playboy april 2001
interview
Metallica

.PLAYBOY: At the beginning, did you consider any names other than Metallica?
ULRICH: We had a list of 20 possible names: Nixon, Helldriver, Blitzer. I was really keen on Thunderfuck.
PLAYBOY: When did you start to draw female fans?
HAMMETT: Girls were always at the shows. It's just that they didn't look much different from the guys.
ULRICH: Girls would come on the bus and just blow the whole bus. Like, "OK, here's two girls, everybody get in line." People would say, "Eww, she just blew that other guy..."So? You don't have to put your tongue down her throat.
HETFIELD: They enjoyed what they did. And, heh-heh, they were good at it. Back then, we all shared stuff. "I did her. Dude, here! Have my chick." Lars would charm them, talk his way into their pants. Kirk had a baby face that was appealing to the girls. And Cliff - he had a big dick. Word got around about that, I guess.
ULRICH: We used to have this thing called tough tarts - it was fucking great. We'd come offstage and there's be like 10 naked girls in the showers.
HAMMETT: I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden I was handsome. Did I wake up looking different? A fat bank account will make you look like handsome. No one had ever treated me like that before in my life.
PLAYBOY: Who was the biggest slut in the band?
ULRICH: We all had some pretty slutty moments. I don't think there's anybody in this band who hasn't had crabs a couple of times, or the occasional drip-dick.
PLAYBOY: What do you remember about the night Cliff Burton died?
HETFIELD: I remember getting awakened with shit flying all over the place. I busted out the emergency window in my underwear, 20 degrees, and Cliff was missing. I remember seeing his legs sticking out from under the bus. He had the whitest, skinniest legs. I knew he was gone then. The bus was right on him. We were all in the hospital, and our tour manager said, "Let's get the band together and go." When he said the word band - it wasn't the right word. "Shit, we're not a band anymore". We went to the bottle and started drinking.
HAMMETT: Cliff was a very smart guy, a reader, very eloquent. I just don't understand why he went, and not one of us.
NEWSTED: Cliff Burton was my God. He was the guru. I mean, no one before him and no one since him has played like that. People have copied him, but nobody ever had his feel of his proness.
PLAYBOY: So you were a big fan back in Arizona?
NEWSTED: Metallica was the hugest influence for my band, Flotsam and Jetsam. We played mostly around Arizona, at clubs and for desert parties.
PLAYBOY: What is a desert party?
NEWSTED: You borrow from your parents, put together 80 or 120 bucks, and rent a generator for the day. Get some tables from the highschool to make a stage, and you rent a fog machine. You get some dudes to buy a keg, and you say, "Once people come, you're going to give us 40 bucks." You get the U-Haul stuck in the ditch, pull out some of the tables, put them under the tires and smash 'em up to get the truck out. The dudes that are buying the keg are already drinking. It's one o'clock in the afternoon. They've got .44 magnums on their sides. In Arizona, if you have your gun showing, you can wear what you want. Drunk as fuck already, and you find out that they robbed a Safeway last night. "Oh yeah, we're going to get money out of these guys." Then set up and play for an hour or two and the Scottsdale cops come out and bust everything up and that's the end of it. I didn't make any money playing until I joined Metallica. The most I remember making - for what we tought was a huge gig - was $26 between five of us.
PLAYBOY: Do you ever miss that?
NEWSTED: I miss being grimy. I miss the hunger. I miss the excitement of taking off work early to set up the gear at the club. And seven people show up but you still play like there are 700. There was a Burger King rigt across from the main club we played - we took down a mountain of 29-cent burgers. Happy about it! "I'm going to get a Coke." "No, man, that's two more burgers! Fuck that! We'll steal beer from a back room, dude." Because otherwise it'd be boiled potatoes with ketchup stolen from Burger King.
PLAYBOY: Had you seen Metallica while Cliff was alive?
NEWSTED: Yes. In Phoenix, with Wasp, before Master Of Puppets came out. Front row. Right in front of Cliff Burton, worshiping. Drooling. Banging madly. Fourteen bucks for a shirt, which was all the money in the world at that time. We only went to see Metallica. As soon as Metallica was done, we walked out. They just crushed it, and we knew everything they did by heart.
PLAYBOY: How did you hear he'd died?
NEWSTED: A friend woke me up at six in the morning. He said, "You've got to get the paper, dude."I remember tears hitting the paper and watching them soak into the print. We wore black armbands when we played our next gigs.
PLAYBOY: After you heard Cliff was dead, how long before you started to think, Hmm, Metallica is going to need a new bass player?
NEWSTED: I daydreamed that day. Just like, What if, what if, what if?
PLAYBOY: The brought you to San Francisco for an audition. Were you nervous?
NEWSTED: That whole week, I didn't sleep. I might have lain down a couple of times. For five days I stayed up and played as long as I could. Blisters on blisters broke. When I could feel the nerve inside as I played the string, I stopped for a little while. A couple of my friends got together some money to pay for a $140 plane ticket to go do my audition.
PLAYBOY: Pretty cheap that they didn't pay your airfaire. Where they tough on the people who were auditioning?
NEWSTED: One guy comes in, he's got his bass signed by the guy from Quiet Riot or something. And James just goes, "Next!" Like that, before the guy even got to plug in. Guys were, like, crushed.
PLAYBOY: Tell me about the first year with them.
NEWSTED: Hazing. And a lot of emotional tests.
HETFIELD: We were mourning through anger. "You're here instead of Cliff, so here's what you get."It was therapy for us.
NEWSTED: One time, it's four in the morning, they're hammered and knocking on my hotel door when we were in New York. "Get up, fucker! It's time to drink Pussy!" You know? "You're in Metallica now! You better open that fucking door!" They kept pounding. Kaboom! The door frame shreds, and the door comes flying in. And they go, "You should have answered the door, bitch!" They grab the mattress and flip it over with me on it. They put the chairs, the desk, the TV stand - everything in the room - on top of the mattress. They threw my clothes, my cassette tapes, my shoes out the window. Shaving cream all over the mirrors, toothpaste everywhere. Just devastation. They go running out the door, "Welcome to the band, dude!"

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