Rhino Factoids: Metallica make their debut
34 years ago today, a foursome of young men named James, Lars, Ron, and Dave played their very first live show, but you may know them better as Metallica.
Or was it Mettalica? After all, that’s how they were credited when they made their recording debut on a compilation album called Metal Massacre a few months later. Whichever was the case, the band delivered a set which was pretty light on original material, a revelation which isn’t hugely surprising when you consider how little time they’d been together. Still, they did introduce the audience at Anaheim’s Radio City to a pair of future classics: “Hit the Lights” and “Jump in the Fire.” In addition, they performed covers of Blitzkrieg’s “Blitzkrieg,” Savage’s “Let It Loose,” Sweet Savage’s “Killing Time,” and – wait for it – four Diamond Head songs (“Helpless,” “Sucking My Love,” “Am I Evil?” and “The Prince”).
Arguably the oddest thing about the show, even if no one in the audience at the time would’ve spotted anything particularly out of the ordinary, is that Hetfield wasn’t doing anything but singing.
“I was really nervous, and a little uncomfortable without a guitar, and then during the first song Dave broke a string,” said Hetfield, in an interview with Kerrang! “It seemed to take him an eternity to change it, and I was standing there really embarrassed. We were really disappointed afterwards. There were a lot of people there, maybe 200, because we had all my school friends and all Lars’ and Ron’s and Dave’s buddies. But there were never as many p