Μιας και έκανα τον κόπο να το γράψω σε έναν φίλο που του υποσχέθηκα, το μοιράζομαι γενικώς.
Lars και James κατά την περίοδο μιξαρίσματος του Puppets βρίσκονται σε παμπ του LA και τρακάρουν με Geezer, KK, Tipton, Smallwood, καταλήγουν στο σπίτι του τελευταίου.
Είναι από το Birth School Metallica Death που έχω ξαναπεί ότι είναι από τα καλύτερα βιβλία στο θέμα Metallica, ιδιαίτερα στις πληροφορίες για την πορεία τους μέσα στην μουσική βιομηχανία από τις πρώτες μέρες.
With Hollywood as their playground, Hetfield and Ulrich were spoiled for choice as to locations at which they might share a drink. But with Master of Puppets still a work in progress, the pair eschewed the temptations offered by iconic rock ’n’ roll drinking sheds such as the Rainbow Bar & Grill and the Roxy, opting instead to place their orders at the Cat & Fiddle, a British-style pub favoured by expat Englishmen, located on a section of Sunset Boulevard on which the magic dust of ‘the Strip’ did not sparkle. By Metallica’s standards at least, such a setting would provide the perfect backdrop for a quiet night out.
Or so it seemed. Unbeknownst to Hetfield and Ulrich, also gathered around one of the many wooden tables inside the Cat & Fiddle that evening were Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Judas Priest guitarists K. K. Downing and Glen Tipton and Rod Smallwood, the likeable yet blunt West Yorkshire-born manager of Iron Maiden. This quartet did not merely represent the high table of the British heavy metal industry, but also the English working class and its desire to get pissed. This the party duly did, with Hetfield and Ulrich playing the roles of kids in a liquor store.
The momentum of the evening was such that when the bar staff at the Cat & Fiddle called time on their customers at 2 a.m., the party decamped to Rod Smallwood’s home just above the Rainbow. Had the hour not been so late, and had he been less drunk, Lars Ulrich might have been rather more reticent regarding his decision to place into the tape deck of Smallwood’s stereo a cassette featuring rough mixes of a selection of the songs that would in just a few a weeks’ time be unveiled to the public under the banner Master of Puppets. Ulrich, however, was very drunk indeed, and caution had been damned.
For a man with a home in the Hollywood Hills, Smallwood could hardly have appeared less typical of a Tinseltown music industry insider. With a Huddersfield accent as hard as granite and directness of manner typical of one from the north of England, had Smallwood disliked the music he was hearing for the first time, he would have had no qualms about saying so. Having thrown discretion to the wind by commandeering Smallwood’s stereo in the first instance, Lars Ulrich decided that if he were going to be hung it may as well be for stealing a sheep as a lamb: he turned the stereo’s volume fully to the right. As Iron Maiden’s manager took in the sounds being played for him, Metallica’s front man and drummer found themselves exchanging smiles as both noticed their host nodding his head in appreciation for the music.
‘We could be kind of obnoxious, but in a silly, drunken, cynical kind of a way,’ remembers Ulrich. ‘We never thought we were particularly hot shit. But this was the first time that I felt this album might connect on a different level than before. When “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” came on, Rod was, like, “Can you play that again? That’s a really good song.” And I started thinking, ‘Hmm, maybe there’s hope for us here . . .’