In response to:

I worked with them after Cliff died and before Rob joined, 1988-2000 the Jason years! So those are the years I can mostly answer questions about.

Comments: 1064 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

TheUltimateDouche351 karma


LibpoolRule701 karma

Leftover? I was the frontline, man, the frontline!

catfoodparty291 karma

That'll do, dad. That'll do.

LibpoolRule277 karma

Where's my money?

grandmoffcory276 karma


LibpoolRule237 karma

Two paws short of a dog.

snowball66618 karma

But mom said it was OK.

LibpoolRule56 karma

Is she from Salt Lake City?

ihaveahadron6 karma

Grandpa Wiggly?

LibpoolRule13 karma

Does it show?

[deleted]157 karma

What was it like when James went up in flames from the pyro in Montreal and G&R ran off stage and caused the whole city riot? Did you get to see James' skin bubbling? Get to see any good fights between James and Lars?

LibpoolRule255 karma

That was a horrible time. I was in the office working when the music stopped at a place it shouldn't have. I went to the stage and saw James standing there literally dazed and confused. His arm had flesh blistered and partially hanging from it and his face had burns too. Within a couple of minutes I was in a van with him on the way to hospital so I didn't see the whole G'n'R thing. Although I did go back to the venue later, once James was settled, to meet up with the rest of the band and I saw the results of the riot. A bad night, bad night.

_JP145 karma

Did you download any music from Napster?

LibpoolRule375 karma

No, I prefer SoulSeek.

k3n0b1138 karma

What was the most "Non-Metal" thing that you witnessed?

LibpoolRule362 karma

Whilst backstage at a Kiss concert, after the show myself and a couple of Metallica band guys went into the dressing room to say hello to Kiss guys. There was one of the band members sitting in a robe with huge fluffy bunny slippers on his feet, floppy ears and all. (I don't think they were real bunnies.) That was a fairly non-metal moment.

kleinbl0051 karma

I was lower-rung about the time you were higher rung (the Metallica/Corrosion of Conformity tour - that was what? '98? I ran FoH and monitors at the club in Seattle that Corrosion of Conformity did a set at for reasons I still don't understand).

A little while after that Great White and Dokken came through. And I'm sitting there in our combination monitor world/ready room and Don Dokken is leaning over my shoulder, watching the stage, getting ready for his entrance. And I notice he's wearing this rather... glam leather jacket with the name "DOKKEN" in rhinestones on the back.

I look at him, he looks at me. I say

"What's it like having your own name in rhinestones on your back?"

He says

"Versace. You like?"

And then he jumps on stage and starts wailing in that famous falsetto.

During the set my boss and his completely trashed wife wandered down and started trying on Great White's wardrobe. Jack Russell comes in and starts asking them what they're doing and they think he's Dokken - they start asking him if he feels cheated opening for a pussy band like Great White (this was maybe 3 months before the Station fire and hell no we didn't let their pyro on stage). Jack Russell, to his credit, responded with grace and dignity and asked my boss' wife to get out of his Spandex.

Great White mixed their own monitors - they'd hop off the stage, tweak some knobs and hop back up. So me, my girlfriend and Don Dokken sat around drinking cognac and talking about sweaters and Lisbon for an hour or so.

All in all, probably my least metal moment, or collection of moments. I told that story once within earshot of Alexandra Patsavas and she gave me a glare that would have melted lead. Apparently telling stories about Don Dokken in the earshot of "Miss Death Cab" is gauche in the extreme.

LibpoolRule52 karma

My only real contact with Dokken was during the VH Monsters tour in 1988. Both Metallica and Dokken were on the bill and were managed by the same company. Consequently we (the production people) helped each other out a fair bit, stayed at the same same hotels etc. One of my memories about that is sitting in a hotel bar one night (in Cincinnati I think) and one of Dokken band members sits next to me. "I'm starving" he says, "but I have no money. Buy me a steak sandwich, I'll pay you back." He still owes me!

kleinbl0029 karma


When they came through he was backed up by a bunch of Celtic Frost-type Swedish death-metal dudes. His lead guitarist spoke not a lick of English. He had a special assistant whose only job was to watch said guitarist, wait for said guitarist to nod to him, and then he would point THE FINGER OF DEATH AT ME which was my indication to turn his monitor feed from "off" to "everything" for his solos.

