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.: Metallica A Long History :.


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The Metallica History

1982

Essentially the brainchild of Danish émigré Lars Ulrich (born December 26th, 1965), a self-confessed New Wave Of British Heavy Metal fan. Ulrich gave up a potential career as a tennis pro in order to beat the living daylights out of the drums, METALLICA have unarguably been the leading lights of the Thrash Metal scene since their inception in the early 80's. Although considered to be a San Francisco based group, the darlings of the Bay Area scene, METALLICA was actually formed by Ulrich in Los Angeles. However, whilst Ulrich gets much of the credit for the rise of METALLICA, the band's roots essentially began the day one Ron McGovney and the AEROSMITH obsessed James Hetfield (born August 3rd, 1963) had first met at Los Angeles East Middle School in 1977.

Hetfield's first act in 1979 was titled OBSESSION and covered classic Rock acts such as UFO (hence the band title), BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN. OBSESSION comprised of Hetfield on vocals and guitar, Jim Arnold on lead guitar, bassist Ron Veloz and drummer Rick Veloz. Hetfield's class mate Ron McGovney roadied for the band. By 1980 Hetfield and Arnold had teamed up with Jim's brother Chris on drums to form the RUSH covers band SYRINX. This trio soon folded and downtime was filled by Hetfield and McGovney jamming with drummer Dave Marrs.

The duo's next attempt was a more serious venture titled PHANTOM LORD with guitarist Hugh Tanner. This act evolved into LEATHER CHARM comprising of Hetfield on vocals, Troy James on guitar, McGovney on bass and drummer Jim Mulligan. LEATHER CHARM began writing their own material and 'Hit The Lights' was borne out of these sessions. However, the band were still playing covers including the favourite 'Hollywood Teaze' by GIRL and IRON MAIDEN tracks. Two other LEATHER CHARM songs 'Let's Go Rock n' Roll' and 'Handsome Ransom' would later be fused to become 'No Remorse'.

With the band's music beginning to adopt a far heavier stance a parting of the ways with Jim Mulligan occurred and, responding to an add placed in the Los Angeles paper 'Recycler', LEATHER CHARM invited would-be drummer Lars Ulrich, previously a member of HELLCASTLE, down to meet them. However, they quickly sent him away with a flea in his ear, unimpressed with this big-mouthed little Danish kid with an obsession for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. With his tail firmly between his legs, Ulrich returned to Europe where he would spend a few months following the likes of DIAMOND HEAD and MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy around before flying back to Los Angeles intent on finally putting the band of his dreams together.

Having been somehow promised a spot on fanzine writer Brian Slagel's forthcoming compilation album 'Metal Massacre' on the newly formed Metal Blade Records, even though Ulrich didn't have a band at the time, Ulrich used this to his advantage in gaining favour with LEATHER CHARM.

Despite not being a particularly good drummer at the time, Ulrich convinced Hetfield and McGovney to recruit him to join him in this endeavour, eventually leading to the formation of METALLICA. This band title winning out over RED VETTE, GRINDER and BLITZER. Guitarist Lloyd Grant was drafted after replying to an advert. The version of 'Hit The Lights' that was put down onto a Tascam four track recorder saw vocals, guitar and bass handled by Hetfield with Ulrich on the drums. Grant recorded a lead guitar solo at his hose just hours before the delivery deadline.

It was this incarnation that featured on the first 'Metal Massacre' compilation album. Unfortunately, the group was credited as METTALLICA on the first pressing. Both McGovney and Grant's names were also misspelled as 'Mcgouney' and 'Llyod' respectively. However, the album put together a whole host of names that would become greater forces in the future such as RATT, Ron Keel's STEELER, BITCH, MALICE, Florida's AVATAR (SAVATAGE) and CIRITH UNGOL.

Grant's tenure with the group was cut short because, according to the man who replaced him, ex-PANIC guitarist Dave Mustaine, Lars Ulrich allegedly did not want a black musician in the group. This being one of the reasons as to why 'Hit The Lights' was re-recorded for the second pressing of the 'Metal Massacre' compilation album with Mustaine in the band. This version not only saw Grant's name missing from the band line-up but featured the correct spelling of the band name. Needless to say, Mustaine's version of events would later be vigorously denied.

Grant was, however, to reappear in the mid 80's with a new act titled DEFCON contributing the track 'Red Light' to a 1986 compilation album.

Hetfield was still wary of his vocal talents so the band pulled in RUTHLESS vocalist Sammy Dijon although the union was brief, just two weeks, and no gigs were performed with this line-up.

Still fronted by a reluctant James Hetfield, in the role of lead vocalist, METALLICA's first showing came on March 14th 1982 at the Radio City venue in Anaheim. With little in the way of original material worked up, METALLICA performed mainly NWoBHM songs, pointedly neglecting to mention they were in fact covers. At that first concert METALLICA performed their own numbers 'Hit The Lights' and 'Jump In The Fire' bolstered by DIAMOND HEAD's 'Helpless', 'Sucking My Love', 'Am I Evil?' and 'The Prince' plus 'Killing Time', originally by Irish band SWEET SAVAGE, and 'Let It Loose', by premier British band SAVAGE.

METALLICA then got to work recording their first ever demo which featured the LEATHER CHARM track 'Hit The Lights', SWEET SAVAGE's 'Killing Time' and SAVAGE's 'Let It Loose'. Oddly, the last-named act would be excised from METALLICA's history, with only a bootleg single, originally released on the 'Bongwater' label in 1987, bearing testament to the influence of the Mansfield Metal act.

With this cassette the band then gained the valuable support slot to SAXON at the Whiskey A Go-Go club in Los Angeles on 27th March. The Barnsley big teasers were playing two shows back to back and originally MÖTLEY CRÜE were scheduled to play. However, MÖTLEY CRÜE's status had exceeded the support position and TOMMY LEE suggested METALLICA fill the slot instead with RATT opening up the first night. The band's set was still held up by DIAMOND HEAD and SAVAGE covers but notably saw the addition of the Dave Mustaine composed 'Metal Militia'. Unfortunately METALLICA did not get to meet their heroes SAXON as their dressing room was closed to visitors harbouring as it did an inconsolable OZZY OSBOURNE still reeling from the death of Randy Rhoads.

METALLICA enlisted another guitarist Damien C. Phillips (real name Brad Parker) at the Concert Factory in Costa Mesa on April 23rd. The experience, despite introducing another new track 'The Mechanix', was so bad he was fired on the spot. Undaunted, Parker created ODIN. With Hetfield assuming guitar duties, METALLICA cut the four track 'Power Metal' demo, comprising 'Hit The Lights', 'Mechanix', 'Jump In The Fire' and 'Motorbreath', recording in Ron McGovney's parents garage at 13004 Curtis & King Road in Norwalk. After these April sessions the decided to secure the services of a lead vocalist who could do a better job of fronting the group than Hetfield.

METALLICA performed as a five piece on 28th May at the Concert Factory in Los Angeles with new vocalist / guitarist Jeff Warner. The gig, opening for ROXY ROLLERS, Anaheim's LEATHERWOLF and AUGUST REDMOON, was apparently such a disaster the singer was immediately sacked. Trimmed back to a quartet, the group played Radio City in Anaheim once again on 5th June just upfront of the release date for 'Metal Massacre', still relying on SAVAGE and DIAMOND HEAD numbers. Oddly the former act would be almost deleted from METALLICA's history with only a bootleg single bearing testament to the influence of the Mansfield Metal act.

The band at first thought about the possibilities of requesting the services of ex-TYGERS OF PAN TANG vocalist Jess Cox, but by the time they had seen the singer's new look they rapidly changed their minds. To compound their frustration, the one vocalist actually asked to fill the post, John Bush of ARMORED SAINT (and later ANTHRAX), turned the request down.

Summer months of 1982 gave METALLICA another taste of recording, as Kenny Kane at Rocshire Records persuaded the band to go into Chateau East Studios in Tustin to record a proposed EP for subsidiary imprint High Velocity. However the label were shocked to discover the finished tapes were Metal and not Punk and shelved the deal. The resulting tapes were soon to surface on the underground tape trading scene as the 'No Life 'Til Leather' demo. The demo comprised several tracks that would become legendary in 'Hit The Lights', 'The Mechanix', 'Motorbreath', 'Seek & Destroy', 'Metal Militia', 'Jump In The Fire' and 'Phantom Lord'.

On the live front, METALLICA upped their live pace, performing at gigs, inclding openers for STEELER, RATT and even STRYPER, plus private parties.By now, METALLICA, not wishing to be associated with the rising Los Angeles scene awash with bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE, relocated to San Francisco. The group had been garnering the most favour in 'Frisco, not least because of the support offered on a thriving underground level by the influential 'Metal Militia' fanzine run by Ron Quintana. METALLICA's first gig in the city was as part of the Brian Slagel organised 'Metal Massacre Night' at the Berkeley Keystone on 18th September on the same billing as BITCH and HANS NAUGHTY filling in for a non appearance by CIRITH UNGOL.

However, before long McGovney departed, resurfacing in 1986 as part of PHANTASM, the act assembled by ex-HIRAX frontman Katon DePena.

1983

METALLICA added former TRAUMA bassist Cliff Burton (born February 10, 1962) in McGovney's place during December 1982 and the band officially became residents of San Francisco after leaving Los Angeles on February 12th, 1983. METALLICA were soon embroiled in discussions with Firesign Records, Shrapnel and Metal Blade. In fact, way back when Slagel had first begun his 'Metal Massacre' series, the Metal Blade boss could well have just recorded a full album, but the funds just were not available to the company at the time and so the chance went begging. Eventually the act was persuaded to contact the New Jersey based Megaforce Records, a label run by ANTHRAX manager and 'Rock n' Roll Heaven' record store owner Johnny Zazula.

