I first met the boys of Metallica on December 5, 1991 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. I didn't know what to expect as I waited for them before they left for the first of three straight shows at the then called Rosemont Horizon (now something else!). They were all great about signing and it was at that time that I decided I had a new set of heroes. Through the years, I met and got autographs from them countless times, probably close to 50 times! Sometimes no one would sign, sometimes just Kirk or Lars or sometimes just Jason. I can tell you this much, I logged alot of hours at hotels! In 1996, playing on the Lalapalooza Tour and promoting Re-Load, James and Lars did some radio interviews at the station where I was working. I spent three hours with them that night, and up until December 18, 2008 it was one of the coolest Metallica moments I ever had.
I have to go back to 1998 when I first signed up for the Met Club the fan club for Metallica fans. Through the years I would keep my membership or let it run out, I moved a bunch of times and for a few years I just let it run it course. The past year I joined again and it really paid off. As part of the membership you are given the chance to register for a meet and greet with the boys. For the Death Magnetic World tour I was going to see them at least six times, so I had six cracks. One of them paid huge. I received an email on December 10 and I was quite thrilled at it contents.
Congratulations!! You are the lucky winner of something every Met Club member covets - the meet and greet pass! You have won one pass for the show on 12/18/2008 Los Angeles, CA The Forum.
I was floored!!! I won something. I never win anything....EVER! I did this time and my god was I excited. Who would show? Would the entire band be there? After doing some research I was able to find some fan sites that dealt with the meet and greet situation so I was optimistic at best that the entire band would be there. On the advice of my best friend, he told me to get a guitar signed. DUH! Of course dummy! So I bought a guitar, a piece of hardware that I would have a tough time getting signed at a hotel given the bands disposition to signing "equipment" as James calls it.
On December 18, 2008 I found myself at the Forum in Los Angeles with nine other fan club members and 10 winners from a local radio station. We were all corralled together and taken deep into the bowels of the Forum where they placed us single file in a cold hallway. I felt like it was a firing line! First up was Robert, who started at the end opposite of me. The conversation was good, he moved his way through each person, signing autographs and taking photos. Next up was James who started on the end with the fan club and when he got to me I got to show him my two Metallica taboos and we talked about the shows on this tour and my past experiences. He signed my two items and took a killer photo with me. Very cool. Lars followed and was very animated, we spoke for a few minutes about everything on the planet and he was very interested in feedback on the shows. Always great talking to Lars! Kirk followed and kinda moved through us pretty quickly, didn't say alot but did overhear him tell one of the other clubbers that he really enjoyed meeting the fans.
After it was all said and done, I had met each of the boys (again!) I saw another great show, number six on this tour and 25 overall and I had the time of my life. I met some cool Met club members and got to spend some time with the boys.