Metallica weren't allowed to make eye contact with Mick Jagger when they supported the Rolling Stones

Metallica in 2022
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

Lars Ulrich has revealed that Metallica were told not to make eye contact with Mick Jagger when they supported The Rolling Stones.

Metallica played two shows with the Stones at SBC Park (now Oracle Park) in their San Francisco hometown on November 13 and 15, 2005, the first time they had performed as special guests to anyone since 1992, and at the time, Ulrich described the opportunity as "an honour and a privilege."

But in new interview with Bill Maher on his Club Random with Bill Maher podcast, the Danish drummer reveals that he and his bandmates were instructed not to look vocalist Mick Jagger in the eye when he walked through the stadium's backstage area.

"At that time we had played shows over our career with Deep Purple, with AC/DC,  with a few other bands, all the bands that I had posters on on my wall when I was a kid, and so the last one of those boxes to check was the Stones," Ulrich tells Maher.

"So we're sitting backstage, and - and this is in no way a judgment on the Stones, this is really more about us - at one point a a personal assistant or whatever comes and says, 'Mick Jagger's gonna walk through here in a couple minutes, he's going over to his private gym in his truck, and he's going to warm up before the show. When he walks through here, please don't make eye contact with him or talk to him'.

"So we're sitting there going, What? He has a truck with a portable gym in it? He goes and warms up for 30-45 minutes before he goes on stage? Cue Hahaha, Oh my God! Now guess who's got a truck with a gym in it? Guess who's got a Peloton bike on the road with us? Guess who's got a chef who walks around and makes us protein drinks and all kinds of other nasty stuff?"

At this point Maher interrupts and suggests that the more significant point here is not that Jagger warms up before gigs, but that others are instructed not to look him in the eye. Ulrich then says that the only contact that the band were permitted to have with the Stones, was having a photo taken with the band as they walked to the stage.

He adds: "I had dreams, like, I thought, we're gonna play with the Rolling Stones and you know where I'm gonna spend my whole time, is in Keith Richards hotel room, sitting at one of those legendary parties 'til nine o'clock in the morning: I'll be the last one to leave! It wasn't exactly like that."

"I always go and say hello to our support act: I look them in the eye, I ask them if there's anything they need. It's a human thing; if somebody comes out and plays on a Metallica stage I want them to feel at home."

Watch the full interview with Lars Ulrich below:

Metallica have also released an official video for another track from their new album 72 Seasons, Too Far Gone, which is below.

Metallica are on the covers of the latest issues of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.

Metallica are on the cover of the current issue of Metal Hammer, and also on the latest cover of Classic Rock magazine.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.