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Metallica Were Told 'Don't Make Eye Contact' With Mick Jagger When They Opened For The Rolling Stones

19 April 2023 | 11:49 am | Mary Varvaris

The Metallica drummer tells the story of the unusual snub levelled at Metallica in 2005.

(Metallica by Andy Boyle, Rolling Stones by Jennifer Sando)

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Metallica are currently promoting their eleventh album, 72 Seasons, which was released on Friday to critical acclaim from our reviewer Kristen S. Hé. 

The American heavy metal legends have made the rounds with new interviews - they’ve done a week-long residency on Jimmy Kimmel, reappeared on Howard Stern’s show, and in a new interview with Bill Maher on his Club Random with Bill Maher podcast.

On the latter chat, drummer Lars Ulrich revealed what happened when Metallica opened for The Rolling Stones at SBC Park (now Oracle Park) in San Francisco on November 13 and 15, 2005 - the first time since 1992 that Metallica were someone else’s support act - an experience Ulrich called “an honour and a privilege”.

However, as much as they loved the shows playing with their heroes, there was an unusual snub, too: Metallica were instructed not to make eye contact with Mick Jagger any time he was in the backstage area.

Ulrich began, “At that time, we had played shows over our career with Deep Purple, with AC/DC,  with a few other bands, all the bands that I had posters on my wall when I was a kid, and so the last one of those boxes to check was the Stones,” he said before he shared the revelation.

He continued, "So we're sitting backstage, and - and this is in no way a judgment on the Stones, this is really more about us - at one point a personal assistant or whatever comes and says, 'Mick Jagger's gonna walk through here in a couple of minutes, he's going over to his private gym in his truck, and he's going to warm up before the show. When he walks through here, please don't make eye contact with him or talk to him.'

"So we're sitting there going, What? He has a truck with a portable gym in it? He goes and warms up for 30-45 minutes before he goes on stage? Cue, hahaha, oh my God! Now guess who's got a truck with a gym in it? Guess who's got a Peloton bike on the road with us? Guess who's got a chef who walks around and makes us protein drinks and all kinds of other nasty stuff?"

You can watch the full interview below.

On Monday, we reported that Metallica started to unveil American Sign Language versions of 72 Seasons videos, in the “hope that our fans in the deaf and hard of hearing community enjoy experiencing the album through these videos!”