However, after two shows with THE RODS and VANDENBERG in New York, Mustaine was unceremoniously fired after a huge bust-up with Hetfield left Mustaine bruised, bloodied and out of a job. A replacement was swiftly found, as METALLICA's sound engineer, Mark Whitaker, also happened to manage the burgeoning Bay Area outfit EXODUS. The approach to EXODUS six-stringer Kirk Hammett (born November 18th 1962) was made and he was duly enrolled, virtually catching the next plane out of San Francisco to begin work on the debut METALLICA album. As was revealed later, Hammett had already been approached by METALLICA and asked to learn their material even before their East Coast road trip. The ex-guitarist soon busied himself with creating his new act famously titled MEGADETH.

The 'Kill 'Em All' album was recorded in Rochester, New York and the album was released on Zazula's newly established Megaforce label, with distribution from the Relativity concern. The album was duly licensed to ex-Secret Records boss Martin Hooker's new Music For Nations company for release in the UK whilst Roadrunner took the album for Holland, Banzai for Canada, RGE for Brazil, King for Japan and Bernett for France. Amusingly, the record had been envisioned to be titled 'Metal Up Your Ass' and boasting a cover depicting an arm emerging from the depths of a toilet bowl menacingly wielding a rather large knife. Relativity persuaded the band that this idea wasn't exactly a good choice. Mind you, the eventual choice of 'Kill 'Em All' and accompanying cover were no less subtle! T-shirts featuring a depiction of the album's original title and cover art would, however, be produced some while later.

1984

In January 1984 Music For Nations issued 'Jump In The Fire' as a 12" single, backing it with supposedly live versions of 'Seek And Destroy' and 'Phantom Lord'. Both these tracks were actually re-recorded in the studio, MFN dubbing on applause from a London Marquee Club performance by Prog Rock band TWELFTH NIGHT. The group set out on tour to support the 'Kill 'Em All' album, eventually making it over to Britain.

Originally the group had been booked to play through Europe between March 21 to April 3 on a three band bill with Canadian power trio EXCITER and fellow American outfit THE RODS. Unfortunately, ticket sales were mysteriously poor and the tour scrapped. Nevertheless, the group arrived in London and put in two headlining stints at the Marquee Club during late March, their very first UK gig supported by SAVAGE, as well as an earlier appearance at the 'Aardschok Festival' in Holland for good measure whilst on a tour of the continent with Newcastle upon Tyne proto-Black Metallers VENOM. In June further European gigs followed as guests to TWISTED SISTER. Following these shows, METALLICA moved up to Ulrich's native Denmark to begin work on their second album with producer Flemming Rasmussen, a man who had engineered on RAINBOW's 'Difficult To Cure' album in 1983. The band had specifically wanted to record in Europe and had apparently been impressed with Rasmussen's work on the RAINBOW album. Quite incredibly, what was to be one of Rock music's undoubted landmark albums was assembled on mainly borrowed amps and instrumentation, as just prior to leaving the USA METALLICA had all their gear stolen.

A brand new METALLICA album, entitled 'Ride The Lightning', was recorded in a month and a half at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen. Rasmussen recalled in a later magazine interview that the band were earnestly shopping for a major deal whilst in the throes of recording. At one point it looked highly likely that Bronze Records would sign the group until the label insisted that the band should scrap what they were doing and re-record the album in Britain. METALLICA, needless to say, refused.

'Ride The Lightning' was released in July 1984. Initial copies issued by Music For Nations in the UK, Megaforce in the USA and Banzai in Canada all sported the track 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' incorrectly spelt with "bells". Without any compromise in METALLICA's trademark ferocity the songs also were more accessible than previous efforts and was the first real step in infusing METALLICA's sound into the mainstream Rock audience. The accompanying single 'Creeping Death' was bolstered with two caustic cover versions of BLITZKRIEG's 'Blitzkrieg' and DIAMOND HEAD's 'Am I Evil'. Such was the impression made by these songs they would stay lodged in the band's live set for many years.

METALLICA's 1984 European tour was dealt a hammer blow that nearly curtailed the event. Whilst waiting for shipment, $40'000 of the band's equipment was stolen in Boston necessitating hasty negotiations to hire replacement gear.

With the band's burgeoning cult following rapidly spilling over into mainstream success major label Elektra were quick to buy out the Megaforce contract. This despite Megaforce having already shipped albums to the American stores and selling sufficient quantity to crack the Billboard top 200.

Elektra pulled out all the stops in promoting 'Ride The Lightning' maintaining sales levels as it was revealed that not only had METALLICA severed connections with Megaforce Records but also Johnny Z as manager. From now on the experienced Q Prime organisation of Peter Mensch and Cliff Burnstein, noted for successes with AC/DC and DEF LEPPARD, would handle their affairs.

1985 to 1986

1985 was opened up in with the 'Ride The Lightning' US tour, commencing January 10th at the Skyway Club in Scotia, New York alongside a ill-matched W.A.S.P. These dates wrapped up in Oregon during mid-March. Although METALLICA's ascendancy to greater things seemed assured, in early 1985 the media momentarily focussed its attention onto the erstwhile band figure of Dave Mustaine, back in the ring in 1985 launching his debut album for MEGADETH. The album included the track 'Mechanix', a revised version of which appeared on METALLICA's debut as 'The Four Horsemen'. The world's Rock press, and Mustaine it seemed, would be keen to devote print acreage to the acrimonious split between the two parties.

On August 17th 1985 Thrash Metal arrived in the UK in thanks to METALLICA's inaugural appearance at the infamous 'Monsters Of Rock' festival held at the Donington Park racing circuit in Leicestershire. Playing a creditable fourth on a bill above Brit Pomp Rock outfit MAGNUM and San Diego Glamsters RATT and just below BON JOVI, MARILLION and a headlining ZZ TOP, METALLICA played an eight song set lasting around 55 minutes and certainly impressed the gathered clans.

Returning to San Francisco the band put in a "secret" show as THE FOUR HORSEMEN at Ruthie's Inn on August 24th warming up for a showing at the Oakland 'Day On The Green' festival on the 31st. The band returned to Europe on September 14th, performing at the 'Metal Hammer Fest' in Loreley, Germany sharing a diverse billing with NAZARETH, VENOM, HEAVY PETTIN, WISHBONE ASH, SAVAGE GRACE, RUNNING WILD, TYRAN PACE, PRETTY MAIDS and WARLOCK.

1985 was topped off with a crushingly heavy New Year's Eve gig at the Civic Center in San Francisco. Joining METALLICA on the bill were EXODUS, METAL CHURCH and, one suspects somewhat awkwardly, MEGADETH. Notably, this show was highlighted by the first public airing of new track 'Master Of Puppets'.

In downtime Hetfield and Burton assembled the kickabout band SPASTIC CHILDREN. With Hetfield on drums, SPASTIC CHILDREN undertook club gigs with vocalist Fred Cotton and guitarist Jack McDaniel.

METALLICA had originally planned to record their third album in America retaining Flemming Rasmussen's services. However, a fruitless search for the perfect environment in Los Angeles led to the band returning to Sweet Silence in Copenhagen. Hetfield dampened the momentum by breaking his wrist skateboarding. Undeterred the band enlisted METAL CHURCH man James Marshall and Hetfield's guitar tech to fill in on rhythm guitar while the bones healed. The resulting 'Master Of Puppets' album, released in March 1986, proved to be a huge stride forward.

Despite the undoubted impact of 'Master Of Puppets' the glory was marred by Dave Mustaine putting in a claim that the song 'Leper Messiah' was in fact a reworked version of a cut titled 'The Hills Ran Red'. METALLICA flatly refuted the suggestion, admitting the song was based on an old riff but not one that Mustaine delivered. The American teen Metal press lapped it up offering regular METALLICA vs. MEGADETH articles.

'Master Of Puppets' was to hit the Gold mark in America during 1986, for sales in excess of 500,000 copies, becoming the first Thrash era band to break the national Billboard top 100, surely aided by their exposure out on the road across the USA opening for OZZY OSBOURNE throughout March and into June. The following month spot Scandinavian gigs with OZZY OSBOURNE, at the Wvaskyla Saapasjalka in Finland on the 5th and the Danish Roskilde festival the day after, witnessed a renewed partnering again with ANTHRAX. These two acts then resumed action backing OZZY OSBOURNE in the USA throughout July.

On September 10th METALLICA launched a headline European trek, backed by ANTHRAX, at the St. David's Hall in Cardiff. It seemed that METALLICA's momentum was assured as they were by this juncture undoubtedly Heavy Metal's hottest ticket. Unfortunately this success came with a price, the tragic death of Cliff Burton. METALLICA concluded their UK dates then set about a series of Scandinavian shows, kicking off at the Lund Olympen in Sweden on the 24th prior to concerts in Oslo and Stockholm. It all came to a jarring halt on the morning of Saturday, September 27th 1986. En route from Stockholm to Copenhagen, METALLICA's tour bus skidded off an icy road near the Swedish town of Ljungby, throwing Cliff Burton out of the window near his bunk and tipped over on top of him, killing him instantly.

METALLICA actually received encouragement from Burton's parents to press on in the aftermath of the accident. Auditions were held with ARMORED SAINT's Joey Vera, L?Z ROCKIT's Willy Lange, WATCHTOWER man Doug Keyser and Les Claypool. Eventually recruited was the Phoenix, Arizona based FLOTSAM AND JETSAM man Jason Newsted (born March 4, 1963) to fill the void left by Cliff's death.

