MetallicA History


February 10, 1962: Cliff Burton, the bassist on Metallica's first three albums, is born.
November 18,1962: Kirk Hammett is brought into the world in San Francisco, California.
March 4, 1963: Jason Newsted, Cliff's replacement in Metallica, is born in Battle Creek, Michigan.
August 3, 1963: James Alan Hetfield is born in Los Angeles.
December 26,1963: Lars Ulrich is born in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he remains until the late '70s, when his parent decides to relocate to Newport Beach, in the vicinity of Los Angeles.
1973: Lars, only nine years old at the time, attends his first hard rock concert, a Deep Purple gig in his hometown of Copenhagen, and is so Impressed by what he sees that he becomes a fanatical collector of all the albums from bands like Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. He later discovers the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, led by groups such as Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage and Diamond Head, which to this day remains influence on Metallica's musical direction.
Late 1976: Lars get his first drum-kit as a present from his grandparents.
1980: The 17-year-old Ulrich flies to Britain to see his favorite band at the time, Diamond Head, perform live in concert. He meets vocalist Sean Harris and hangs around with the group for a month. He also visits his relatives in Copenhagen, where he gets to know the band Mercyful Fate, another early purveyor of the NWOBHM sound. He returns to Los Angeles determined to form his own European-sounding metal band.
EARLY 1981: Lars places an ad in a South California paper called The Recycler looking for musicians to play with. James, who has a classified ad of his own on the same page, gets together with Lars for a jam session, after which the two become firm friends. Lars plays all of his NWOBHM records to James, who starts really getting into the British metal sound, and the duo decide to form a band together. Desperate for a suitable band name, the pair dismiss all the cliche options like Grinder, Blitzer and Red Vette, and settle on Metallica, which Lars steals from a fanzine editor friend.
Late 1981: Metallica makes an appearance on Metal Massacre I, a compilation LP of metal bands doing the rounds in the Los Angeles area, with 4-track recording of the track "Hit the Lights" (the song was later re-recorded for inclusion on the band's first album, Kill 'Em All).Featuring Lars on drums, James on rhythm guitar, bass and vocals, and a mend, guitarist Lloyd Grant, on lead axe, the recording is, to say the least, amateurish, but it still stands out as one of the most innovative original pieces of work from an American metal band at this time.
January 1982: Metallica acquires DaveMustaine, a fast-talking guitarist friend of James, who is replying to an ad In a music paper. Around the same time, the band enlist the help of Hetfield's roommate, Ron McGovney, to play bass.
March 1982: Metallica support Saxon at Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, where they go down a storm, even though their set consists largely of cover versions from Diamond Head, Savage and Sweet Savage. In the coming months and years, a bootleg recording of this gig becomes one of the most sought-after tapes on the tape-trading circuit.
April 1982: Metallica (Hetfield, Ulnch, Mustaine, and McGovney) record a four-song demo on their faithful four-track recorder. Featuring a re-recorded version of "Hit the Lights," as well as the classics "The Mechanix" (later reworked and retitled "The Four Horsemen"), "Jump In the Fire" and "Motorbreath," the demo spreads through the underground metal scene like wildfire and sows the seeds for the coming revolution set by the group's next demo.
May 28th, 1982: Metallica makes one of only a few live appearances as a five-piece, when they perform at The Concert Factory in Los Angeles as the opening act on a bill that also features Leatherwolf, August Redmoon and Roxy Rollers. Consisting of Uirich, Mustaine, McGovney, Hetfield on lead vocals, and Jeff Warner (later in Black, 'n' Blue) on rhythm guitar, the band eventually falls apart when Dave refuses to allow Jeff to play lead, causing a split with Warner and a return to their more familiar four-man format.
July 1982: Metallica records No Life 'Till Leather, possibly the most legendary demo recording ever made. Containing freshly re-recorded versions of the four cuts on their April 1982 tape, as well as "Metal Militia," "Seek And Destroy" and "Phantom Lord," the cassette gets circulated and distributed worldwide by the growing metal underground, who hail the group as one of the most Innovative and unique new talents on the scene.