The special assistant would then wait for the solo to end and the Celtic Frost dude to nod, at which point he would again level THE FINGER OF DEATH AT ME which was my indication to turn his monitor feed from "everything" to "off."

Neither I nor the Celtic Frost dude really understood why we couldn't just, you know, make eye contact with each other - he was actually a really agreeable dude. But that's rawk'n'roll.

LibpoolRule26 karma

Finger of death guy had a sweet gig by the sound of it.

appleseed1234133 karma

Do your hobbies include bowling, and the occasional acid flashback?

LibpoolRule620 karma

The problem with bowling on acid is that it burns your feet.

atheos118 karma

When I was high school (a few years ago, 88-89ish) a friend of mine had a personal connection to Metallica via their tour manager. During the Justice for all tour, my friend was able to supply me with a great deal of Metallica swag (drumsticks, pics, shirts, autographs) and he even scored for me a ticket and backstage pass for their show in Indianapolis Indiana. He embarked to the concert a day early in order to spend some personal time with the band, and my only task was to find my own ride to the show. I was 16 year old with no car, no resources, and a single parent who had become convinced that Metallica was "devil worshiping music". That was a really low time for me, and I've never completely forgiven her for not allowing me to go. (Love you mom!) Anyway, as I recall it being told to me, my friends Aunt had been pen-pals with the tour manager as a youth, and I believe he was from England. Any chance this person is you, and do you recall knowing my friend? I still have a few souvenirs from the band members, but I've always regretted not getting to meet them when I had the opportunity.

LibpoolRule121 karma

If your friend's aunt is named Sarah, then yes I'm that person.

daytime32 karma

Small world, eh?

LibpoolRule56 karma

Small and round.

grandmoffcory102 karma

Did the band make any weird requests before they would agree to play at a venue?

LibpoolRule231 karma

Craziest request , and it's sort of tame really, is one of the band guys liked to have a tray of dirt from the show city so he could rub his shoes in it before going on stage. So every day the wardrobe lady had to go outside and fill up a plastic tray with 'local earth'. Not wild but but a little crazy.

Xhiro100 karma

I'm not quite sure on the time frame, but if you were on the speed of sound tour, did you work with a roadie named Jeffrey Lebowski? That guy's a trip.

LibpoolRule99 karma

Oh yeah, Jeff and I were like brothers. Many a night pounding back those white russians. Great dude.

LibpoolRule98 karma

Taking a break for a while. I see some great questions being asked. I'll try to get to them all later. Cheers.

[deleted]21 karma

When you get back, think about this one for me. You were the tour manager and were close to the band in the time between their most complex, progressive, and thrashiest/rhythmic album and the total 180 with the black album where, whether you want to call it selling out or not, they totally changed their style. From all of my Metallica knowledge, I'm a big fan of the first four albums, I know that even before they met Rob they wanted to change their style. I don't really need filling in on how Bob Rock made them so commercial, I know he's good at that, I just want to know why they wanted to change.

I've heard people say that it was Cliff dying that did it, but that can't be true because Justice just traveled further away from being commercial with fucking long complicated songs and tons of guitar layers, and from what I know Jason never really had any influence at all in the overall sound. So I guess what I'm asking is:

(important part)
Did you see them make a deal with the devil? Just kidding...but did you see James and Lars getting tired of their sound or something? Or were they more addicted to the fans and getting bigger? Was money a motivating factor, as in did they see that the natural progression to getting more famous was the new kind of commercial nu metal format that the Black Album introduced?

Did you ever see any hints that they were either tired of what they were doing or desirous of biggerdom?

LibpoolRule35 karma

A long question but the answer is really quite short and simple. I never once saw or heard them talking about writing songs for any other reason than it was what they felt like writing. I never once heard them talking about any kind of commercial influence prompting them to write particular types of songs. They always seemed to me to be honest people and honest musicians. Everything else you hear outside of the band is third parties offering their opinions based on their interpretations.

hearhear__83 karma

How did you get the job?

LibpoolRule110 karma

Had been doing tour work for many years (mostly in Europe) when I met the guys, through a mutual aquaintance, in a rehearsal studio in Los Angeles. They were preparing to go out on tour, we got on well and I was offered a job.

eyeohewe15 karma

Are you British?

