Metallica banned from playing "Master of Puppets" in China, sneaks the riff in anyway
Metallica usually plays by its own rules. That's how the legendary headbangers got to be legendary, pretty much.
But when the group played its first-ever shows in China last month, it had no choice but to kowtow to government censors.
Lyrically, at least.
Before it was permitted to play in the country, it had to submit all the lyrics to every song on its set list to the government for approval. And as guitarist Kirk Hammett explained on yesterday's Howard Stern Show, the powers that be in the land of the unfree didn't much cotton to the message in "Master of Puppets".
Master of puppets
I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
"They see a lyric like 'Master Of Puppets' being so subversive that they're not allowing us to play it," said Hammett. "It's kind of scary."
But that didn't stop the freedom-loving guitar hero from fighting the power with the six strings at his disposal.
"What I did is, I had an open guitar-solo thing where I just sit there and riff," he said. "I played the riff for 'Master Of Puppets' and a couple of other songs that weren't allowed to be played. I played just the music, so I kind of snuck it in there."
We here at Ear of Newt commend Hammett for risking potential deportation in order to give long-suffering Chinese metalheads a whiff of that revolutionary riff.
And in other Metallica news, don't forget to see their new IMAX 3-D movie, Through the Never, which opens this Friday (September 27). It features a lot of footage from the band's wicked show in Vancouver last year.
And the Canadian government didn't get the chance to go all Conservative on the set list, either.