Metallica Laugh About the Time James Hetfield Punched Lars Ulrich
While guesting on the Howard Stern Show, Metallica laughed through the story of when James Hetfield punched Lars Ulrich at one of the thrash band’s early gigs.
When Metallica were just starting out, they found themselves beckoned by a crowd to play an encore at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. A disagreement followed, with Ulrich wanting to begin their encore with a song that started with a drum intro, while Hetfield insisted on a different track. When the young thrash band emerged for their encore, Ulrich kicked into the drum intro track and infuriated Metallica’s frontman.
“When we came off, I got a slight punch in the stomach. I did stand up for the rest of the night,” Ulrich said. “For balance, I will say that throughout the rest of the ‘80s, James helped me in many situations. I had a little bit of a big mouth and could definitely throw they best smart ass comments back to people. There were a couple of times when the beer and the good times were flowing where I would say the wrong things to the wrong people. But still, they were really funny and 30 years later, and as soundbites, illicit chuckles when you tell the stories. But James was there as my big brother.”
“I would usually just run,” Ulrich admits. “I’d just fucking take off, but then James would clean it up for me and throw a few punches at some of these other guys.”
“I don’t know how to fight at all,” Hetfield insisted. “I just have attitude. He had the mouth and I had the Doctor No.”
Metallica Laughs About the Night James Hetfield Punched Lars Ulrich
Metallica’s most recent appearance on Stern came with a performance of “Nothing Else Matters” alongside Miley Cyrus. Cyrus previously recorded a cover of the song for the Blacklist album, which also featured Robert Trujillo, Elton John on piano, and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith.