes and 11 minute solos was a tad passe, they needed fattening up so they hired Bob Rock and went to Toronto to record, the now epic, Black album...I got the VHS doco of the making of (and replaced it with a dvd version a couple of years ago) and its a deadset cracker ..what we didnt know at the time was that 3 of the 4 members got divorced during the making of the album and they maintained their nickname of ALCOHOLLICA whilst there.

I got to see the boys on tour when they hit Sydney ...and a fairly loud night it was ...It was at this point that my mates thought that I was truly a loon cause one minute I was at a Bon Jovi gig then saw Twisted Sister over at the Hordern, this was closely followed by a TMG and Radiators gig at a pub then the Black album tour at the Sydney Ent Cent..what can I say, I'm multi musical...HAHAHAHA.

They did a tour with Guns'n'Roses around this time and after James got blasted by the pyro and went to hospital, that f**kin arsehat Axl Rose spat the dummy and the Montreal Forum was destroyed in a riot...Back in the dressing room, he said he was having problems with his voice,  Jason said to him "maybe you shouldnt be smoking and drinking champagne then"...

After the Black album they did a couple of albums with Fuel in the title and cum on the cover and recorded a album with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra...this strange amalgam of band and orchestra was being done by a lot of bands at the time and besides it didnt suck at too say I aint a real big fan of the Fuel and re-Fuel albums...might be the cuban mafia suits and lipstick on the back cover..dunno.

I must admit to Metallica slipping off my radar at this point...the next time I heard of them was when I bought a copy of the Some Kind Of Monster dvd ...imagine my surprise to find that jason had split...

mind you, after years of hazing and then getting told by your mate James that you couldnt be in a tiny little 3 piece side thing that couldnt possibly have affected the machine that is Metallica I probably would have split too...strangely enough Jase joined the Ozzy Osbourne band and Ozzys bass player Rober Trujillo joined Metallica....

Also during this time period The Mighty Hetfield sent himself off to re-hab to sort his shit out ...I remember during the dvd that before Robert joined,  Lars wondered out loud to Kirk that they might be the only two members of Metallica and this could be the end of the band.

James came back looking and sounding great ...and the boys have kicked on majestically with a couple of great albums Death Magnetic and St Anger ...I also got hold of a dvd or two recently...The Big Four tour with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax  and Metallica live at Antic Arena, Nimes ...a truly rocking gig , if you can get a copy..get it ..f**king AWESOME.

SO there you go my Metalli blog...hope you dug it 

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