In a surprising turn of events, Metallica faced a massive scandal when they took on Napster over P2P file sharing. Drummer Lars Ulrich, armed with a list of 335,000 users sharing Metallica’s music, made headlines. Despite settling in 2001, the Napster saga still clouds Metallica’s reputation (via Wired).
The Ticket Scalping Fiasco
Ticket scalping, a frowned-upon practice, took an unexpected twist when Live Nation, including Metallica, was accused of participating. A recorded call revealed Metallica’s associate seeking help to sell 88,000 tickets on scalping sites. The band claimed ignorance, but the scandal left a mark (via Billboard). The Symphony of Dave Mustaine’s Destruction . Dave Mustaine, Metallica’s original guitarist, faced an abrupt exit in 1983 due to alcohol abuse. The firing led to bitterness, occasional potshots, and the formation of Megadeth. The bad blood lingered for years, showcasing the challenges within the band (via NME). When Metallica Sued a Cover BandIn 2016, Metallica faced backlash for sending a cease-and-desist letter to a Canadian cover band named Sandman. The band later supported Sandman, emphasizing the importance of musical freedom (via Rolling Stone).
Did Metallica Copy Excel?
In the ’90s, Metallica faced accusations of copying a song from Californian thrash band Excel. The matter didn’t escalate to a lawsuit, but it highlighted the challenges of navigating musical influences (via The Los Angeles Times).
Jason Newsted’s Unceremonious Departure
Following the tragic death of Cliff Burton in 1986, Metallica sought a replacement. Jason Newsted joined but left in 2001 due to creative frustrations and injuries. The departure sparked animosity, but reconciliation occurred during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction (via Loudwire).
The Reviews Debacle
Ahead of “Death Magnetic,” Metallica faced a unique challenge. Journalists, invited to an early listening session, published reviews online. Metallica, unhappy with premature critiques, requested the removal of reviews, emphasizing the importance of presenting finished work (via Wired).
Metallica’s Music Being Used to Torture Prisoners
Surprisingly, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” became an unlikely tool for military interrogation. The band, uneasy with the association, requested the military to stop using their music for such purposes (via Esquire).
The Petition to Remix Death Magnetic
Despite “Death Magnetic” receiving positive reviews, approximately 16,000 fans signed a petition to remix the album, citing perceived sound quality issues. Metallica defended the production, attributing the backlash to the amplifying voice of online complainers (via BBC).
Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s Metallica Shirt
In 2017, the Jenner sisters faced backlash for featuring Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” cover on unauthorized T-shirts. James Hetfield expressed disappointment, urging respect for the band’s 36-year hard work. The Jenners issued a public apology for the oversight (via The Guardian).
The Riot at the Olympic Stadium
During a co-headlining tour with Guns N’ Roses in 1992, Metallica encountered chaos when James Hetfield suffered burns from pyrotechnics. Guns N’ Roses aggravated the situation, leading to a riot by 53,000 fans at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium (via Loudwire).
Metallica’s Controversial Change in Appearance
The ’90s brought a grunge-inspired makeover for Metallica, creating a stir among metalheads. The band, evolving its style, faced controversy, proving that even iconic bands must weather the storms of changing trends (via Deseret News).
Metallica’s journey is a rollercoaster of highs, lows, and unexpected turns. Scandals tested their mettle, but the band, resilient and unapologetic, continued to shape the metal landscape. As they persist, Metallica’s legacy endures, proving that even in the face of controversy, the music remains timeless.