METALLICA's ULRICH Recalls The Group's First-Ever Outdoor Performances

Rolling Stone magazine recently asked METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich which band was the most fun to party with on the road. "GUNS N' ROSES," the drummer replied. "Everything you've heard is true. Use your imagination. That summer we toured with them, '92, it was the most fun in terms of the girls and the drugs and the debauchery. At the same time, four months was plenty. We sort of walked out of there going, 'I'm really glad I got to experience that. Now I'll crawl back into my safer cubicle with METALLICA.' "

Asked about METALLICA's first-ever outdoor shows, Ulrich said, "Well, when 'Kill 'Em All' came out in '83, we did a tour with RAVEN, a band from England. It was basically us and them, a motor home and a truck with the equipment and some mattresses. We'd take turns sleeping in the motor home and the equipment truck. When we hit Arkansas, our manager had hooked up with some bogus guy who set up six outdoor shows in these fields, in towns you'd never heard of. We were down there a good week. It was a field, a stage, us, RAVEN and about 20 kids. We'd never experienced that summer thing with bugs, 120-degree weather, a camper with no AC. That was a good time. Our first full-on summer tour was Monsters of Rock, with VAN HALEN and THE SCORPIONS [and] … it was fucking great. It was '88, right before '…And Justice For All' came out. We were at the bottom, sandwiched between KINGDOM COME and DOKKEN. Basically, at that time, we used to start drinking when we woke up. We'd get the gig over by three o'clock, and then we'd have eight or nine hours to drink. It was awesome. That was our first exposure to big crowds, like, 50,000 people every day . . . We were just drunk basically all the time. Girls knew we were part of the tour and wanted to fuck us, but at the same time, we could blend in with the crowd. There's a point where you end up sitting in your dressing room because there's 14 layers of security. Back then it was like, 'Who gives a shit? Let's have another rum and Coke and go back in the audience and see what's happening.' There are pictures of us at the top of Tampa stadium with our pants off flashing everybody. It's four o' clock in the afternoon and we're already drunk off our asses. The not-giving-a-fuck meter was peaking."


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