When Metallica Found Out They Had to Live in Their Rehearsal Room
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian faced the prospect of telling Metallica that they had to live in their new rehearsal room when they first met in the early ‘80s. The moment came when Ian had been asked to act as ambassador to James Hetfield’s band when they relocated to New York from San Francisco prior to the recording of their debut, Kill 'Em All.
“I was there the day they showed up in New York City in the U-Haul truck with Dave [Mustaine] – he was still in the band,” Ian told SiriusXM's Jim and Sam Show. “We had the same manager [Jon Zazula] and he was like, ‘Do you mind going down to the Music Building?’ which was the s---ty squat of a building in Jamaica, Queens, in South Jamaica, where bands could pay a couple hundred bucks and you could have a 24-by-7 room monthly. You could put all of your gear in there and literally have a place to crash when you needed to. That's where they were coming, and that's where they were going to live as well. It's not like they had a hotel or something to come into. They were living in a squat in South Jamaica.”
The only problem was that Zazula hadn’t told Metallica about the domestic arrangements. “He was like, ‘Do you mind going down there and greeting them?'" Ian continued. "I was the guy, it was me and Danny Lilker, the original bass player in Anthrax. We’re like there to meet them and they were rolling in, driving a U-Haul across the country. They load their gear in the room, and they set up, and they're like, ‘Okay, where are we staying?’ I’m like, ‘Jonny didn't tell you? He didn't tell you? Maybe you ought to call Jonny.’ They quickly found out they were living in the Music Building. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ [I said,] ‘We have a fridge in our room.’ We gave them our refrigerator, our toaster oven, just anything to help. We were fast friends from that point on.”
Ian also recalled a late-night drinking session that resulted in him and some friends breaking into Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett’s house. “We're going to break into his house and go into his studio downstairs and jam,” he said. “It seemed like a really good idea -- 3AM jamming drunken Black Sabbath in Kirk’s basement -- and he was not thrilled. I had known him for 10 years already at that point and had never seen him angry once. Kirk is easily the most kick-back dude you'll ever meet in your life and it all changed that night. [He] was more like the angry-then-disappointed dad.” The story is recounted in Ian’s new book Access All Areas: Stories From A Hard Rock Life – and he promises it has a “happy ending.”