In 1978, James joined his first band, Obsession. Rich and Ron Veloz brothers played bass and drums, and Jim Arnold on guitar. They even had roadies: two friends, Ron McGovney (who James met in 1977) and Dave Marrs.
Obsession eventually broke up, but James, Marrs, and McGovney continued to jam together.
In 1979 to 1980, after James' mother passed away, James moved to La Brea, California, and joined his second band, Phantom Lord. James did vocals and played guitar, Jim Milligan played drums, and Hugh Tanner played guitar. However, they still didn't have a bass player. That is when James moved back to Downey.
James moved into a house that was owned by McGovney's parents. The house was slated for demolition due to the expansion of a nearby expressway. James then convinced McGovney to take up bass guitar.
This is James' third band, Leather Charm. The band was composed of James on vocals, Hugh Tanner on guitar, Jim Mulligan on drums, and McGovney on bass.
As time went on, Tanner left and was replaced by a guy named Troy James. However, when Mulligan left for another band, the band had to quit, for they had no drummer. While searching for a new drummer, Hugh Tanner introduced James to a man named Lars Ulrich…
James is six feet one inch tall and weights one hundred eighty pounds. He has blue eyes and blonde hair.
On August 17, 1997, James married his long-time girlfriend, Francesca. They have one daughter, Cali Tee, who was born on June 13, 1998.
James enjoys hunting, hot-rods, snowboarding, street hockey, wave boarding, choppers, guns, and woodwork. His favorite guns are the Remington 30-06, the Weatherby 7 mm, and the Browning 300 Magnum. James currently has a 1955 Chevy Bel Air hot rod that he built himself and a custom-built Harley Davidson Motorcycle (chopper). His favorite sports teams are the Oakland Raiders, the San Jose Sharks, and D.C. United. James no longer skateboards.
James' main musical influences were Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. His heroes are Clint Eastwood and Pops Hetfield.
James no longer drinks alcohol (though he still smokes). He drinks non-alcoholic beer and mineral water.
James once worked in a sticker factory.
Jason picked up bass because of Kiss' Gene Simmons. His first attempt at playing bass didn't work out too well. However, he picked it back up a few years later when he received his first bass guitar.
In 1977, Jason formed his first band, Diamond, with Kevin Kendrick, Todd Smiedendorf, and Tom Depoy.
Jason joined a local band called Gangster. The band included guitar player Tim Hamlin, who became a teacher and mentor to Jason.
Just three months prior to graduation, Jason dropped out of high school. He lived with his fellow Gangster band members. (Note: Jason did go back to get his GED)
Jason and Hamlin left for California in 1981. However, they only made it as far as Phoenix, Arizona, on October 31, 1981. While he and Hamlin drifted apart, he met drummer Kelly David-Smith.
Jason jammed with David-Smith for awhile in the band, Paradox. Jason lived with David-Smith in Scotsdale, Arizona, where they met up with guitarists Mark Vasquez and Kevin Horton. At this time, they called themselves the Dogz, and Horton was soon replaced by a guy named Ed Carlson.
Vocalist Erik A.K. joined the band, and shortly after, they changed their name to Flotsam and Jetsam. The band soon signed with Metal Blade Records, and the band released one album with Jason, Doomsday for the Deceiver. Jason played his final gig with Flotsam and Jetsam on October 31, 1986.
Soon, Jason was to audition for Metallica, his favorite band, to replace Cliff Burton (who died in an accident). He not only learned Cliff's parts, but proved to Metallica that he was capable of doing the job sufficiently. He got the job.
Jason is five feet eight inches tall and weighs one hundred fifty pounds. He has blue eyes and brownish-redish hair. Jason occasionally wears glasses instead of contacts (he is near-sighted).
Jason's favorite sport's teams are the Phoenix Suns, the Chicago Bulls, the Detroit Lions (he's originally from Michigan, remember. Somebody has to support the Lions!), and the Raiders.
Jason is divorced and has no children (that I have heard of anyway), but has two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs named Kobie and Kaya. He likes to mountain bike in his free time. He has a titanium Merlin "Newsboy" Cruiser.
His musical influences are Kiss, Rush, Black Sabbath, and Ted Nugent. His heroes are Gene Simmons, Al Pacino, B.B. King, his father, Zach Harmon, and Bob Marley.
Jason has a brother named Tim. He's an elementary school teacher (he must have A LOT of patience).
Jason has worked as a truck-driver, a pizza maker, and at Subway before he played with Metallica.
He began playing guitar at fifteen years old. His first guitar was a Montgomery Ward catalog special, and his first amp was a shoebox with a four inch speaker. A few years later, he got a 1978 Fender Stratocaster and eventually got himself a 1974 Gibson Flying V.
Kirk co-founded a band with Paul Baloff called Exodus. They were the support act for Metallica on two dates: November 29, 1982, and March 5, 1983.
In April of 1983, less than a month Exodus opened for Metallica, Kirk was playing his first show with Metallica in New Jersey. He's been in the band ever since. However, he didn't always feel confident that he was in. That changed during the recording of Metallica's Kill 'Em All album.
Kirk took lessons from Joe Satriani to enhance his guitar playing by learning jazz, blues, classical, and Henrix.
Kirk's musical influences include Jimi Hendrix, UFO, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, and Joe Satriani. His heroes are Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Jimi Hendrix, Chet Baker, Diane Arbus, John Coltrane, Charles Bukowski, Edward Munch, and Joel Peter Whitkin.