August 1982: San Francisco's Trauma, featuring bassist Cliff Burton, play the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. In attendance are James and Lars, who become s~ impressed with the four-stringer that they immediately set on a hot pursuit to get him to join Metallica, an offer that he initially refuses. It isn't until the end of the year that Cliff finally agrees to become a member of the band, but only under the condition that the group relocate to San Francisco.
September 18th, 1982: Metallica performs at the Keystone in San Francisco as part of a bill designed to promote the bands featured or. the Metal Massacre I compilation. Playing along-side Bitch and Hans Naughty, Metallica blazes through the seven cuts on the No Life 'Till Leather tape as well as two Diamond Head covers, leaving the 200-or-so people In atten-dance completely dazed by their high-energy delivery. Impressed by the maniacal reaction of the kids at the show, Metallica follow up the gig with numerous other performances n the San Francisco Bay Area, where they establish a strong following.
October 1982: Metallica supports Laaz Rockit in San Francisco.
November 11th, 1982: The quartet play as support to Y&T at the Woodstock in Los Angeles.
November 29th, 1982: Metallica play their first headlining gig in the Bay Area. Opening the show were locals Exodus, who at the time fea-tured 20-year-old Kirk Hammett.
November 30th, 1982: Metallica perform their final concert with Ron McGovney, at San Fran-cisco's Mabuhay Gardens.
December 1982: James, Lars and Dave begin moving their belongings and gear to San Fran-cisco, eventually settling down at 3132 Carlson Boulevard, the home of soundman Mark Whitaker.
January 1983: The group receives a phone call from Johnny "Z" Zazula, a New Jersey record store owner/concert promoter, who invites the band to come over to the East Coast and do some gigs.
February 15th, 1983: Metallica complete their move to San Francisco, Lars and James share a room at Mark's place, while Dave ends up at Mark's grandmother's.
Late February, 1983: The band, now officially featuring Cliff Burton on bass, record their fourth demo, a two-tracker containing the cuts "No Remorse" and "Whiplash."
March 5th, 1983: The group play their first gig with Cliff Burton in the ranks, at the Stone in San Francisco.
Late March, 1983: Metallica, accompanied by Mark Whitaker as road manager/soundman, make the three-thousand-plus-mile journey to the East Coast. During the trip, many argu ments occur between Dave and the rest of the band, with Mustaine' alcohol intake often at the root of the problem.
April 1983: While in New York, Lars and James make the decision to boot Mustaine from the band. Following a series of gigs with Vandenberg and The Rods on the East Coast, Dave is deposited on a Greyhound bus and sent home to San Francisco, while a replacement guitarist, Kirk Hammett of Exodus, is flown in to fill the vacant slot.
May 10-27, 1983: The band enter Barrett Alley Studios in Rochester, New York, to record their legendary debut album, Kill 'Em All.
July 1983: KIll 'Em All is released through Megaforce Records in the USA, and Music For Nations and Roadrunner in Europe.
July 27-September 3, 1983: Metallica embark on their first-ever tour, a double package featuring labelmates Raven, which kicks off in New Brunswick and ends in San Francisco with a sold-out gig at The Stone.
December 1983: The band travels to New Jersey, where they spend several weeks wQrking on material for their second album ("Fade To Black," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Trapped Under Ice" are put together there). On weekends, Metallica plays a series of headlining gigs with Anthrax supporting in such cities as Chicago, Milwaukee and New York. However, after the last show, most of the group's equipment gets stolen.
Early February 1984: Metallica flies over to Europe to support Venom on their Seven Dates Of Hell tour. The highlight of the trek takes place on February 11, when the group perform at the Aardschok festival in Zwolle, Holland, In front of 5,000 fans.
Late February 1984: The quartet drive to Copenhagen, where they stay at Mercyful Fate's rehearsal rooms, completing work on tracks for the second album. Eventually, the band join producer Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studios in the same building to begin recording the LP.
March 1984: Halfway through the recording of the album, Metallica head to England, where Music For Nations has organized a tour as support to The Rods (Exciter are also scheduled to play). However, as soon as the band arrive in the UK, they learn that the tour has been cancelled, with poor advance ticket sales being sighted asthe reason for the cancellation. Unable to re-enter Sweet Silence to complete work on the LP (another act had already booked the time), Metallica decide to hang around in England, where metalheads are anxious to see them perform. Two gigs are arranged at the Marquee club in London, on March 14 and 27, both of which completely sell out.