Newsted was broken in on November 8th with an unannounced concert at the Reseda Country Club opening for old friends METAL CHURCH, the bill also featuring HERETIC. The next day METALLICA also performed at Jezabelle's in Anaheim. The band then committed themselves to a previously scheduled Japanese tour, which opened on November 12th, a little over a month since the accident. US road work gave them no respite, METALLICA resuming proceedings, supported by METAL CHURCH, on November 28th at the Poughkeepsie Mid Hudson Civic Center.

1987 to 1988

METALLICA ushered in 1987 on January 2nd with a gig alongside METAL CHURCH at The Rock in San Francisco. This same billing hit Scandinavia on the 8th, performing at the Copenhagen Falkoner Theatre in Denmark. The band wound up their European tour, having taken in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Poland, during January. The last of these shows, at the Frolundaborg venue in Gothenburg, Sweden on the 13th, would witness a live showing of MERCYFUL FATE's 'Return Of The Vampire'. Letting off steam on this last gig, METALLICA also jammed through IRON MAIDEN's 'Run To The Hills', DEEP PURPLE's 'Burn and even the Peanuts 'Charlie Brown' theme.

1987 would prove to be trying for Hetfield as he broke his arm skate boarding. The guitarist vowed to give the sport up.

METALLICA went back into the studio to cut the '$5.98 EP: Garage Days Revisited' EP, released in August. A novel homage to their inspirations and influences it fitted in well with the METALLICA ethos. Included were songs from DIAMOND HEAD, 'Helpless', HOLOCAUST, 'The Small Hours', BUDGIE, 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery' and THE MISFITS, 'Last Caress-Green Hell'. The Japanese version also had KILLING JOKE's 'The Wait'. Other tracks from these sessions BUDGIE's 'Breadfan' and DIAMOND HEAD's 'The Prince' would surface on subsequent single B-sides. The EP, a previously untested commercial move, was a solid success charting and lodging itself in the American charts for 8 weeks. 'Breadfan' in particular would dig its claws in as METALLICA opened up their live show with this old warhorse for many, many years to come.

On August 22nd 1987 METALLICA made a triumphant return to a rain sodden Castle Donington to appear third on a BON JOVI topped 'Monsters Of Rock' bill alongside DIO, ANTHRAX, W.A.S.P. and CINDERELLA. Two days previously the band, under the nom de guerre DAMAGE INC., had opened for METAL CHURCH at London's famous, if tiny, 100 club, here first giving 'Leper Messiah' a stage airing. After 'Monsters Of Rock', METALLICA then joined the German leg of the festivals, at the Messegelaende in Nuremburg and the FCP Stadion in Pforzheim, which were topped by DEEP PURPLE.

Newsted took time out in late 1987 to briefly re-unite with his old act FLOTSAM AND JETSAM in Arizona when he performed an impromptu jam at a SACRED REICH show with his old band mates and SLAYER guitarist Kerry King.

METALLICA rounded off the year fittingly with the tribute video to their late bass player. 'Cliff 'Em All' would include live material as well as home video recordings.

Recording a successor to 'Master Of Puppets' began with GUNS N' ROSES studio man Mike Clink but within months longstanding ally Flemming Rasmussen had supplanted the big name producer and METALLICA started the album again from scratch. Despite the problems in the studio METALLICA retained the fan awareness by clambering aboard the touring extravaganza that was the American 'Monsters Of Rock' roving package kicking off at the East Troy Alpine Valley on May 27th 1988. METALLICA warmed up with a brace of 23rd and 24th May shows at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Based upon the tried and tested British formula of the same name, the American version, featuring a heavyweight package of VAN HALEN, SCORPIONS, METALLICA, DOKKEN and KINGDOM COME, looked a winner but it was to eventually flounder due to high ticket prices. METALLICA themselves fared well even though the first month of the tour had them flying back to Bearsville, New York in a desperate race to finish mixing of the album that would become '... And Justice For All'. Here, Newsted was to gain his first writing credit with the band for the lead track 'Blackened'. The 'Monsters Of Rock' extravaganza wound up in late July.

The new album was aired live secretly in Los Angeles as the band, dubbed, FRAYED ENDS, jammed out new material to a select few.

Upon the album's release in September, METALLICA, backed by DANZIG, hit Europe starting with a show at the MTK Football Stadion in Budapest, Hungary on the 11th. QUEENSRYCHE took over opening duties on October 13th at the KB Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark, prior to a headlining North American tour, gearing up at the Sporta Arena in Toledo, Ohio on November 15th, again allied with QUEENSRYCHE. The first leg was concluded on December 18th at the McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado.

1989 to 1991

METALLICA's second leg of US touring, retaining QUEENSRYCHE as support, fired up on January 11th at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee. February found the band invited to perform at the Grammy awards. METALLICA did not win but this inaugural foot in the door at the Grammys was a portent of what was to come. METALLICA completed their '...And Justice For All' world tour in South America during October 1989.

Lars Ulrich, together with 'Kerrang!' editor Geoff Barton, compiled a compilation album featuring some of his favourite New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands for the Vertigo label to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the movement.

In February of 1990 METALLICA returned to the Grammy awards once again. This time '... And Justice For All' won. A subsequent European tour beginning in May saw strong support from DIO prior to ensconcing themselves in the studio to begin the writing process for their next album.

The band picked up a further Grammy in February of 1991 for their take on QUEEN's 'Stone Cold Crazy'. By the start of the summer the Rock world was holding it's breath for the new album and when the simply titled 'Metallica' was launched it was apparent from the off that this was the record to propel METALLICA into the major league. Hitting the American number 1 position the album, racking up in excess of 598,000 first week sales, would doggedly retain its grip in the Billboard charts for a further staggering 85 weeks. The first single culled from the album 'Enter Sandman' would be instantly hailed a classic and would quickly be recognised as one of the greatest songs of the genre.

In August METALLICA undertook the European 'Monsters Of Rock' festivals as special guests to AC/DC before an appearance in Moscow.

The band returned home to headline the San Francisco 'Day On The Green' festival before kicking off their 'Wherever I May Roam' world tour.

1992 to 1994

1992 was beckoned in with METALLICA winning another in a long line of Grammy Awards. In April the band performed 'Stone Cold Crazy' at Wembley with QUEEN guitarist BRIAN MAY as part of the FREDDIE MERCURY tribute concert. With both 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'Wherever I May Roam' continuing the band's presence in the charts METALLICA geared up for a strange pairing for an absolute leviathan American arena tour. METALLICA shared the headline slot with GUNS N' ROSES for a set of 'Monsters Of Rock' dates which many critics viewed as a complete mismatch. Support came from MOTÖRHEAD.

During these shows Hetfield was badly burned by a stage flare in Montreal. With their frontman unable to play guitar METALLICA drafted METAL CHURCH's John Marshall to fill in Hetfields guitar parts to finish off the tour. The 'Monsters Of Rock' extravaganza wound up in October but there was little respite as the band headed for Europe for further shows until the end of the year.

1993 rolled in with further awards accumulated at the American Music awards. The band were back on tour in March in the more far flung territories of Asia, Australia ad South America before the 'Nowhere Else To Roam' dates in Europe. Some of these shows including MEGADETH as guests.

In November METALLICA launched their most ambitious release to date with the box set 'Live Shit: Binge & Purge'. Retailing at £75.00 the tin box included 3 live CDs and 3 live videos. Demand for METALLICA was so high these sets sold out almost immediately.

May 1994 had the road hungry METALLICA on the loose yet again. This time the shows were known collectively as the 'Live shit' tour with support coming from DANZIG and CANDLEBOX. The band also appeared as one of the main attractions at the resurrection of the famous Woodstock festival during August before winding up the tour in Florida. Notably on 21st August at the Bicentennial Park venue in Miami METALLICA invited JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford onstage to rip through a full version of 'Rapid Fire'.

The winter months were spent writing for a new album. It would herald a radical new era for the band and test the loyalty of hardened Metal fans.

1995 to 1996

The bulk of 1995 found METALLICA in the studio working on a new album. Interim activities included a performance at the Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' festival and a gig inside the Arctic circle with HOLE. The Donington show would provide a treat for fans and keep bootleggers happy when the band ripped out a version of IRON MAIDEN's 'Remember Tomorrow'.

Newsted indulged in a further extra curricular project IR8 in 1995. Recorded at his home studio with ex-STEVE VAI and FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY man Devin Townshend and former EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting, tapes were laid down but the project got no further. Nevertheless these recordings made it onto the radio airwaves much to the chagrin of Hetfield and co.

With the impact of the 'Metallica' album still ringing in the industry's ears (the album had clocked up a staggering 12 million sales in America alone) anticipation for 'Load' was high, so eager were fans for new material that the album shifted 680'000 copies in the first week of sale.

What devotees got with 'Load' though was a far cry from the METALLICA of yore. Band photographs issued for promotion shocked traditional Metal fans to the core. Gone was the "none more black" dress code and de rigeour long hair as METALLICA now came across as a newly shorn set of people with a distinct identity crisis. Not only had Hammett taken to adopting a look more in keeping with a 70's pimp, complete with batwing collared gaudy shirts and fur coats but Ulrich had taken to sporting eyeliner. With METALLICA on the surface aping U2's drag-popsters look fans who had religiously force fed themselves a diet of 'Metal Militia' and 'Whiplash' scratched their heads in amazement as Ulrich declared in an interview, albeit apparently tongue in cheek, "we're a Pop band". Newsted stayed out of the controversy while Hetfield, more and more acknowledged as the leader of the band, appeared to be more intent on hunting wild animals than involving himself in the press furore.

