Whenever I want to remind myself of how old I am, I'll go rifling through my old copies of the Georgia Straight from the '80s, which I keep in boxes in my basement. One such issue, from March of 1985, includes my first interview with Metallica.
At the time the band had just released its second album, Ride the Lightning, and was heading to town for a show at the New York Theatre on Commercial. I got drummer Lars Ulrich on the phone, because he's the guy who likes to talk the most in the band, I guess. I've interviewed him three other times since then. He's got the gift of the gab.
Anyway, you might have heard that Metallica is coming back to Vancouver this Monday (August 14), but they're not playing a theatre this time. They're playing a football stadium. Or soccer, if you're into that. They're at BC Place, which is where only the biggest acts in the world play, whether it's Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Paul McCartney, or--as is happening next month--Guns N' Roses.
Whether you're a Metallica fan or not, you've gotta give the group credit for working its ass off since day one and getting to the top of the heap--and then staying there for so long. When I interviewed Ulrich 32 years ago, he laid out what the band was all about.
"What we’re doing, we’re doing for ourselves," he told me. "It’s an old cliche when people say ‘Give the people what they want’. To us that’s bullshit. Cause we’re not doing this for anybody else."
Hell yeah! Let's hear it for the most selfish--and hardest-rocking--bastards in heavy metal!