LibpoolRule66 karma

English, yes.

hesnothere82 karma

I'll bite: Craziest road story? And don't say Lars playing tennis.

LibpoolRule228 karma

So, so many to choose from. One that sticks in my mind is the first time in Moscow just after collapse of Soviet Union. Approx half million people and authorities having no clue how to handle a gathering of people going wild like that. Army were 'buzzing' them with helicopters 6 feet above their heads, police thought mosh pits were some kind of gang murders and were in the middle trying to stop them etc etc.. Incredible sights and memories all around.

howdoiturnthison74 karma

What is your favorite Metallica album?

Best live performance?

Favorite opening act?

LibpoolRule173 karma

Not a particular favourite album. I have my own homemade Metallica compilation cd that I like listening to. The black album has a special place for me because of the associated tour etc. Best live performance (for me personally) was Alpine Valley, WI in 1988 opening for Van Halen on the Monsters of Rock tour. It was the first time I stood on stage with Metallica and watched the crowd reaction/interaction. That was the day I realised how massively huge they were going to be. Favourite opening act - Faith No More. Some great guys in that band.

grooviegurl71 karma

Not to be that guy, but can you verify this somehow?

LibpoolRule186 karma

Tell me what will verify it, within reason, and I'll attempt to do so. Although I do think my replies make it fairly obvious that I'm for real. However, I could just be trying to make lots of money by scamming everyone here.

[deleted]57 karma

What's the weirdest sex stuff that happened?

LibpoolRule149 karma

Can't really say too much but it involved a stuffed donkey, two frozen salmon and a lady from Salt Lake City. (Although it might have just been a dream.)

toomuch23 karma

I love how you refer to her as a 'lady'

LibpoolRule17 karma

It's the gentleman in me. (TWSS)

rchase54 karma

Anything interesting in the rider?

LibpoolRule135 karma

It changed over the years from a never ending supply of Sapporo beer and Jagermeister to a constant supply of fried bacon. Bear in mind riders have to be paid for. Any stuff requested comes out of the band's fee so having a $10,000 party every night (yes, it does happen with some bands) just means a bill for $50,000 or so at the end of the week.

soopernaut18 karma

I'm confused, they prefer Sapporo over Coors light? So when James sang about Coors light in between songs, was Metallica getting paid for doing so?

LibpoolRule18 karma

No, there was Coors too. No xenophobia when it comes to beer.

MisterHands00151 karma

Seeing as my best friend's dad is the manager of Metallica I could probably verify if this guy is telling the truth...

LibpoolRule64 karma

Last time I saw their managers was in Cleveland for the Hall of Fame induction. First time we'd ever seen each other in suits!

headinthesky5 karma

How was the hall of fame induction?

LibpoolRule14 karma

Excellent. The band arranged for a party the night before and invited hundreds of familiar faces. It was great seeing those people. The actualy induction ceremony was a little strange for me. I am used to being backstage at events like that (Grammys, AMA's etc), so it was a new experience to be sitting out in the audience. Really enjoyable though.

whasupjohn44 karma

What parts of your job did you love? What parts did you hate? did you actually watch many of the concerts? If so, where from (stage, sound booth, etc)? And thanks for doing the AMA.

LibpoolRule58 karma

I loved seeing the world (although the travel was tough sometimes), meeting people everywhere, helping one of the biggest touring shows make it from city to city and country to country and sharing some incredible experiences that I never thought possible. I hated the travel sometimes (emergncy plane landings for instance and going to four countries in one day was a tiring one.) Being away from my family for months at a time was bad and never really having any downtime could be tough after a while. But the good far outweighed the bad. I used to watch a lot of concerts at first. Usually from side stage to watch the crowd reaction but also from the sound desk. I used to enjoy wandering amongst the fans and sharing in their excitement at times. As years went by and things got busier I used showtime as a time to get on the phone/computer and work on upcoming shows, travel, hotels etc.

libertyordeath136 karma

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about the guys in the band? Also, do you still keep in contact with any of them?

