Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich spoke in an interview with Mike Hogan and explained how he and James Hetfield formed Metallica. He said:
“This was obviously pre-internet and all that stuff – there was a classified ads newspaper in the greater LA called The Recycler, primarily used for selling.
It was like Craigslist basically, like selling cars and selling whatever you would sell, lawn mowers… And there was a very small [section] – you really had to know where to look for it in The Recycler – musicians seeking bands and bands seeking musicians.
And I put an ad in there – it was free by the way, that was really cool – for a drummer looking for other musicians to start a band. And I put sort of obscure New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands in there, like Diamond Head, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Witchfinder General or whatever.
And I would get all these calls from all these guys. There were a lot of people calling and saying like, ‘Heavy metal? You mean like Kansas and Styx?’ [Laughs] And then I would sit and talk to them about the three Tygers of Pan Tang singles that have come out the last few months in England.
So that didn’t go very far, but long story short, a guy named Hugh Tanner showed up one day and he said, ‘Can I bring a friend of mine along?’ And this very shy, introverted, very awkward kid, came with him. Tall, skinny… and his name was James Hetfield.
We sort of had a jam together, the three of us, and absolutely nothing happened. I’ve heard James tell the story a thousand times, it’s always, ‘Lars’ cymbal stands kept falling over.’ And, ‘Lars, being a Danish person, hadn’t washed in two months,’ or whatever.
I’ve heard his side, now you’re hearing my side – I’ll be kinder and gentler. So nothing much happened, it was just we didn’t connect that much. But there was something – because this Hugh Tanner guy was sort of the front line – there was something about this James guy that I felt the kinship to.
So I ran screaming out of Southern California back and spent that summer in England and Europe sort of following bands around, Motorhead and Diamond Head and all these bands.”
Click here to entire interview on Youtube.