Lars Ulrich: “Metallica Not Winning Our First Grammy Was Fucked Up”

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Metalhammer
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Lars: Grammy Whammy

Lars Ulrich has recalled the first time Metallica were nominated for a Grammy – and what happened when they missed out.

The metal legends were still a fresh-faced young thrash band when they bulldozed their way into the 1989 nominations under Best Hard Rock/Metal category, a full quarter-century before they’d return to the Grammys stage for a somewhat odd One performance featuring Lang Lang.

Despite many assuming Metallica would nab the gong, it ended up going to Jethro Tull that year – but Lars isn’t bitter about it.

“Getting the chance to put a band like Metallica on a national TV show like the Grammys, and getting to occupy five-and-a-half minutes of airtime, was a huge, huge, huge, huge thing in 1989,” he tells Rolling Stone. “It was a kind of validation of tens of thousands of disenfranchised and left-of-center music fans’ existence, in a way. I’m not trying to pat ourselves on the back here, but it was sort of the first time the Grammys had said, ‘Yes, there is stuff that’s edgier. There is stuff that’s darker than the stuff that’s being played on the radio and MTV.’ That was the real victory that day.

“This is how fucked up it was: The record company had already made 10,000 onesheets to put in record stores that said [Justice was a] ‘Grammy Award Winner.’ So we said, why don’t we just put a sticker on them that says, ‘Grammy Award Loser’? We were psyched that we were invited. We were psyched that we got to perform. And then, a year or two later, they invited us back and we got our award. We’ve won a bunch of them since. I can’t remember the count. So it worked out OK. I’m happy that we were the first guys to knock on the fucking door.”

Metallica headline Sonisphere in August. Tickets are on sale now from, with a £50 deposit scheme now up and running.

from Metal Hammer
via Merlin


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