The music served to alienate some fans even more as the technical riffing of METALLICA's trademark sound had given way to a stripped down bluesey rock. METALLICA also seemed to be pushing themselves out onto the margins as in various interviews little secret was made of their drug taking activities. Nonetheless METALLICA's status as bona fide rock giants was assured when the 'Load' American tour was announced as being the third biggest tour of the year for that territory grossing some $37 million dollars and only being surpassed by THE ROLLING STONES and U2.

The album was released in June and bolted straight to the American number 1 spot staying high in the charts for a tenacious 40 weeks. The band's touring plans also bore witness to their new approach as METALLICA headlined the touring 'Lollapalooza' festivals with support from SOUNDGARDEN and THE RAMONES. The band won another award at the MTV Video Music celebrations but were eager to get back out on the road again beginning their lengthy series of dates dubbed 'Poor Touring Me' in Europe during September.

The band's roguish intentions were still intact though in spite of their newly found Pop sensibilities. Pulling of a rip roaring versions of 'So What' and 'Last Caress' at the MTV awards complete with expletives got METALLICA banned from future events.

As the year closed METALLICA's touring plans merely rolled on as December ushered in the North American leg of 'Poor Touring Me'.

1997

1997 started with a bang for the band with little seasonal repsite, a matter of days, before the 'Poor Touring Me' jaunt, supported by KORN, resumed on 2nd January at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This first concert of the year proved memorable as the group jammed through a diverse set including AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell', DEEP PURPLE's 'Woman From Tokyo', MERCYFUL FATE's 'Return of the Vampire' and IRON MAIDEN's 'Number Of The Beast'. METALLICA also shot footage from this gig for use in a promotional video for the 'King Nothing' single, which first aired on MTV on the 17th. On January 26th Lars Ulrich, with James Hetfield as his best man, married his long time girlfriend Skylar.

The following day METALLICA put in a performance of 'King Nothing' at the American Music Awards, the band also walking off by winning an award. February saw the release of the 'King Nothing' single and METALLICA finally wound down their 'Poor Touring Me' schedule on May 28th with a final show in Edmonton, Canada. One show of particular note on this trek came on 22nd February at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan, when no less a figure than TED NUGENT strode onstage to blast through a version of 'Stranglehold' with METALLICA.

METALLICA were soon back in action returning to the studio to add closure to 'Re-Load', only taking a break for European festival performances and for Hetfield's wedding in August. Dubbed as 'Blitzkrieg', the festival events comprised the Pukkelpop' festival in Hasselt, Belgium on the 22nd, alongside MARILYN MANSON, BLINK-182 and the FOO FIGHTERS, the 'Blind Man's Ball' in Stuttgart, Germany on the 23rd and the following day's show at the 'Reading Festival' in England.

As the band wound up work on 'Re-Load' in October, METALLICA put in a crop of unusual shows commencing with two back to back appearances at the San Francisco Shoreline Theater on the 18th and 19th. The group were playing acousticlly to benefit the Bridge School in San Francisco. The first night's set incorporated the inaugural performance of 'Lowman's Lyric' and saw guitarist JERRY CANTRELL from ALICE IN CHAINS guesting on a rendition of LYNYRD SKYNYRD's 'Tuesday's Gone'. The second evening they played another new song, 'My Eye's'. Guesting on the bill would be Kacy Crowley, Lou Reed, SMASHING PUMPKINS, ALANIS MORISSETTE, the DAVE MATTHEWS BAND and NEIL YOUNG. Over the 20th and 21st October METALLICA filmed the elaborate video for 'The Memory Remains' at Van Nuys airport, the set for which involved the construction of a custom built, and hugely expensive, box.

In an attempt to get back to their roots METALLICA hosted a series of fan gatherings throughout Europe in November. Keen to rekindle the 60's era of free festivals METALLICA announced their intentions for such a gig to launch their 'Re-load' promotion campaign. Initially though venues under consideration were unforthcoming with offers and METALLICA duly revised their tactics. On November 11th, Veteran's Day, the band, despite petitions launched by local residents, played a free show, the "Million Decibel March", at a parking lot in Philadelphia, in front of 50'000 non ticket paying fans in the car park of the Core States Arena.

Two days later METALLICA filmed run throughs of 'The Memory Remains' and 'Fuel' in the London 'Top Of The Pops' television studios prior to a one off gig at the Ministry of Sound dance venue in the capital. This show was recorded, tracks such as QUEEN's 'Stone Cold Crazy' and KILLING JOKE's 'The Wait' turning up on variants of the 'Turn The Page' single. METALLICA then played on Channel 4's 'TFI Friday' the next day and also played acoustic versions of 'Low Man's Lyric', 'The Four Horsemen' and Nothing Else Matters' on Virgin Radio. Their next concert proper, at the Docks venue in Hamburg, Germany, took place on the 15th, preceding gigs in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Paris.

The same month saw the conclusion of a quite bizarre legal wrangle in which a fan, Todd Miller, claimed he had lost his sense of smell after attending a METALLICA gig in Iowa during 1993. Miller's sensory deprivation reportedly came after he suffered a head injury at the gig. The case was settled but the verdict undisclosed.

Debut single from 'Re-load', the melodramatic 'The Memory Remains', shot straight into the British and American charts and straight into fan debate too. Female backing vocals were provided by the ex-girlfriend and alleged abuser of mars bars MARIANNE FAITHFUL, the band having stopped off in Dublin especially to record her vocal parts. The album, selling over 435,000 copies in its first week of sale, shot straight to number 1 in America and on December 6th the band performed 'Fuel' and 'The Memory Remains' live on the famous American TV show NBC's 'Saturday Night Live'.

The year ended on a high with a December 8th performance at the Billboard awards and METALLICA adding another award to their collection, this time in the 'Best Hard Rock Band' category. The band's last performance of the year came on December 18th with an acoustic run through of ten songs for a San Jose radio station.

1998

METALLICA got back into gear during 1998 with a fresh batch of cover versions assembled together with previous efforts under the title 'Garage Inc.'. New recordings included DIAMOND HEAD's 'It's Electric', BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's 'Astronomy', THIN LIZZY's 'Whiskey In The Jar' and a MERCYFUL FATE medley.

On March 21st METALLICA invited fans into an audience at the MTV studios for a special show dubbed 'ReLoad, Rehearse, and Request'. One extra lucky fan even got to sing lead vocals on 'Creeping Death'. On the road, METALLICA's 'Poor Re-Touring Me' expedition hit Australia and New Zealand starting on April 2nd, the group also put in an unexpected cover version, performing AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to a rapturous acception in Sydney, April 4th. Hardcore fans had their appetite for rarities satisfied with the Australian DJ live album 'Poor Touring Me'. Only issued to radio stations, the promotional album comprised of 8 tracks recorded live in Texas during May 1997. New Zealand concerts, in Wellington and Auckland, were supported by HEAD LIKE A HOLE. Two shows at the Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea preceded Japanese dates.

The USA experienced its first taste of 'Poor Re-Touring Me' on June 24th at the Coral Sky Ampitheater, West Palm Beach in Florida. Opening these shows would be DAYS OF THE NEW and JERRY CANTRELL. This tour came to conclusion at the San Diego Coors Amphitheatre on September 13th.

1998 also witnessed joyous events outside of METALLICA's creative and business parameters with both Hetfield and Ulrich becoming fathers. Cali Tee Hetfield being born in June and Myles Ulrich in August. Much more unwelcome was the album 'Bay Area Thrashers - The Early Days' released by Get Back Records. Although unofficial, this live album had managed to secure distribution through regular means to secure shelf space in stores and major online retailers. The band was quick to launch a lawsuit to quash the album, which was soon withdrawn.

On September 14th, METALLICA re-entered the recording studio within 24 hours of stepping offstage in San Diego in order to record new cover tracks for the 'Garage Inc.' set.

One of the band's most memorable concerts came on October 18th when METALLICA performed at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. On the 21st the musicians filmed the video for their version of BOB SEGERs 'Turn The Page' at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles with Swedish director Jonas Akerlund. Whilst undertaking press duties in London on November 9th, Kirk Hammett was rushed to hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

A short burst of promotional shows to plug 'Garage Inc.' witnessed fan club member only dates in Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York. Kirk Hammett was still recovering from surgery and sat down for much of the Canadian show. The concert itself bordered on the surreal, being opened by local METALLICA tribute band BATTERY, performing only METALLICA songs, whilst the headliners played solely cover versions. The set comprised takes on MISFITS 'Die Die My Darling', BLITZKRIEG's 'Blitzkrieg', HOLOCAUST's 'Small Hours', DIAMOND HEAD's 'The Prince', BLACK SABBATH's 'Sabbra Cadabra', THIN LIZZY's 'Whiskey In The Jar', QUEEN's 'Stone Cold Crazy', MERCYFUL FATE's 'Mercyful Fate', DIAMOND HEAD's 'Am I Evil?', ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE's 'So What!', SWEET SAVAGE's 'Killing Time', KILLING JOKE's 'The Wait', MISFITS 'Last Caress / Green Hell', BUDGIE's 'Breadfan' and MOTÖRHEAD's 'Overkill'.

In late November a further promotional video, for the THIN LIZZY cover 'Whiskey In The Jar', was shot in Brooklyn, New York.

