Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Whiplash Lives

Hitting mailboxes next week: Volume 13, Issue 2 of Metallica's official fan club magazine So What. It's their retro Old Metal issue to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the release of the Master Of Puppets album (02/21/86) and also the passing of Cliff Burton (09/27/86):

Umlaut was asked to contribute an article about The Old Days and I also supplied some vintage photos. To be honest, as I started to write the piece I felt like one of those pathetic old jocks trying to recount The Glory Days and The Big Game. You know the type: "Those were the best years of my life" etc. etc. Dog help me if I thought the best time of my life was when I was 18 years old.

In the end I was happy with the article, the Metallica Camp "loved it" (their words, not mine), and I was genuinely gobsmacked that my old fanzine Whiplash was used as the cover. Yeah, The Old Days were fun alright.. but I'm much happier in the 21st Century.

Unfortunately, unless you're a Metallica fanboy / fangirl you won't see this unless you join the fan club. Membership has its priviledges.

However, since you've bothered to read this space, Umlaut has something that the Metallica fanboys / fangirls won't see. Here's an excerpt from roadie John Marshall's tour journal that he kept during Metallica's debut European Tour (supporting Venom). The entry is from February 7, 1984 :

"Nuremburg: Exchange rate is: 3.6DM / 1£. Drive to Nuremburg for gig. Outside of Nuremburg - In small town. Hall is right next to hotel - Hotel full."

"Hall is about twice of D.A. cafeteria and longer. Same basic shape though. We get our first soundcheck, but is hectic with nerves. Metallica on at 8:00. Nice to have time to set up!"

"Show is fairly tight. Again Metallica goes down VERY well. Again they are mobbed afterwards. Teardown is best ever. Approximately 500-800 people show up. Find out about bootleg posters and t-shirts - I got one of each, but not the good shirt. Also got a Gary Moore poster. Pummel the bootleggers!"

"Leave at ?. Drive straight to Paris. 10:00AM - lots of flooded fields. Weather has been bad for about a day now (Also about gig - Someone asking for autographs has flyer from March 25th Stone show!!! - Got it from Brian Lew)"

That Brian Lew sounds like he was an ass kissing poser. I wonder what ever happened to him?