Back in 1995, I had heard on the radio of an upcoming MOTORHEAD show to celebrate 25 years of MOTORHEAD and Lemmy‘s 50th birthday. But the thing that made me really want to go to the show was the fact that there were other famous rock stars expected to make an experience. My initial guess was that someone like Slash would show up since he’s always been into live guest appearances in LA, and hey, that was good enough for me.
So back then I was a senior in high school and by then, hardly anyone was into metal and if they used to be, they had moved onto punk (i.e. PENNYWISE) or something else. The prospect of going to a show alone wasn’t as bad as it could seem to appear simply because my absolute love for heavy music more than compensated. So with a recently purchased MOTORHEAD No Remorse compilation in my cassette tape deck and a Thomas Guide map to guide me, I set off for my first trip to The Whisky.
I guess word had spread about the possibility of famous guests at the show as there was a line formed outside the venue when I arrived early. So as we were all standing in line along the wall of The Whisky, you could hear a band doing sound check. Out of nowhere you hear James Hetfield‘s unmistakable voice roaring over the music. Holy fuck! I wanted to scream out in excitement. My favorite band in the world was going to appear at the tiny little Whisky! I heard some other people in line wondering out loud whether that was James Hetfield or not but it didn’t seem to stir up any outward excitement.
Once we were all let in, the first band to go on was LA’s own DEMOLITION PIT. The band had made some headway in the local LA scene, especially with their appearances on 105.5 FM KNAC (the world’s first all hard rock/heavy metal radio station). The band’s PANTERA-influenced style went over well with the packed house.
The Whisky had TV screens around the club that would announce the next band to take the stage. As the crowd waited around for the next band, the words “METALLICA” came up on the TV screens. People went apeshit! Everyone had to pinch themselves. This was a dream come true. So I did what any metal maniac would do, I fought my way to the front of the stage to get the best view possible.