1999

1999 was opened in a decidely un-Metallic fashion when the band ignited press acreage by filing a lawsuit against Victoria's Secret and Victoria's Secret Catalogue, citing "trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition and dilution". This action had been instigated by the Victoria's Secrets 'Metallica' range of lip pencils. Fortunately musical matters were also on the agenda in January, as the band's version of THIN LIZZY's 'Whiskey In The Jar' was released on the 25th.

February 24th found METALLICA winning a prestigious Grammy award for 'Better Than You' in the 'Best Metal Performance' category. Their adopted home city paid homage on March 7th, mayor Willie Brown inducting the group onto the San Francisco walk of fame and declaring the day as official "Metallica Day". The rewards continued to pour in. At a ceremony held in New York City's Roseland Ballroon on March 16th the Recording Industry Association of America presented METALLICA with a Diamond sales award to recognise sales of 10 million copies of the 'Metallica' album.

On April 11th and 12th METALLICA and support band MONSTER MAGNET gave the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii the first double dose of a global world tour, actually being a continuation of the 'Poor Re-Touring Me' slog. From the South Pacific METALLICA journeyed into the Arctic Circle for the next stop at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska on the 14th.

The band then undertook an ambitious venture by performing two concerts, on the 21st and 22nd April, with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the Berkeley Community Theater with conductor Michael Kamen. These shows would be collated for a double album release 'S&M' later in the year. In the meantime, the band set out on tour once more to promote 'Garage Inc.' venturing South with PANTERA and MONSTER MAGNET in tow landing at the Foro Sol in Mexico City, Mexico on 30th April as a precursor to concerts in South America starting in Colombia, the May 2nd Bogatá Simon Bolivar Park gig being opened by DARKNESS and LA PESTILENCIA. May 4th had the band at the Caracas Poliedro in Venezuela supported by GILLMAN.

A series of shows across Brazil, Porto Alegre Hipodromo do Cristal on the 6th, Anhembi Parking Lot, São Paulo on the 8th and Clube De Regatas Do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, on the 9th were supported by SEPULTURA. At the latter concert Jason Newsted jammed with SEPULTURA during their set on the song 'Hatred Aside'. The bassist had previously acted as guest guitarist and guest vocalist on the track on SEPULTURA's 'Against' album. The same pairing of bands struck Santiago's Pista Atletica Del Estadio Nacional in Chile on May 12th and the Buenos Aires River Plate Stadium in Argentina on the 14th. For this last show both ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON were scheduled to play but both cancelled, being replaced by domestic acts ALMAFUERTE and CATUPECU MACHU.

The summer months were taken up on the European festival circuit, starting at Germany's Nurnberg 'Rock Im Park' on May 21st and Nurnburgring 'Rock Am Ring' on May 22nd. The Dutch 'Dynamo Open Air' the next day, topping a bill with SYSTEM OF A DOWN, FEAR FACTORY, MONSTER MAGNET, MERCYFUL FATE and APOCALYPTICA, saw members of BIOHAZARD joining METALLICA onstage for the "Die, die, die, die" chant on 'Creeping Death. At the Milan 'Gods of Metal' event on June 5th MERCYFUL FATE members King Diamond and Hank Sherman aided onstage with the Mercyful Fate medley encore. A succession og separate headline shows into Eastern Europe had MONSTER MAGNET in tow.

The 'Die Die My Darling' single was released in the UK on June 14th. Another round of festivals had METALLICA heading up billings at 'RockKiev' in Kiev, Ukraine on June 27th, 'Tallin Song' inTallin, Estonia on the 29th, 'Roskilde' festival in Denmark on July 1st, 'Ruisrock' festival in Turku, Finland on the 2nd and the 'Werchter' event in Belgium a day later. 'Whiskey In The Jar's airing on July 5th at The Point in Dublin, Ireland was made extra special with the guest inclusion of former THIN LIZZY guitarist Eric Bell. On the 10th the band provided the top honours at the 'Big Day Out' at the Milton Keynes Bowl venue with MARILYN MANSON, MINISTRY, SEPULTURA, CREED, PITCHSHIFTER, TERRORVISION, MONSTER MAGNET, SYMPOSIUM, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, MERCYFUL FATE and PLACEBO. A set of Spanish dates led to an Israeli show on the 20th at the Rishon Le Zion Ampi Park.

A monstrous concert welcomed METALLICA back to the USA on July 24th, the 30th anniversary Woodstock festival, held at the Griffiss Air Force Base, also featuring other heavyweight acts such as RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, MEGADETH, KORN and LIMP BIZKIT. The follow up double album included 'Creeping Death'.

Much of August was spent in production for 'S&M' with Bob Rock at The Plant in Sausalito. The only European concert to promote the album was held at the Berlin Velodrom on November 19th partnered with The Berlin Symphoniker. 'S&M' was released on November 22nd in Europe. Opinion was sharply divided as to the merits of the album but needless to say world-wide sales were high. METALLICA had also beaten another major act at their own game. German veterans the SCORPIONS had been planning a similar venture for some while.

At the Billboard Music Awards on 8th December METALLICA performed a symphonic version of 'Until It Sleeps' at the top of the MGM Grand Hotel with the New York City's Orchestra of St. Luke's conducted by Michael Kamen. The group walked away from the ceremony clutching a further double vindication of their efforts with Billboard awards for Catalog Artist of the Year and Catalog Album of the Year.

There would be little seasonal respite for METALLICA as another tour, dubbed the 'M2K' dates, was instigated on December 28th, the Orange Bowl in Florida, Miami also playing to road partners KID ROCK, CREED and SEVENDUST.

2000 to 2003

There would be little New Year's seasonal respite for METALLICA as another tour, dubbed the 'M2K' dates, was instigated on December 28th 1999, the Orange Bowl in Florida, Miami also playing to road partners KID ROCK, CREED and SEVENDUST. This run of shows closed at the Target Center, Minneapolis in Minnesota on January 10th 2000. The new millennium started off well for METALLICA as they won another Grammy award for 'Best Hard Rock Performance' for their rendition of 'Whiskey In The Jar' on February 23rd at the 42nd Grammy Awards.

A rather special album also emerged in 2000. The limited edition 'The Garage Remains The Same', with both title and artwork punning LED ZEPPELIN, was released to platinum card carrying members of the METALLICA fan club. The album comprised six live tracks recorded in Santiago, Chile during 1999.

Needless to say METALLICA had something special planned for the turn of the century headlining New York's Madison Square Gardens with support acts TED NUGENT and KID ROCK.

Hetfield appeared alongside Jim Martin on the track 'Eclectic Electric' on PRIMUS' 2000 album 'Antipop'. Newsted meantime busied himself with side project ECHOBRAIN, a power trio featuring guitarist Dylan Donkin and drummer Brian Sagrafena. Also contributing was the aforementioned Jim Martin and Hammett. METALLICA contributed the new composition 'I Disappear', also released as a single, to the Tom Cruise movie soundtrack for 'Mission Impossible II'.

The band were also kept in the press during April with a legal action brought by the band against internet company Napster. METALLICA accused Napster of depriving them of royalties by their download access of METALLICA tracks. Napster replied by posting an animated cartoon on their site featuring a Neanderthal Hetfield who could only mouth 'Money good!, Napster bad! Beer good!'. A more complimentary tribute was made when GREGORIAN, a collection of Gregorian chanters, covered 'Nothing Else Matters' on their 'Masters Of Chant' album.

James Hetfield surprised MOTÖRHEAD fans attending Lemmy and his cohorts June 1st concert at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco as the METALLICA singer, telling the audience that MOTÖRHEAD were "the godfathers of heavy metal", joined the band onstage for the 'Overkill' encore.

On June 8th the band performed 'I Disappear' at Sony Pictures Studios in in Culver City for the MTV movie awards. METALLICA spent mid 2000 on the road in America with their 'Summer Sanatorium' arena tour, kicking off on June 30th at the Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Along for the ride were KID ROCK, KORN and POWERMAN 5000. Tragically, on July 4th, a 21-year-old fan, Martin Muscheet of Connecticut, fell to his death at the Baltimore Psinet Stadium stop. Further tribulation came on the 7th when James Hetfield suffered a back injury, dislocating vertebrae. Ulrich, Hammet and Newsted informed the Atlanta, Georgia audience at the Georgia Dome of the setback then persevered with the show, bringing numerous guests, from SYSTEM OF A DOWN, KORN and the KID ROCK band, onstage for a memorable evening. Jason Newsted handled lead vocals for the bulk of the show. Six shows were postponed due to Hetfield's injury but the the re-scheduled tour resumed August 2nd at the Starplex Amphitheatre in Dallas, Texas now seeing CORROSION OF CONFORMITY as opening act.

James Hetfield got up onstage with one of his favourite acts the MISFITS in San Francisco on November 17th. The veteran Horror Punks performed 'Last Caress' and 'Die, Die My Darling' with the METALLICA frontman. Capping the month, METALLICA put a unique spin on their invitation to the VH1 Music Awards. Rather than use the indoor facilities they opted to play 'Fade To Black' outside on the parking lot to 200 fan club members. By the end of the year it was announced that METALLICA had grossed over $40 million in tour receipts.

Faithfully upholding tradition, the atmospheric live rendition of 'The Call of Ktulu' in fruitful collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra triumphantly claimed a much prized Grammy 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' at the 43rd Grammy Awards on February 23rd 2001.