Kirk married his wife Lani on January 31, 1998. They have no children, but do have a dog named Darla.
Kirk has many interests that include mountain biking, tattoos, piercing, collecting old horror-movie stuff, philosophy, taxidermy, and pinball. He says, "I hate sports!" but has also said that he follows "whatever teams James are Lars don't like."
He stands at five feet eight inches tall and weighs 134 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes.
Kirk is a lacto-ovo vegetarian (which I'm pretty sure he drinks milk and eats eggs still).
Kirk's pre-Metallica jobs include Burger King and working as a dishwasher.
When Lars was ten years old, he attended a Deep Purple concert. Dexter Gorden, the legendary sax player, is Lars' godfather, and his father ran a small jazz club and was rather involved in Europe's jazz scene. Lars knew what music could be…
Lars was so impressed from that concert. He went out and bought their Fireball album the following day. Three years later, he received his first drum set.
Later on, the Ulrich family moved from their native Denmark to Newport Beach, California. That is where Lars got more interested in California's guilty pleasures: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. His passion for music grew, and he began trading tapes for his beloved blend of European metal.
Lars soon found himself jamming with singer and guitar player, James Hetfield. The jam wasn't the greatest, for Lars had trouble keeping time, and the cymbals kept falling over. Then, in October of 1981, Lars told James of the deal he had with Brian Slagel, his tape-trading buddy. Brian guaranteed Lars' band a spot on his new album that was to be released on Metal Blade Records. Metallica was born…
Lars' major musical influences are Deep Purple (obviously), Diamond Head, and Motorhead. His heroes include Argentinien tennis player Guillermo Vilas, Ritchie Blackmore, and Ace Frehley.
Lars stands at five feet seven inches and weights one hundred thirty pounds. He has green eyes and blonde-brown hair.
In January of 1997, Lars eloped with his wife Skylar in Las Vegas. They have one child, Myles, who was born on August 5, 1998.
Lars enjoys hanging out with his wife (how sweet!), scuba diving, running, skiing, and going to the movies. His favorite sports teams are the San Jose Sharks, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Before Metallica, Lars worked as a paperboy and at a gas station.
The rest of the band knew that Cliff would want the rest of the band to continue the Metallica legacy without him. So, they did just that.
AND DAVE MUSTAINE: EX-GUITAR
Dave Mustaine was the original guitar player for Metallica. However, he was more or less fired from the band in April of 1983 (before Metallica recorded their first album, Kill 'Em All) due to his drinking and fighting with the other band members on their long trek to New York form California.
Lars played drums, James sang, Ron McGovney (James' friend and housemate) on bass, and Dave Mustaine into playing lead guitar.
Metallica eventually recorded a demo called No Life 'Til Leather. The band began arousing some attention in San Francisco and New York.
On December 28, 1982, while performing two shows in San Francisco, Metallica found their bass player, Cliff Burton (Ron McGovney was no more). He soon joined the band.
A copy of No Life 'Til Leather made its way to Megaforce Records. Jon Zazula, the guy in charge of Megaforce Records, got Metallica to come to New York to play some shows and record an album. So, Metallica travelled to New York in a stolen U-Haul. Metallica then got rid of Dave Mustaine, for he fought with the other band members on the duration of their long trip to New York due to his excessive drinking and hired Kirk Hammett on guitar on April 1, 1983.
Metallica released their debut album, Kill 'Em All, in late 1983. They toured Kill 'Em All and recorded their sophomore album, Ride the Lightning in 1984. Ride the Lightning was much more mature than Kill 'Em All, both lyrically and musically while still retaining the Metallica edge that fans loved.
In 1984, Metallica decided to go back to the garage and pay their respects to their musical influences. They then released Garage Days Revisited. (Note: The Garage Days projects had become so collectable and rare, that poorly-recorded bootleg copies have been circulating for outrageous prices.)
On September 12, 1984, Metallica signed with Elektra, and on February 21, 1986, Metallica's third album, Master of Puppets, was released. They also toured with Ozzy Osbourne to gain some exposure.
Unfortunately, on September 27, 1986, Metallica's tour bus became out of control and flipped. Cliff Burton was killed…
Since Cliff was such a major part of Metallica, the band contemplated quitting. However, they knew that Cliff would want them to continue on. So, they did. Jason Newsted was hired in his place.
Metallica again went back to the garage in 1987. They released Garage Days Re-Revisited. (Note: The Garage Days projects had become so collectable and rare, that poorly-recorded bootleg copies have been circulating for outrageous prices.)
In August of 1988, Metallica's fourth album was released, And Justice for All… It climbed to number six on the US charts and even received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal/Hard Rock Album. Metallica won a Grammy for their "One" single.
On August 12, 1991, Metallica released their fifth album, which was self-titled. It is the "black album" and went straight to number one all over the world! The band won many awards for this album including several Grammy Awards, several MTV Awards, and several American Music Awards.
After five years, in June of 1996, Metallica finally released their next album, Load. It was the longest Metallica album recorded with fourteen songs. The following album, ReLoad, was released in November of 1997.
Being such a great garage band, Metallica went back to the garage. This garage project was to be called Garage Inc., for it was to incorporate eleven new tracks along with all the garage cover songs recorded prior. Garage Inc. was released in November of 1998.
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