June 1984: MetallIca complete work on Ride The Lightning, and embark on a brief four-gig Dutch/German tour with Twisted Sister.
August 1984: Metallica play a showcase gig in New York, on a bill that also features Anthrax (the openers) and Raven (the headliners). Attending the show are Cliff Burnstein, co-founder of 0-Prime Management (Def Leppard), and Michael Alago, A&R director, of Elektra Records, both of whom walk away suitably impressed with the band's performance. Before long, Metallica become 0-Prime Management clients as well as Elekira recording artists. Initially issued through the Megaforce label, Ride The Ughtning is eventually re-released through Elekira.
November 18-December 20, 1984: Metallica launch their first major European tour, with Tank supporting, in Paris, France, and end it with a prestigious gig at the Lyceum in London. An average of 1,300 fans turn up for each show.
Early 1985: The Initial three and a half months of the year are spent touring the States, first as co-headliners with W.A.S.P. (Armored Saint supported), and then as headliners.
May-July, 1985: Metallica get some well-deserved rest before starting work on material for their third album.
August, 1985: On August 17, Metallica are sandwiched between Raft and Bon Jovi at the Catle Donnington festival in England, where they perform for 70,000 enthusiastic fans. A week later, the band are back in Oakland, California, playing in front of 90,000 bangers at the Day On The Green festival. The next day, Lars heads for Copenhagen to begin work on the drum tones for the group's next LP. Several days later, he's joined by the rest of the band.
September 14, 1985: Interspersing the recording process with gigs in Europe, Metallica perform at the Metal Hammer festival in Germany, where they Introduce a new track, "Disposable Heroes."
December 27, 1985: Metallica complete work on Master of Puppets and head back to California.
New Year's Eve, 1986: The quartet play the Civic Center in San Francisco, alongside Megadeth (the first and only time the two bands have shared the stage), Metal Church and Exodus.
January, 1986: Master of Puppets is mixed in Los Angeles under the guidance of Michael Wagener, followed by a press tour of Europe, which Lars (naturally) takes care of. While Ulrich is talking about the record across the Atlantic, James and Cliff cruise around the 'Frisco club circuit with a band called Spastic Children, which features Hetfield sitting behind the drum kit. Also in the group are vocalist Fred Cotton, and a guitarist by the name of Jack McDaniel.
February, 1986: James and Lars head to the Bahamas for a brief holiday prior to the release of Master of Puppets.
March, 1986: Master of Puppets finally gets released, followed by a US arena trek as support to Ozzy Osbourne, beginning on March 27.
June 26, 1986: Shortly before a gig in Evansville, James breaks a wrist-trying to skateboard down a hill. The gig is cancelled, and the other dates on the tour are done with James purely on vocals, with his wrist in plaster, and Kirk's guitar roadie, John Marshall (now with Metal Church), on guitar.
September 10, 1986: Metallica headline London's legendary Hammersmith Odeon, with Anthrax supporting.
September 27, 1986: On the way to Copenhagen, Metallica's tour bus overturns, throwing Cliff Burton through the windscreen and killing him instantly.
October, 1986: The rest of the band returns to America to consider their future. Within a couple of weeks, the group start auditioning new bassists. Among the favorites to fill the vacant slot are Armored Saint four-stringer Joey Vera and Laaz Rockit and Willy Lange, but in the end, it is Phoenix resident Jason Newsted, from hot up 'n' coming act Flotsam & Jetsam, that is chosen for the coveted position.
November 8, 1986: Metallica perform their first live show with Jason at the Country Club in Los Angeles. November 9-14, 1986: The quartet travel to Japan to play five sold-out gigs.
November 15 1986: Metallica begin a tour of Canada and the East Coast of America with Metal Church supporting.
January-February, 1987: The Metallica/Metal Church tour travels to Europe, where they play East Europe for the first time. The last gig of the tour takes place on February 13 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
May 1987: James breaks an arm while skate-boarding. This time, the injury is more serious, and the healing process is very slow. For a short while, Metallica's scheduled appearance at the Europe's annual Monsters of Rock festival in August becomes questionable.