The band's stability was rocked the very same month when Newsted announced his departure. The bassist's frustrated attempts to instigate musical projects outside of the confines of METALLICA had been well documented. Hetfield, Hammett and Ulrich resolved to record the band's next album as a trio although increased speculation put the spotlight firmly onto ex-OZZY OSBOURNE and ALICE IN CHAINS man Mike Inez as the potential new recruit. Another name dropped into the hat would be that of the original bass wildman Pete Way of UFO. (Inez though would join BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and Way resumed UFO activity). METALLICA ensconced themselves at the Presidio Studios, actually a rented barrack at the San Francisco army base, to craft a new album. Although new songs would be completed, the band opted to keep it vaulted.

The band, in typically unorthodox fashion, would also employ a novel method of auditioning bassists. Playing a website re-launch party in San Francisco on July 29th METALLICA would draw upon members of their official fan club to perform onstage with the band. The reaction of the audience would determine if the candidates got beyond the first song! The victor would be treated to a day out with the band and dinner. METALLICA got to grips with more personal internal affairs during the lay off upfront of a new album as their fan club announced that Hetfield was undergoing treatment for "alcoholism and other addictions."

Newsted, after a one off live gig with THE MOSS BROTHERS in San Francisco supporting SPINAL TAP, re-emerged with school friends vocalist / guitarist Dylan Donkin and drummer Brian Sagrafena as ECHOBRAIN, a band which had actually been a going concern for many years behind the scenes of METALLICA's unstoppable progress. Newsted also revealed plans to release material he had assembled over the years in alliance with such artists as Andreas Kisser of SEPULTURA, drummer Tom Hunting of EXODUS, DEVIN TOWNSEND and MACHINE HEAD's Robert Flynn.

ECHOBRAIN put in their debut live showing on August 19th 2001 as part of the 'Nadine's Wild Weekend' events in San Francisco. By September it had emerged that the ex bassist was working in the studio with a re-united VOIVOD acting as producer and bassist. Meanwhile, with METALLICA on hold minus a bass player the band received an offer from MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson to found an interim live act to be dubbed META-MEGA!

For the fourth year running METALLICA fan club members would be rewarded with another 'Fan Can' release. '...And All This For You' included a live CD culled from a Dallas, Texas gig in 1989, a live video originally broadcast on German TV and various other goodies locked away in the by now obligatory tin can.

During January 2002, As rumours spread of involvement between Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett with former VAN HALEN star DAVID LEE ROTH, it was also learned that the METALLICA pair had collaborated with Rapper JA RULE for a track 'We Did It Again', included as part of a compilation album 'Ghetto Stories'. James Hetfield would get in on the action outside of METALLICA too, adding guest vocals on GOVT. MULE's 'Drivin' Rain' contribution to the all star NASCAR compilation album 'Crank It Up'.

The high profile Progressive Rock act DREAM THEATER added a rather novel twist to their touring activities in 2002. When booked for a two night consecutive venue run the band would perform the entirety of METALLICA's 'Masters Of Puppets' album live. Needless to say, fans who had not been made aware of DREAM THEATER's intentions, would be somewhat mystified.

When, in April Dave Mustaine made his announcement that MEGADETH was to fold due to a severe nerve injury the ex-METALLICA man had suffered to his left arm, the media rumour mill sprang into action, placing Mustaine's long serving bassist Dave Ellefson as a prospect for the still vacant position in METALLICA. Whilst the Rock media concentrated on these developments other parties would be keeping an eye on Lars Ulrich's domestic position, the drummer putting his San Francisco abode on the market for $11 million and offloading some paintings, including much sought after Basquiat paintings auctioned off at Sotheby's in London for a record $5.5 million. Both Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett would unexpectedly take to the stage for famed 'Red Rocker' SAMMY HAGAR's last night of three gigs at the famous Bay Area Fillmore venue. The choice of material was a surprise too as Hagar and the METALLICA duo, alongside a guesting VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony, ripped through a set of MONTROSE songs.

Welcome studio activity found the band appearing amongst a genuine all star cast, according to initial reports donating their take of 'We're A Happy Family' to the 2002 Joey Ramone and ROB ZOMBIE assembled RAMONES tribute album of the same name. It would later be learned that these press leaks were premature and METALLICA had in fact recorded different RAMONES tracks. The band, appearing surreptitiously as SPUN, played a surprise set at Club Kimo's in San Francisco in early June. James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett were joined by their producer Bob Rock, who played bass for the show which included no less than four RAMONES covers 'Commando', 'Today Your Love Tomorrow The World', '53rd And 3rd' (Confirmed as their contribution to the 'We're A Happy Family' tribute) and 'Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue'. Also on hand was standard METALLICA fare, the rarely performed 'Hit The Lights' as well as a workout of a brand new song. Hetfield remained seated throughout the show, in recuperation for surgery on his neck.

James Hetfield's passion for Country & Western reared itself again when it was revealed the METALLICA frontman had laid down guitar tracks on a remix of Country singer CAROLYN DAWN JOHNSON's single 'So Complicated'. It later emerged that Hetfield had also completed an entirely solo rendition of WAYLON JENNINGS 'Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand' for a 2003 tribute album. The METALLICA frontman not only sang on this track but also performed guitar, bass and drums.

Still minus a permanent bassist METALLICA nonetheless threw a live party gig in San Francisco to celebrate the launch of their new look official website. Two contest winners would be given the opportunity of a lifetime as the band performed 'Creeping Death' with fan Andrew and 'Seek & Destroy' with another competition entrant Elena Repetto of the Thrash act IMAGIKA. METALLICA would then resume with Bob Rock taking over four string duties for the RAMONES 'Commando' and the remainder of the set. Work would still continue apace on the album, evidenced by one lucky fan who was prepared to pay a whopping £23'000 over to the TJ Martell Foundation charity for the privilege of a day in the studio with the band, winning an E Bay auction for the prize.

The release of a mammoth Metal Blade Records 20th anniversary box set brought good news for METALLICA fans. Included would be a rare version of 'Hit The Lights' featuring Lloyd Grant. Initially this track only appeared on the first vinyl pressings of the famed 'Metal Massacre' compilation, later CD re-issues supplanting it with a later take recorded with Dave Mustaine.

METALLICA, with seven tracks of their new album already fully recorded, would start auditioning bassists, by invitation only, during December. METALLICA revealed plans to perform on the summer 2003 European festival circuit by announcing appearances at Denmark's 'Roskilde' festival and the German events 'Rock Am Ring' in Nürburgring and 'Rock Im Park' in Nürnberg.

The former KYUSS and current UNIDA bassist SCOTT REEDER would be revealed as having partaken in auditions for the bass vacancy during early January. Other candidates put their paces would be former SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, PALE DEMONS and then current OZZY OSBOURNE bassist Robert Trujillo, Danny Lohner of NINE INCH NAILS, Eric Avery of JANE'S ADDICTION and erstwhile MARILYN MANSON man Twiggy Ramirez.

Outside of internal activities METALLICA would be riding a wave of unwelcome albeit forced press coverage when a cheeky Punk band from Edmonton brazenly entitled their band...METALLICA! Needless to say the Californian giants lawyers soon swung into action delighting the publicity seeking Canucks. The real METALLICA, including Bob Rock on bass, grabbed the headlines back by performing an impromptu set on a flatbed truck in the car park of the Network Coliseum in Oakland, California, the venue for a Raiders/Titans game. METALLICA, revealing their highly anticipated studio album title as 'St. Anger', announced a summer stadium tour of the US allied with LINKIN PARK and LIMP BIZKIT with support from DEFTONES and MUDVAYNE.

In late February METALLICA revealed that Robert Trujillo was to be their new bass player. In a curious turn of events erstwhile band member Jason Newsted then promptly joined the OZZY OSBOURNE band.

METALLICA's first showing with Trujillo would be as part of an MTV special on the band. This lavish spectacle, dubbed the 'MTVicon', included bands such as SUM 41 performing 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' and 'Enter Sandman', STAIND with a rendition of 'Nothing Else Matters',

Pop teen-diva AVRIL LAVIGNE covered 'Fuel', Rapper SNOOP DOGG took on 'Sad But True', KORN covered 'One' and LIMP BIZKIT ''Sanitarium'. The evening closed, following an introduction by actor Sean Penn, with a set by METALLICA themselves.

As part of the promotion for 'St. Anger' METALLICA announced a run of four back to back gigs for fan club members at the Fillmore Theater in San Francisco on May 18th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd. The group also revealed three consecutive shows in Paris on June 11th, performing at the 350 capacity La Boule Noire club, the 550 capacity Le Trabendo and finally the 1500 capacity Le Bataclan hall. Despite official denials that the band were to perform at the IRON MAIDEN headlined Download festival in Britain the band, after shooting a 'Top Of The Pops' TV appearance, did in fact put in an impromptu ten song set to unsuspecting fans.

Such was demand for 'St. Anger' that the official release date was pulled forward in an effort to stifle bootlegging attempts. Initial copies of the record came not only with a DVD documenting the making of the album but a free 14 track compilation of archive tracks. Fulfilling predictions, 'St. Anger' bowed in on the Billboard charts at no. 1 having shifted over 416'000 albums in the process. Initial European showings would not be so grand, the record debuting at no. 3 in the UK, although 'St. Anger' took a clean sweep of no.1's in Scandinavia. Unfortunately for METALLICA the initial burst of expectation would be tempered by an almost universal swathe of bad reviews, the band's experimental stripped down approach coming in for harsh criticism. Nevertheless, in just five weeks 'St. Anger' clocked up over one million sales in the US.

