During in an interview with “Juliet: Unexpected” podcast, former A&R record label executive, Michael Alago, has revealed the story of how he discovered Metallica in 1982.
Here’s the statement:
“Well, I was out every night as an A&R person. I [was] also meeting with unsigned bands, lawyers and managers in my office every day. In 24 years, I had listened to thousands upon thousands of demo tapes.
Over those years, I’d heard lots of good stuff — lots of good stuff — but good ain’t great. And if you thought you were gonna sign everybody good, you just can’t afford to do that.
On how he discovered Metallica, he said:
“I saw Metallica a couple of times before I signed them — I saw them at L’Amour in Brooklyn in ’82, I saw them at The Stone in San Francisco in ’83. I was friends, who became a close colleague of mine, Jonny [Zazula] at Megaforce Records, had a small independent label, and he said, ‘I wanna send you the records we’re putting out.’
So they were the first Metallica record, it was also Anthrax, and he may have made a Raven record. Well, when I heard Metallica on vinyl, after I saw them those two times, I thought, ‘These people are special. They are not doing traditional hard rock [and] heavy metal. They were combining all elements of punk and speed and British heavy metal, American hard rock and metal, into this one thing that they called Metallica.
And those two times that I saw them prior to seeing them summer of ’84 at Roseland [in New York], where I actually signed them, I thought, ‘These are people who are young and crazy and drink a lot, and they are so focused that it’s unbelievable.’
And never mind that James Hetfield has always been a wildly charismatic person on stage. And you felt that the minute you walked in the room and saw him on stage. And he knew how to whip a crowd into a frenzy. And I thought, ‘Wow! These are people I want in my life.'”
You can watch the entire interview from below. Click here to source of the statement.