August, 1987: The four-piece warm up for their Monsters of Rock appearances by performing at London's legendary 100 Club in front of only a few hundred people. At three M.O.R. gigs in Donnington, Nurnberg and Pfordsheim, Metallica play in front of over 200,000 people to great success. To coincide with the shows, the band issue a six-track EP (The 5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-revisited) containing cover versions of "Crash Course In Brain Surgery" (Budgie), "Helpless' (Diamond Head), "Last Caress"/Green Hell" (Misfits), "The Small Hours" (Holocaust) and "The Wait" (Killing Joke).
December 4, 1987: Metallica issue Cliff 'Em All, a video collection of bootleg and unprofessional recordings shot during 1982-1986, while Cliff was still in the band. Within only two months of its release, the video is certified both gold and platinum. By the end of 1988, it becomes the year's top-selling music home video.
January 19, 1988: Metallica officially begin recording their fourth full-length effort, to be titled ...And Justice For All.
May,1988: The band complete the recording process and start to mix while preparing for their scheduled two-month trek as part of the US Monsters of Rock package (also featuring Kingdom Come, Dokken, Scorpions and headliners Van Halen). May 27th is the date of the tour opener in East Troy, Wisconsin.
July, 1988: Master of Puppets is officially certified platinum, commemorating sales of over 1,000,000 units in the US. September 5, 1988: . . . And Justice For All is released.
September 11, 1988: Metallica begin their first headlining tour of Europe in support of the new album with a sold-out show in Budapest, Hungary.
November 15,1988: he US tour to promote ...And Justice For All starts in Toledo, Ohio, with Queensryche supporting.
December 6, 1988: The band film their first-ever video, for the track "One," in Los Angeles, a day before the first of their two-night appearance at the Long Beach Arena.
February 5,1989: Metallica's gig at the Reunion Arena in Dallas is broadcast nationally via the Z-Rock radio network.
February 22, 1989: Metallica perform "One" live on national TV as part of the Grammy Awards, where the band are nominated in the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Group category. Much to everyone's dismay, Jethro Tull walk off with the award.
AprIl 21, 1989: Metallica's last gig with openers Queensryche. The Cult take over the slot.
October 8, 1989: Metallica's Damaged Justice world tour comes to an end in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
January, 1990: The quartet interrupt their self-imposed hiatus from the music world by recording a cover of Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" for inclusion on a compilation LP celebrating Elektra Records' 40-Year Anniversary.
May, 1990: Metallica decide to come out of "hiding' and play several European festivals alongside Warrior Soul and Dio. A couple of impromptu appearances at London's Hippodrome and a secret gig at The Marquee (where they performed as Vertigo) also take place.
June, 1990: Fresh from their European stint, Metallica play a couple of stadium gigs with Aerosmith and Warrant in upstate New York and Canada.
July-September, 1990: The band are intensively working on material for their forthcoming fifth effort, an album that is set to feature a more straight-forward musical direction than the group's previous records.
Early October, 1990: With 12 songs ready to be recorded, Metallica enter One On One Studios in Los Angeles (where... And Justice For All was laid down) with producer Bob Rock to begin work on the Metallica opus.
October, 1990 - July, 1991: Perfectionists that they are, Metallica and Bob Rock take plenty of time to insure that the album turns out exactly as they want it. The LP is remixed three times, with Lars, James and Bob completing the final mixing process in early July, just in time to get the album mastered and ready for the August 12 release date.
August 12, 1991: Metallica finally sees the light of day. Within a week of its release, it shifts over 600,000 units in the US alone, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Pop Album chart, where it remains for a full month.
August 17,1991: Metallica perform at the UK's Castle Donnington festival (alongside Motley Crue, AC/DC and Queensryche), signalling the start of the band's world tour in support of the new album. 1991-1993: Following the August 12,1991, release of Metallica, the band hits the road, playing more than 300 shows in 37 countries.
February 1991: Metallica win a Grammy award for "Best Heavy Metal Performance" for their rendition of Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy"from Elektra's Rubaiyat compilation.
