Thursday, September 11, 2008

Metallica, I want 2.5 hours of my life back.

As I write this, I’m listening to Devo. Auto Modown to be exact. This is classic house cleaning music. Even though I’m listening to classic New Wave, my thoughts are all about the DVD I saw last night. It was Metallica’s Some Kind Of Monster. It took the band over seven hundred days to make the album St. Anger, and the cameras rolled through the entire torturous, tedious event.

My wife left the room at day 388. About that time, I started to wonder if the stupid album would ever be finished. As a musician, I cannot fathom taking that much time, spending that much money, and swinging around all that baggage in front of a camera crew. James left for rehab in the middle of making the album. He came back a year later, and when he did, there were new rules. The band could only "create" from noon to four pm. Nobody was to listen to tracks after he left for the day.

The forty-thousand dollar per month performance enhancement therapist got so involved in the band that he didn’t want to leave after the band decided to give this guy the boot. In my opinion, he crossed the patient-doctor boundary.

Who wouldn’t want to live the rock and roll life vicariously though one of the biggest metal bands to ever grace the stage? After all, he was pulling in nearly half a million dollars a year to coddle these worn out buggers.

Highlights of the DVD would include the art auction Lars so bravely put himself through.
Poor guy had to rake in millions for his paintings. Most of it resembled cookie cutter college art, or mock ups of worn out themes from previous decades. None the less, he got drunk to numb the pain of watching his bank account grow even bigger. He justified the auction by stating that “others park their money in the bank, I put it on the wall.” Whatever makes you feel better in front of the cameras Lars.

Another intensely annoying aspect of this marathon of a documentary was having to listen to Lars’ snare drum. As a drummer, I couldn’t help myself. His snare sounded like the pinging of a 1950’s submarine radar that you hear in those old B-movies. Ping, Ping, Ping, make it stop!! Apparently nobody had the guts to tell Lars that his Tama Signature snare sounded like complete garbage. Thank the earth for Pro Tools. That was the only thing saving that horrid snare tuning.

As I mentioned, James took some time to dry out, and that’s a fine thing to do. He came out of rehab with all the tools that one would expect. He blamed his callous manner on abandonment issues. He found his old life of being smashed most of the time to be boring. Good point. Anything can get old after a while. It was still hard to watch him cast away Jason without a thought, and then never ask him back when sober.

Ok, back to highlights. I loved the scene where the therapist handed James lyrics on a post it note. This old fart (my opinion) decided it was perfectly acceptable to join in the task of writing for Metallica. I loved it when Lars’ dad rejected some of the songs with honestly. I loved the bass player auditions.

Lastly, I’m still blown away at how these guys don’t seem grateful after all the years. They have millions upon millions of dollars, and they want for nothing. They do the typical “get away from it all” crap on their ranches, or their land, or while driving in their monster hot rods, or on jet skis. Get over yourselves guys and just make a freaking album! Other bands would have made four or five albums in that same time span. I did feel a bit robbed at the end of the DVD. I wanted 2.5 hours of my life back.

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