LibpoolRule49 karma

During my years (or at least the later years) the biggest misconception seemed to be that Metallica were money motivated. I spent a lot of time around them and every decision I heard them make was motivated by asking themselves if it felt right to them as a band. Very easy to be cynical about this kind of stuff but the band were concerned about their beliefs, musically and ethically, way, way more than anything financial. That was one of the reasons I really enjoyed working with that band, their attitude was like a breath of fresh air compared to many bands.

dickshoes33 karma

How much time does the band spend with the other bands that they bring with them on tour? I had heard the guys in Gn'R and Metallica didn't get along. And I remeber they toured with Alice in Chains when Layne Staley was barely holding it together and cancelling their sets multiple times.

LibpoolRule48 karma

No simple answer to that. Sometimes all band members were very good friends and made an effort to spend time together, sometimes things were not so good and it was more of a working relationship. The events in Montreal certainly put a strain on relations for that tour.

Shimmi31 karma

I always wondered how tired bands get of playing the same songs every night on like a 30-40 city tour. I'd imagine the beginning of the tour is a blast and so is the end, but what about that huge chunk of dates in the middle? Did it ever feel like a drag for you? For the band?

LibpoolRule44 karma

Much less so for me because I had many other things to concentrate on. There were times the guys used to change the set around a bit to make it a little more interesting for them. On multiple nights in one city they would always change a few songs around. Nowadays, of course, they do a lot of different sets in a tour.

darkstarohio30 karma

Did you get along with all the band members the same? Or was there that one guy that you secretly hated?

LibpoolRule65 karma

I believe that I got along with all band members equally well. I know from my perspective that I did. Whenever I had 'alone time' with any individual I always felt a good connection with each one of them. The toughest one to be around sometimes was Lars. When it came to work he had very high standards and expected those around him to keep up to those standards. Nothing really unreasonable just tough sometimes but no tougher than he would do himself.

[deleted]29 karma


LibpoolRule10 karma

I was around for the first S&M shows in San Fran bay area. By the time they did the later shows I was retired.

Subhoney29 karma

Why'd you retire?

LibpoolRule82 karma

After well over a decade on the road with Metallica and things staying consistantly busy, I really needed to have a long break and be with my family. As things turned out, for personal reasons, I decided that I had to stay home and be there as my children grew up. I left the band on great terms and they let me know how much they appreciated me and how much I would be missed. I felt the same about them. Touching eh?

jhidekim7 karma

So did you stop working after that (if no, then what did you do? What do you do now?) ? How old were you when you retired?

LibpoolRule19 karma

I stopped working for a while. Once things in my own life allowed I started doing some tour consultancy and other things such as tour transport chartering (private jets and that type stuff). I still do bits and pieces for touring acts just no touring myself. I don't do anything for Metallica nowadays, they have their own well oiled touring machine and they dont need a rusty old cog fouling it up! I was nearly forty when I retired from the road after about twenty years of touring.

[deleted]28 karma

Okay, so I'm the guy that originally requested this AMA. I have a band that is about to go on tour. I guess I could ask you a lot of questions about this and that, but if you could just give me a run down... sort of like if you could have went back in time and told your 1980's self what not to do. Lay it all out for me. The good the bad, anything and everything. Thank you, you are awesome, I can't believe this is even happening.

EDIT: I feel like a dog that caught the car. All the questions I thought I had immediately turned to shit when I saw this. I am humble in your presence good sir.

LibpoolRule36 karma

Enough of that humble stuff. Without writing a book here is a shortish piece of good advice. I assume you are doing a club/opening act type tour. Best advice I can give is triple check everything in advance, don't assume the most obvious things have been taken care of - check! I mean those words in the most literal way possible. The biggest mistake 'new' touring bands make is assuming people have common sense and will have done the obvious stuff. That is how shows get cancelled without you finding out and hotel reservations no longer exist. Triple check everything. Once when it is booked, once a few days before and once the day of. Again, assuming this is a smallish tour, just enjoy everything. When things do go wrong (and they will) remember you will be in the company of just about every touring band that existed. Enjoy!

eandi26 karma

Do you like Metallica's music?

LibpoolRule54 karma

More now than I used to. They have some great songs that I never fully appreciated when I heard them nearly every night at 120db for years and years. Now I can choose what I listen to and when, I enjoy that much more.

icanhazausername40 karma

nearly every night at 120db for years and years

So, how's your hearing now?

LibpoolRule101 karma


gobostone15 karma

I would like a serious answer to this question... did the tour damage your hearing?

