Rewind: Metallica’s Memories Remain

Posted: 31st August 2010 by admin in Rewind
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Not to be confused with 'Frampton Comes Alive!'

Until I heard Metallica, I thought thrashing was something sharks did (how fitting that I also discovered Accept around this time). Meaner, faster and uglier than everything that came before, Metallica took the hierarchy of heaviness to impossible new extremes. I mean, the band debuted with an album/mission statement called “Kill ‘Em All!” Any questions?    

Obviously, it’s been a pleasure to interview the Metallicats over the years. It also was a thrill to see the band live during a three-night stand at the Cameo Theater in San Antonio on the “Ride the Lightning” tour (Armored Saint opened). Following are excerpts from a 1997 conversation I had with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who like myself and a lot of other guys, credits KISS for his lifelong love of metal.     

On the album that changed his life:
“‘KISS Alive!’ was a really cool album. I couldn’t believe guys could look like that and be that loud and crazy and energetic. I thought everyone was as theatrical as KISS and then I saw Peter Frampton on TV and said, ‘Nope! I was wrong!'”      

On the tragic 1986 death of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton who was killed in a tour bus accident:
“We had a really hard time coping with out grief and it put a dark cloud over us for a year. We had to pick up the pieces, put it back together and move on. To this day, I speculate endlessly about what things would be like if Cliff was still around.”     

On leaving Exodus to replace Dave Mustaine in Metallica:
“Metallica just took the musicianship and songwriting to a higher lever (than Exodus). It just felt complete from Day One. Also (Metallica) were getting ready to sign to a record label, and everyone wants to sign to a label — especially when you’re 20 years old.”     

On the band’s blasphemous haircuts and image makeover, circa the “Load/Reload” era
“People don’t like that we cut our hair and don’t play at 800 miles an hour, but you can’t please everyone all the time. As you progress as a person, you progress in the way you express yourself musically. You instantly limit your possibilities if you try to appeal to a certain segment of people. It’s all about growth.”     

       

  1. john towery says:

    DIG 2FAST2DIE. THE SHOW AT THE CAMEO FUCKING ROCKED. WAS THERE THE FIRST NIGHT AND WAS ABOUT THE 3RD PERSON IN LINE. ENDED UP AT THE STAGE IN FRONT OF HAMMETT. HALF WAY THROUGH THERE SET KIRK POPS OPEN A MOLSEN GOLDEN BEER TAKES A DRINK AND HANDS IT DOWN TO ME. WILL NEVER FORGET THAT NIGHT WHIPLASH FOR DAYS.

  2. john towery says:

    yes i do and the ticket stub