February 10, 1992: Late bassist Clifford Lee Burton's birthday. He would have been 30 years old.
Summer 1992: Metallica hit the stadiums with Guns N' Roses. It certainly wasn't always the cool, hang-out vibe Ulrich had hoped for between the two bands, but the fans got their money's worth.
Summer 1994: Shit in the Sheds tour! Three months of Metalli-fun in the sun for the band and fans.
October 1994: Ulrich and Hetfield return to the rehearsal studio to begin bashing out rough tunes for what will become, nearly two years later, Load.
February 15, 1995: The last day on the air for Los Angeles' pure rock radio station, KNAC-FM. Metallica show up to bid the station and fans farewell on the air.
February 1995: Metallica enter The Plant in Sausalito, California, with producer Bob Rock and engineer Randy Staub to begin recording their sixth record. It's the first time they've recorded near home and enjoy the relaxed vibe.They end up with enough material for two albums and debate about putting out a double album. They decide, rather, to shelve about half of the songs, to be completed and released a year or so after Load's release, as a sort of Load, Part 2.
December 14, 1995: Metallica take a break from recording at The Plant and to L.A. to honor' Motorhead head Lemmy at his birthday bash at the Whisky. They play as "The Lemmys," and perform a set of Motorhead covers dressed as Lemmy himself.
March, 1996: Since its 1991 release, Metallica, or the "black album," has racked up astounding sales, and has sold approximately 15 million copies worldwide—and is still selling. "It freaks me out," confesses Kirk Hammett. "It's still in the Billboard top 200. The last time I looked it was like #105, and it's been on the charts for four years. It's crazy! It's [Pink Floyd's long-lived] The Dark Side of the Moon for us!"
June 4, 1996: After a year in the studio with producer Bob Rock, Load is released. It features the songs "Ain't My Bitch," "2 by 4," "The House That Jack Built," "Until it Sleeps," "king Nothing," "Hero of the Day," "Cure," "Poor Twisted Me," "Wasting My Hate," "Mama Said," "Thorn Within," "Bleeding Me," "Ronnie" and "The Outlaw Torn." Load is released a day earlier, June 3, in other parts of the world.
June, 1996: Metallica begins the Lollapalooza tour with Soundgarden the Ramones, Rancid and others.
September 12, 1996: Another European tour begins. This time the tour starts in Ostenhalle, Germany.
September 23, 1996: Recorded the live video of Hero Of The Day in Barcelona, Spain. They weren't using a recording, and 5 seconds before each of the 3 times they played the song, a metronom was introducing the band to the required rythym, and the beeps of it sounded throughout the whole audio system at the stadium. Also, Kirk got 3 or 4 notes wrong on the intro during the first attempt. Moreover, Lars asked the crowd to be more energetic in each one of the new versions they played. So, by the third try, it sounded louder than hell!
November 13, 1996: Metallica recorded 3 live songs for the TV program "Later With Jools Holland," on the British channel BBC2. Wasting My Hate, Mama Said (James only acoustic) and King Nothing were performed completely live, with no playback.. It was broadcast on November 16th.
November 14, 1996: Metallica was intoduced to perform King Nothing live on stage at the MTV Europe Video Awards show. The lights went down and the band launched into the song Last Caress followed by So What? A few classic minutes of television to savour. The band was nominated earlier that evening, in the "Best Rock Video" catagory, but the award went to the Smashing Pumpkins. James later said in an interview: We needed to wake people up at the show! We felt it was a little boring, and we had been daring each other to do that for years.
November 18, 1996: The single Mama Said is released world wide.
November 18 and 19, 1996: Apocalyptica, the band who released an album containing Metallica covers performed with cellos, opened for Metallica in Helsinki, Finland.
January 17, 1997: King Nothing premiered on MTV on 1/17/97. It was shot in Salt Lake City, Utah about a month earlier.
January 26, 1997: Lars got married to his long time girlfriend Skylar. Apparantly Lars said that thing about them breaking it off was so that they would not get mobbed by fans at the church they got married in.
January 27, 1997: MetallicA played "King Nothing" on the American Music Awards and won the price for best metal/hard rock album. When they went up to accept their award, Lars said, "I would like to thank this man, James Hetfield, for putting on his best suit and being my best man at my wedding last night."