So high would feelings be running over the musical merits of 'St. Anger' that one band, SCUMGRIEF, even organised an 'Anti-Metallica' live event! Festival attendees could trade in copies of 'St. Anger' in exchange for a CD featuring unreleased and demo material from each of the bands on the bill. The collected copies of the METALLICA release were then to be publicly destroyed prior to SCUMGRIEF's set. An un-phased METALLICA got to grips with the their 'Summer Sanitarium' arena dates, pulling in many capacity audiences. South American shows in Brazil and Chile would be pegged for September.

The second single lifted from 'St. Anger' came in September. Quite uniquelly 'Frantic' came backed with a variety of differing coloured single covers and track selections for various territories guaranteeing collectability and chart placings. METALLICA would schedule the South American territories of Brazil, Argentina and Chile in October, following up with shows in Japan, Australia and Europe. However, dates in Japan and South America would be pulled as METALLICA's record label cited "bandmembers' exhaustion" as a cause.

2004 to 2007

METALLICA's January 2004 single, 'The Unnamed Feeling', featured a whole crop of classic tracks recorded in Paris the year before. The band, unveiling a lengthy second run of North American dates, won a prestigious Grammy Award in the "Best Metal Performance" category for 'St. Anger' at the 46th annual show held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Meantime, Rolling Stone magazine would place METALLICA as the fifth highest Rock n' Roll earner in North America for 2003, reckoning their 'Summer Sanitarium' tour had grossed close to $50 million. Behind the scenes, the band would benefit from a shake up of the Warner Bros. recording stable, shifting from long term imprint Elektra over to Warner Bros. for future product.

North American touring in the first half of 2004 had the band packaged with support band GODSMACK, these dates grossing a cool $22 million. As the world tour rolled into Europe and Scandinavia the band not only sustained but strengthened their appeal. Quite incredibly, METALLICA's concert at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland on 28th May was attended by 46,000 people, close to 1 percent of the country's 5.5-million population. This huge wave of support was translated to the national Finnish album charts where no less than six METALLICA albums occupied the top forty -'Metallica' at number 4, 'Master Of Puppets' number 7, '...And Justice For All' number 11, 'Ride The Lightning' number 14, 'Kill 'Em All' number 10 and 'St. Anger' at number 28.

METALLICA fared even better in Sweden where the band's gig in Gothenburg on 30th May propelled their back catalogue into the official national album listings again with 'Metallica' re-entering at number 9, 'Master Of Puppets' at no. 14, '...and Justice For All' at no. 20, 'Ride The Lightning' at no. 23, 'Kill 'em All' at no. 28, 'St. Anger' at no. 31, 'Load' at no. 47, 'Reload' at no. 48, 'S&M' at no. 54 and 'Garage Inc.' at no. 60.

The group's 4th June 'Rock In Rio' festival performance in Lisbon, Portugal would broadcast live to more than 45 countries via several television channels.

Lars Ulrich was hospitalized just upfront of the band's headlining slot at the mammoth 'Download' festival in England on 6th June. Apparently the drummer had been taken ill while travelling in a private plane between Lisbon in Portugal and the UK, the decision being made to divert to Germany where an ambulance took Ulrich to hospital. Quickfire replacements were sought in the backstage area of the show with Hetfield, Hammett and Trujillo jamming with MACHINE HEAD's Dave McClain, HATEBREED's Matt Byrne and LIFE OF AGONY's Sal Abruscato among others. However, for a truncated nine song METALLICA employed Dave Lombardo of SLAYER playing 'Battery' and 'The Four Horsemen', Joey Jordison of SLIPKNOT covering 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', 'Creeping Death' and 'Creeping Death' and drum tech Fleming Larsen taking on 'Fade to Black'. Jordison returned for 'Wherever I May Roam', 'Last Caress', 'Sad But True' 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'Enter Sandman'. Lars Ulrich would be back in his rightful place for the band's next scheduled gig in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Meantime further acknowledgement of the band's standing poured in as Kirk Hammett was honored with the 'Outstanding Guitarist' award at the California Music Awards held on 6th June and the following day METALLICA scooped the 'Best International Act' award at the second annual Metal Hammer awards in London.

A new single, 'Some Kind Of Monster', would be launched in July to capitalise on the release of the Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky directed documentary of the same name. This EP, limited editions coming with a free T shirt, hosted live renditions of 'The Four Horsemen', 'Damage, Inc.', 'Leper Messiah', 'Motorbreath', 'Ride The Lightning' and 'Hit The Lights', recorded in Paris on June 11, 2003. Selling just shy of 30,000 copies in its debut week, 'Some Kind Of Monster' hit no. 37 on the US Billboard charts.

One setback came in Croatia, a 27th June appearance at Gradski Stadion in Zagreb being cancelled due to "insurmountable technical difficulties". METALLICA's show at Prague's T-Mobile Park on 1st July proved unusual too, the group taking to the stage an hour early to allow fans to watch their national soccer team play against Greece in the Euro 2004 semifinal.

Another METALLICA tribute would be in the air too as Mexican acoustic duo Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, former members of Heavy Metal band members of TIERRA ACIDA, revealed plans for a METALLICA covers EP. Their 2004 album 'Live Manchester and Dublin', recorded in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral and the Manchester Academy, included a segue of 'One' interwoven with the Dave Brubek Jazz standard 'Take 5'. Also on the METALLICA covers front, acts such as MOTÖRHEAD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, DEATH ANGEL and DARK ANGEL all contributed to the latest tribute album 'Metallic Assault'.

METALLICA's North American 'Madly In Anger With The World' campaign re-commenced in St. Paul, Minnesota on 16th August. This show would also mark the launch of METALLICA's official biographry 'So What: The Good, The Mad, and The Ugly' through Broadway Books. Fans pre-purchasing the 1000 page tome and picking up a special wristband would be eligible for a meet and greet with the band on the day of the concert. Subsequent gigs saw a shift in song content as the track 'Some Kind Of Monster' was debuted at a Peoria, Illinois on the 24th. During this show the band also performed 'Trapped Under Ice', an exceptionally rare outing for this song. METALLICA closed out the first leg with a show in Lubbock, Texas, notable for a set list containing a first time ever live rendition of 'Sweet Amber'.

The second leg of the tour maintained the momentum of the first, illustrated by the fact that tickets for the Montreal Bell Centre concert on 4th October sold out of its 19,000 tickets in less than three hours. A further night was duly added to the itinerary. Canada also scored with the addition of a second Quebec City Colisée Pepsi concert, this show added as a fundraiser for CHOI 98.1 FM radio station, threatened by closure by the CRTC. The first Quebec show sold all 13,000 tickets in under three hours.

In October METALLICA provided more fodder for die hard US collectors with the issue of 'Vinyl Box' which comprised special editions of its first four studio albums, as well as the 'Garage Days Re-Revisited' EP and the European 'Creeping Death' picture disc. Restricted to just 5,000 hand numbered copies 'Vinyl Box' saw the albums 'Kill 'Em All', 'Ride The Lightning', 'Master Of Puppets' and '...And Justice For All' expanded to double-vinyl sets on 180-gramme audiophile vinyl with new gatefold jackets.

On 7th September James Hetfield performed a "metal version" of WAYLON JENNINGS Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand' during the 'CMT Outlaws' concert taping at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center. Meanwhile, back on the METALLICA tour the band maintained their interest in keeping the live set fluid by performing 'Wasting My Hate' breaking a seven year break for that song in Quebec and then performing 'The God That Failed' for the first time in ten years at the 17th October Washington, D.C. MCI Center gig. By the time the band had wrapped up the 'Madly in Anger with the World' tour it had grossed a reported $53.8 million in box office reciepts.

In December the METALLICA track 'Some Kind Of Monster' would be nominated in the 'Best Hard Rock Performance' category for the 47th annual Grammy Awards. May of 2005 saw an announcement that Kirk Hammett had contributed guest guitar to SANTANA's 'All That I Am' album. That same month the Recording Industry Association of America revealed METALLICA had sold over 57 million albums in the USA, with only LED ZEPPELIN, AC/DC and AEROSMITH ranking above them in terms of Hard Rock sales.

Having kept a relatively low profile since completing their world tour in late 2004 the band did enter the studios on 20th September. Not to record music though, but voice parts for their character inclusions in 'The Simpsons'. METALLICA returned to the live stage playing two shows opening up for the ROLLING STONES in their home city of San Francisco at the SBC Pacbell Park on 13th and 15th November.

METALLICA's first announced live work for 2006 broke new territory as the group headlined three festivals in South Africa during March, their first visit to the continent. The group put in shows in Centurion, Durban and Cape Town topping the 'Coca-Cola Colab Massive Mix' bill comprising SIMPLE PLAN, THE RASMUS, SEETHER, FATBOY SLIM, and COLLECTIVE SOUL. The group then revealed plans to break off from cutting a new album in order to hit the summer festival circuit, confirming headline gigs at Germany's Nurburgring 'Rock Am Ring' and Nurnberg 'Rock Im Park' festivals and 'Download' events at Castle Donington in the UK and Dublin in Ireland.

METALLICA played host to BLACK SABBATH's induction into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame'. The band presented the award and also put in BLACK SABBATH cover versions of 'Iron Man' and 'Hole In The Sky' on the night.

METALLICA themselves were to be honoured in turn with the album 'Remastered' being a complete remake of 'Master Of Puppets' in joint celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the classic album's release and the 25th anniversary of UK Rock magazine Kerrang! Participants featured exclusive recordings from BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE with 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)', TRIVIUM 'Master Of Puppets', FIGHTSTAR 'Leper Messiah', MACHINE HEAD 'Battery', FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND 'Damage, Inc.', CHIMAIRA 'Disposable Heroes', MASTODON 'Orion' and MENDEED 'The Thing That Should Not Be', with the sleeve notes for the album penned by none other than Lars Ulrich. 'Remastered' came free with Kerrang! issue 1102 in April.

