Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell: Metallica are a pack of b*******

Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy: Phil Lynott, Brian Downey and Eric Bell in February 1973 (Image credit: Michael Putland - Getty)

Guitarist and co-founding member of Thin Lizzy Eric Bell has lashed out at Metallica, calling them “a pack of bastards,” claiming they didn’t pay him for a show.

The outburst came in an interview with Bell in the The Irish Sun, with the guitarist saying he was expecting to make £2000 after he was invited to play Whiskey In The Jar with the thrash giants at a show in Dublin in 1999.

Bell was flown to and from the UK with Metallica on their private plane, and, although no fee agreement had been arranged, Bell says he was anticipating some cash when they landed back in the UK.

He tells the website: “It was about half three in the morning. The transport was all lined up, and there was a car to take me home.

“I was quietly expecting about two grand, which wouldn’t have meant a thing to them. But I got handed over a big ball of Metallica t-shirts, key rings and hats. I got paid fuck all. Then they all fucked off.”

Bell says he only realised he had received no money on the journey home and adds: “I thought I’d get something in the post but not a dickie bird.”

The guitarist says one of his reps tried to contact Metallica at a later date, but had no success.

“They are a pack of bastards" Bell says. “I couldn’t believe what they did, especially as they are so well off. I should have been paid £2000 but got fuck all.”

Bell goes on to claim that he was approached by one of Metallica’s crew after the show at Dublin’s Point Theatre, now the 3Arena, and was asked to sign a sheet of paper which he did – although he doesn’t know if that was to waive his fee for the performance.

Bell says: “I hadn’t got my glasses and, looking back, should never have signed it, but for some reason, I did sign. Then, one of the sergeant major roadies appeared and shouted, ‘OK, everybody, we’ll be leaving in 20 minutes.’”

Bell played on Thin Lizzy’s first three albums: Thin Lizzy, Shades Of A Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds Of The Western World and on the track Whiskey In The Jar, but left the band at the end of 1973.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.