Today, we think of Metallica as, well, as the biggest metal band of all time. But back in the day, the Four Horsemen were a bunch of scrappy kids just trying to make a name for themselves, and ended up touring with a lot of bands that the thrash titans probably didn’t associate their music with. Case in point, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider recently recalled touring with Metallica in the ’80s, and how he offered the band a headlining slot — which they turned down.
Speaking to Classic Rock, Snider recalled bringing Metallica out with them to tour for the hair band’s breakthrough album Stay Hungry. The line-up were in Europe together when Dee noticed that a tour poster in a small town was giving the thrash act higher billing than them — and figured it would be best to roll with the punches.
“We got to a small town in Holland and were surprised to see a poster billing Metallica above us,” remembers Snider. “I said to my tour manager: ‘Metallica are clearly the headliner. Go and tell them we’ll open for them tonight.’ My tour manager came back and told me: ‘They said no. They seem somewhat suspicious.'”
To be fair, given Snider’s behavior during the ’80s, one can’t help but wonder if Metallica saw this as the set-up for an insane prank. But Dee was persistent: “Eventually I convinced Metallica that it wasn’t a trick, and that night I got to watch their show. I remember saying to someone: ‘These guys have got a lot of heart but they’re never gonna go anywhere.’ So much for what I know! I thought Metallica were too heavy and there was no way society would ever catch up with that.”
Thank the powers that be that society pulled it head out of its ass.
Words by Chris Krovatin