On the band's opening June 3rd date of their 'Escape From The Studio' tour, at the 'Rock am Ring' festival in Nürburgring, Germany METALLICA performed the 'Master Of Puppets' album in its entirety. The group debuted a brand new track on June 6th at Waldbuhne in Berlin, where they also encored with a rendition of the RAMONES 'Commando', with members of support band AVENGED SEVENFOLD drafted in on vocals. METALLICA's June 13th concert at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in Estonia broke previous attendance records for the country by drawing in around 78,000 people. The previous record had been set by MICHAEL JACKSON in 1997.

On June 15th MOTÖRHEAD's frontman Lemmy Kilmister joined METALLICA on stage at the Novarock Festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria for a version of MOTÖRHEAD's 'Damage Case'. Later in the show JERRY CANTRELL sang 'Nothing Else Matters' alongside James Hetfield.

A quite unique concept emerged in August 2006 with the 'Rockabye Baby' album, comprising METALLICA songs transformed into lullabys by glockenspiel, vibraphone and mellotron.

METALLICA debuted another, untitled new track at their performance Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo, Japan on August 12th. On September 11th Lars Ulrich joined DEEP PURPLE frontman IAN GILLAN onstage for 'Smoke On The Water' at Slim's in San Francisco. James Hetfield jammed with ALICE IN CHAINS on the song 'Would?' at their November 26th Warfield, San Francisco date.

In mid December the compilation DVD 'The Videos 1989-2004' sold more than 28,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at number 3 on Billboard's Top Music Video chart. On December 15th Lars Ulrich joined GUNS N' ROSES on stage at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California for a rendition of 'Out Ta Get Me'.

From early February onwards the band started to roll out a series of European and Scandinavian tour dates, starting with a headline slot at the July 1st 'Werchter' festival in Belgium. Tickets for shows in Norway, July 10th at Valle Hovin Stadion in Oslo, and Sweden, July 12th at Stadion in Stockholm, sold out in less than an hour from going on sale. Tickets for METALLICA's Helsinki concert, at the Olympic Stadium on July 15th, reportedly sold out less than 30 minutes after they went on sale on February 28th. This prompted the return of no less than five classic METALLICA albums to the Finnish charts, with 'Master Of Puppets' at number 11, 'Metallica' at 12, 'Ride The Lightning' at 20, '...And Justice For All' at 22 and 'Kill 'Em All' at 35.

METALLICA announced a March 12th 2007 start to recordings. The band's debut US show of 2008 took place on Wednesday May 14th at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles before an audience of 2'300. This concert was arranged as a fund raiser for RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea's Silverlake Conservatory Of Music school. METALLICA were announced as headliners just days before the concert. Flea joined the band for a twin bass rendition of 'Fight Fire With Fire'.

As a new album title of 'Death Magnetic' was revealed on the band's dedicated website, METALLICA performed a "secret" show on Thursday June 12th at The Basement in Nashville, Tennessee in front of an estimated 175 people. The band played Tennessee's Bonnaroo festival on Friday June 13th. A select band of UK and US journalists were given sneak previews of tracks but reviews were pulled from the internet at management intervention.

OZZY OSBOURNE and METALLICA headlined a one day 'Ozzfest' show on August 9th at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas. Also appearing on the main stage would be SERJ TANKIAN, KORN singer Jonathan Davis, HELLYEAH, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SHADOWS FALL, APOCALYPTICA, IN THIS MOMENT and an "all-star" tribute to the late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Second Stage acts comprised SEVENDUST, DEVILDRIVER, KINGDOM OF SORROW, SOILENT GREEN, WITCHCRAFT and GOATWHORE whilst a third 'Texas' stage played host THE SWORD, DROWNING POOL, RIGOR MORTIS, WITHIN CHAOS and THE DESTRO.

METALLICA delivered its new single, a seven minute 56 second epic called 'The Day That Never Comes', on Thursday 21st August to US radio stations nationwide. Several copies of 'Death Magnetic' were sold early at a Paris record store on Tuesday 2nd September, which led to the entire album being leaked online within hours.

'Death Magnetic' arrived in stores worldwide officially on 12th September in a variety of digital and physical configurations, ranging from a straight download, standard CD, 'Mission Metallica' box sets in both deluxe and standard formats to a deluxe coffin box edition. Exclusive Best Buy store versions of 'Death Magnetic' added 11 exclusive bonus tracks for the Xbox 360 game Guitar Hero III.Yet another official incentive came from Newbury Comics, who offered a limited edition pint glass, with only 1500 being made, for album orders through their website.

The group played two shows in Europe to celebrate the album's release, both of them with low ticket prices. METALLICA performed in Berlin, Germany on 12th September to inaugurate the new O2 Arena. Their set list included no less than five new 'Death Magnetic' songs. Next the quartet headed to London for a 15th September show at the O2 Arena. Both shows were open to fan club members only with proceeds from both gigs going to local charities, the Berlin concert funding the acquisition of a heart-lung machine.

The no. 1 arrival on the US Billboard charts made METALLICA the only band to have five albums debut in the top spot, breaking a tie at four albums held by THE BEATLES, U2 and the DAVE MATTHEWS BAND. 'Death Magnetic' also debuted at no. 1 in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the U.K., Holland, Norway, Poland and Sweden and once all global charts had been counted ended up with no less than 31 top positions. 'Death Magnetic' was also METALLICA's fifth consecutive studio effort to enter at no. 1 in the USA, following 1991's self-titled album," 1996's 'Load', '97's 'Reload' and 2003's 'St. Anger'. The album sold over 490,000 copies in its first week of release, reaching platinum million selling status in just six weeks. Upon release 'Death Magnetic' also achieved instant triple platinum sales status in Finland on the very first day of issue.

METALLICA played an unannounced rehearsal show to 1,200 family, friends, contest winners and members of the band's official fan club on Friday 17th October at the Cow Palace, San Francisco. The band then kicked off an indoor North American tour on 21st October in Glendale, Arizona, with shows booked through the end of January. Support came from DOWN.

2009

European tour dates were aligned with guest acts With MACHINE HEAD and THE SWORD for two concerts on 7th and 8th March 2009 at Stockholm's Globen in Sweden and with LAMB OF GOD and MASTODON for June and July concerts at the Helsinki Hartwell Arena in Finland, the Oslo Spektrum in Norway, Madrid Palacio de Deportes in Spain and the Copenhagen Forum in Denmark. However, the second Stockholm concert was cancelled due to James Hetfield falling ill and being hospitalised. With fans already in attendance, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo addressed the crowd to inform them of the news.

METALLICA performed a "secret" gig to 2100 fans on Friday 20th March at Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas as part of the "Guitar Hero: Metallica" showcase during the Texas capital's annual South By Southwest music and media festival. With the SXSW festival known for showcasing young talent, METALLICA adopted this role in tongue in cheek fashion as James Hetfield told his audience "We're a young band from Norway and we want to get signed".

METALLICA notably played the 'Death Magnetic' track 'My Apocalypse' for the first time on Wednesday 25th March at the LG NEC Arena in Birmingham, England. METALLICA also included a cover of the BLACK SABBATH classic 'Hole In The Sky' in its encore, and dedicated the track to Tony Iommi, who was in attendance watching the show. Brian Tatler from DIAMOND HEAD was also in the house, and Prince' was dedicated to him. 

METALLICA were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a 4th April ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall. A day before the single 'Broken, Beat & Scarred' was released on CD and digipack. Flying in from Paris, METALLICA performed as a quintet 'Master Of Puppets' and 'Enter Sandman' at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with the band's former bassist Jason Newsted and his replacement, Robert Trujillo, both taking part in the performance. 


On May 27, 2009, it was announced on Metallica's website that a new live DVD will be filmed at the Mexico City, Mexico and Nimes, France shows. The Nimes concert will be released on October 19, 2009.

In a June 2009 interview with Italy's Rock TV, Ulrich stated that Metallica plans to continue touring through August 2010. He also stated that there are currently no plans for a tenth album, but is sure that they are going to do one with Rick Rubin again.

According to Blabbermouth.net, the band may start thinking about recording their next album in the second half of 2011.


According to Billboard magazine's year-end issue of 2009, Metallica's "World Magnetic Tour" ranks at #11 on the Top 25 Tours of 2009 chart, earning a total gross of $76,613,910. In that same issue, they have earned a total gross of $227,568,718 and rank at #20 on the Top 25 Decade-End Tours chart, from 2000 to 2009.

Metallica’s Greatest Hits:

“Whiplash” from the Kill ‘em All album
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” from the Ride the Lightning album
“Master of Puppets” from the Master of Puppets album
“Battery” from the Master of Puppets album
“… And Justice for All” from the …And Justice for All album
“One” from the …And Justice for All album
“Enter Sandman” from the Black Album
“Don’t Tread on Me” from the Black Album
“The Unforgiven” from the Black Album
“Nothing Else Matters” from The Black Album
“Wherever I May Roam” from the Black Album
“Sad But True” from the Black Album
“Until it Sleeps” from the Load album
“Hero of the Day” from the Load album
“The Memory Remain” from the ReLoad album
“Fuel” from the ReLoad album
“Turn the Page” from the Garage Inc. album
“Whiskey in the Jar” from the Garage Inc. album
“I Disappear” from the Mission Impossible II Soundtrack
“St. Anger” from the St. Anger album
“The Day That Never Comes” from the Death Magnetic album.
“My Apocalypse” from the Death Magnetic album










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