Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this but…

In Music on June 30, 2014 at 8:02 pm


…I’m a HUGE fan of Metallica.

The American thrash metal band. I bloody LOVE them.

Metallica came into my life in the fairly early days of MTV in the UK, in 1991, when I used to have the thrilling new music channel on all the time in my flat in London. Their track Sandman was on all the time and I quickly became obsessed with its sinister, growly sound, and driving guitar lick.

Something about electric guitar has always had a visceral effect on me and you don’t get more throbbingly thrashy guitar than Metallica.

So I was thrilled to hear they were playing Glastonbury this year. I couldn’t go GODAMMIT, but watching the live TV broadcast on Saturday night was an out of body experience for me.

You may wonder what I love about them and it’s not just the music, it’s the utter rock and rollness of them. Singer James Hetfield looks exactly like a proper rocker should look. He’s all muscle, tattooes, tight pants, stupid facial hair and maaaacho attitude. Do please note the bullet belt. Le sigh.

When he starts growling, I start howling. It literally gets me, right in the crutch. Where rock music is meant to get you.

He’s like a Viking warrior with a (really stupidly shaped) electric guitar. And the ultimate rock stance. He stands with his legs so wide you could drive a truck between them. Clearly necessary to accommodate his simply enormous cahoonas. I just love all that.

Sure I like skipping about to Pharrell as much as the next middle-aged disco bopper, but Metallica reduce me to some kind of primitive state of being. Every cell in my body vibrating with thrill. I could ransack an Anglo Saxon village high on Metallica.

For those of you not familiar with the oeuvre, I would counsel an introduction via their live work. First that great classic Enter Sandman – please see the top of the post.

Having watched that you earn an introduction to what I consider the greatest love song ever written, Nothing Else Matters. For that I’m going to take you straight to the very apogee of the Metallica fan’s existence: the symphonic version (recorded live with the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra). I’m going to have this played at my funeral.

The way Mr Hetfield says ‘that’s right…’ causes me to swoon dead away. There is also one of his finest ever growls on one of the ‘Yeeeeaaahs’. (I can’t find a version of this that will work from here, but it’s worth going over to YouTube to watch it. Really. Just make sure you come back after…)


If by this stage you are at all converted, treat yourself finally to the live combo of the two tracks, for the golden moment of segue, which did cause me to howl like a mad dog on Saturday night. To skip straight to it and get the full glory start watching about 4.30 mins.

They went off at Glastonbury… What do you think?

  1. I’m not a fan of Metallica but I have to say that “Some Kind of Monster”, the doco about their issues as a band was amazing! I am sure you will have seen it, but if not, you absolutely must…..

    • Bernadette also mentioned this – but I am very wary of knowing too much about my heroes. I know James H is a family man with three lovely kids, but I only want to think of him as a Viking marauder…

  2. Couldn’t. Agree. More.

  3. Watching that great performance in Italy is so much more fun than doing this year’s tax (which I abandoned to read your blog). Thank you.

    I hadn’t listened to much Metallica until Marianne Faithfull did The Memory Remains with them … loved it. And Nothing Else Matters is just brilliantly poignant.

    I discovered metal when I was about 13 and like you am reached in a most primitive place. My bands of choice were Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. I always thought they sat quite comfortably alongside Elton John and David Bowie, whom I equally adored.

    But the band that always gets me for all out metal oomph is Motorhead. The other night we we watching an old Young Ones episode – University Challenge – and there they were, blasting out Ace of Spades. Aahh.

    PS Love the funeral music idea.

  4. Did I see it correctly? Hastings Council orders STOP on the hideous house? Congratulations Maggie (and your team, of course) – great result. x

    • Yessss!!! We still have to get it pulled down and see them forced to replant all the trees they’ve cut down, but we are making progress, slowly x

  5. Your article made me think of the lyrics to one of my favourite Mental as Anything songs – “Berserk Warriors”

    “Bjorn is a Viking
    He is very handy with a sword
    He loves nothing better
    Than to cut and slash right through a horde
    Friendly muscles, in a tussle …
    In the fjords, you can hear them, eerie horns blow,
    Viking love show …

  6. Silly me left out the best bit –
    “… those Vikings love to fight and play
    Those Vikings love to fight and play”

  7. Love, love, love Metallica – ever since my hubby put Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters on a mixed tape for me when we first started dating in high school. While most associate me with going to copious Kylie concerts, the Metallica concerts I have been to are still my faves!

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