LibpoolRule26 karma

Yes. In spite of wearing custom fitted attenuators. The last time I had my hearing checked I had lost about 15% of normal capability.

lukmcd23 karma

So I understand that there was a bet with a car.....

LibpoolRule86 karma

Yes, not exactly a bet though. It involved the black album, Kirk and his Porsche 911. I told him I thought the album would sell over ten million, he said he would give me the Porsche if it did. I still have the Porsche.

Exedous22 karma

Cliff went to my highschool.

LibpoolRule49 karma

Sorry that I never met him. Never heard a bad word about him. I did get to know his parents quite well and they were great people. I never recall a time that I saw his dad without a smile on his face.

headinthesky21 karma

Did you witness or could tell of the bad-blood between Jason and James? And how that was brewing?

LibpoolRule38 karma

All of the band members had times when they got on each others nerves. During long tours this is almost inevitable when you are living and working with people practically 24/7. I saw nothing more between James and Jason than between any other two band members. Usually things were good and a lot of fun. Jason is a very strong character and he did keep that in check a lot for many years. I was not too surprised when he eventually decided to move on and do his own projects.

w00t4me20 karma

what was, in your opinion, Metallicas best show?

LibpoolRule65 karma

Almost impossible to choose one show as being the 'best'. The show that sticks in my mind as being the most satisfying to be involved with was a show in Tuktoyaktuk (way up in the Arctic Circle). All the logistics involved in making that happen made it a very special show for those of us involved. And only 500 people saw it!

gutterbumber19 karma

Do you appear anywhere in the "Year And a Half in The Life Of..." documentary? Are you the guy with the Polaroids?

James is famously sober now; did he ever seem to have a "problem" to you?

*I should clarify that I'm not looking for gossip on James. Just wondering, in your professional opinion, if you ever looked at the guy and said "He needs to get sober." Did he ever ruin shows the way the most infamous users did?

LibpoolRule13 karma

Yes I am in that video a few times, don't recall having any Polaroids though. James used to enjoy partying a lot, as did almost everyone in my early days with the band. As time moved on and more was expected of them James began to take things a lot more seriously and eased up a lot on the partying side of things to ensure he was able to deliver onstage. Drinking really did not seem to be any kind of problem through the 90's. Obviously it became a problem sometime after I retired. I can say in the times that I've seen James recently he certainly seems like a man very much in control of his life.

bpbuddha2516 karma

Whats your favorite Metallica song?

LibpoolRule45 karma

My absolute favourite is the cover they did of 'Turn The Page'. Of their own stuff, probably 'Fade To Black'.

[deleted]12 karma


LibpoolRule18 karma

Great questions. Yes it is a little odd to be speaking this way in a public forum. Really the only time I would usually speak this way is when talking to people I have worked with and we'd be having a 'remember when' type conversation. Speaking diplomatically is more or less second nature now. I think anyone who has experienced the same kind of life as established bands will have many skeletons in the closet. As far as I'm concerned with this band the skeletons will remain in the closet until such time as the band guys choose to take them out. The music community felt tiny! With large established acts playing large venues it seemed to be the same small number of production crew going from tour to tour. Being on the inside was fine, I would hear often that trying to break through to the inside seemed nearly impossible. Yes there was gossip and a lot of it. When you are travelling for days on end sometimes there is nothing better to do than talk about people that you know. Generally speaking it is harmless enough. When it comes to stuff that might not be so harmless the touring community know it is best to keep things to themselves and just get on with their gig.

andweeb9 karma

Was there ever a time when you were just totally pissed off at the band and wanted to quit, or kill one of them?

LibpoolRule15 karma

Not one time - dozens! A few deep breaths and a couple of minutes peace and quiet took care of it though.

gosassin8 karma

So, do you remember the Dude from when he was a roadie?

LibpoolRule9 karma

Oh absolutely. Had his own flight case for that damn bowling ball.

SicTim7 karma

Did you work the show in Minneapolis' First Avenue mainroom, when it was the first time W.A.S.P. had to open for Metallica, instead of vice-versa?

Blackie Lawless acted like a petulant little bitch, and I'd love a behind-the-scenes account.

LibpoolRule9 karma

I honestly do not recall that. If it was pre-1988 then no.