February 22, 1997: Ted Nugent was guest star at the gig at Palace Of Auburn Hills. They weren't too happy with him for what he did. Ted basically forced his way into their show, then ruined their moment in the sun (throwing pics and sticks and thanking the crowd).
August 8, 1997: Metallica played 3 festivals in Europe this summer to get out of the studio for a while. First day was at the Pukkelpop festival in Hasselt, Belgium.
August 23, 1997: Blindman's Ball Festival, Stuttgart, Germany.
August 24, 1997: Reading Festival, Reading, U.K. October 6, 1997: To celebrate the release of their new album, Metallica wanted to play a concert - for free. The only problem was that they didn't know where! They gave the fans a few details and a 800 telephone number where they could call in to make suggestions. The free concert had to be held on Tuesday, November 11 (Veteran's Day), outdoors as this had to be a big free show for anyone wishing to make the trip. Over 120,000 Metallica fans bombarded the phone lines.
October 10, 1997: Photo session for the launch of the new album has already took place, and it is a stunning live session by Anton Corbijn. These live photos will be included in the packaging for the new album. There was further two photo sessions prior to the album release, which was for press use.
October 18, 1997: The 11th Annual Bridge School Benefit Shows at Shoreline Amphitheater, San Francisco. They played an entirely acoustic set which lasted about an hour. Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains came out and played the Lynrd Skynrd song Tuesday's Gone. They also played Low Man's Lyric for the first time.
October 19, 1997: The second Annual Bridge School Benefit Show at the save venue. the sets were the same except on Saturday they did not play Low Man's Lyric, instead they played another new tune called "My Eye's". Also on the bill was Kacy Crowley, Blues Traveler's, Lou Reed, Smashing Pumpkins, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthew's Band, and Neil Young.
October 20 and 21, 1997: The band shot the "Memory remains" video in LA, actually at the Van Nuys airport. It costed $400.000.00 and featured the band it a huge box that costed over $100.000.00. The video had it's world premiere on MTV's Mattrock show the 15th of November 1997.
October 26, 1997: The final day for the fans to call in to teh 800 telefone number and suggest a place where Metallica could play their free show. The "winner"? Philadelphia's CoreStates Arena parking lot.
November 7, 1997: Neighbors of the Philadelphia's CoreStates Arena parking lot in South Philadelphia are going went court on morning to try to block the free outdoor concert by the "heavy-metal band". It was Vincent Fumo who asked his Harrisburg lawyer, Christopher Craig, to see what he could do. Craig spent all day drafting a request for an injunction that he delivered to Common Pleas.
November 11, 1997: Metallica's free concert, dubbed the "Million Decibel March," was helt in Philadelphia parking lot and was a great success. For the show's intro, they showed Jaymz playing the famous ESPN commercials' "Da-na-na, na-na-na" from the Sportscenter music on his guitar. Here is what the local newspapaer Philadelphia Inquirer had to say about the show: "It was part burlesque show, part rugby match, and hearing-loss loud. The band was profane on stage and charming before the show. Police pronounced the fans better behaved than a Philadelphia Eagles crowd. And neighbors who feared the worst from the self-styled Loudest Band in the World complained more about the sound from the news choppers circling overhead."
November 12, 1997: Memory Remains single released in America. It has been available in Europe and the rest of the world for a few weeks.
November 13, 1997: Lars and his bandmates played a free show at London's premier dance venue Ministry Of Sound to launch their new album 'Re-Load'. Prior to the show Lars said in a press release "I've never heard of the Ministry Of Sound but I'm sure Metallica playing there will making it a hit!"
December 6 1997: Metallica will performed live on NBC's Saturday Night Live show.
March 1998: The world tour in support of Reload will commence in Asia in March 1998. Metallica wasn't there on their Load tour, and they will visit Australia as well.
March 1998: The live film will be completed in March 1998. 52 minutes edit of the film will be available for launch parties worldwide, completed with personalised IDs. The band have said that they may consider use of the promotional film for TV broadcasts.
October 1999: Metallica will release S&M live album with San Francisco symphony on November 23, 1999.