Lars Ulrich Recalls Metallica Being Asked Not to Make Eye Contact With Mick Jagger While Opening for Rolling Stones
Metallica are among the many acts to have opened for the Rolling Stones at one point in their career, but as Lars Ulrich recently shared on the Club Random podcast with Bill Maher (as seen below), the experience didn't exactly go as they had envisioned.
Ulrich initially began telling Maher a story about how a younger Metallica had once kind of laughed off the idea of being told by an assistant that Mick Jagger was going to be walking through en route to a private gym in his truck, only to share that now as Metallica have gotten older they too are more conscious of working out and eating properly on the road just like the Stones were doing at that point. But there was one key detail that caught Maher's ear and it involved the assistant telling the band that they were not to look Jagger in the eye or speak to him as he walked through. That opened the door to Ulrich reflecting on the experience of opening for the Stones and it not turning out like he had thought it might.
When asked if they spoke at some point, Ulrich recalled, "We were told that we could have our picture taken with the Rolling Stones as they were walking to the stage. There was another support act, can't remember who it was, but the two support acts were in the tunnel up to the stage, the first band was here, the second band was here, and then the Stones came and they stopped here and they took a picture."
"I don't think they fully stopped," recalls Ulrich. They were sort of caught mid-walk or they slowed down long enough. And then they got to us and we got our picture taken with the Stones. That was the extent of it."
The drummer says, "I have dreams, you know, I thought, listen we're going to play with the Rolling Stones, and you know where I'm going to spend my whole time, is in Keith Richards' hotel room sitting, doing those legendary parties till 9 o'clock in the morning. I'll be the last one to leave you know? It wasn't exactly like that but listen, I don't disrespect him for that."
"I've told those stories before," adds the drummer. "And now we're sort of turning into a version of that, but we are always very careful, I always go and say hello to our support acts, I look them in the eye. I ask them if there's anything they need. You know what it is? ... It's a human thing. If somebody comes out and plays on a Metallica stage, I want them to feel at home."
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Maher and Ulrich then spoke briefly about that sense of entitlement, with Ulrich then sharing a story relayed from their tour manager about an unnamed act from the mid-to-late-'80s he's just toured with who were only just a little more established than Metallica at that point where that tour manager had to walk in front of the lead singer from the dressing room to the stage making sure the crew members didn't make eye contact.
As Lars revealed, that's not the treatment Metallica provide to their support acts. Pantera, Five Finger Death Punch, Architects, Mammoth WVH, Ice Nine Kills and Greta Van Fleet will be among the acts opening shows for Metallica spanning all the way into 2024. You can get tickets to see Metallica here.