Metallica fan in New Zealand becomes first person in the world to buy 72 Seasons over the counter

Jesse Saywell holding a CD of 72 Seasons
Jesse Saywell at Vinyl Countdown in New Plymouth, New Zealand (Image credit: Kim Thomas)

A Metallica fan in New Zealand has become the first person in the world to buy the band's new album 72 Seasons over the counter. 

The fan, 23-year-old door technician Jesse Saywell, bought the album from Vinyl Countdown in New Plymouth, a city on the west coast of NZ's North Island. The store opened at midnight on release day, with the country's GMT+12 timezone allowing staff to sell the album to customers hours ahead of shops elsewhere in the world. 

"I feel pretty good, bro!" says Saywell, who's been a Metallica fan for 15 years. "I'm not gonna lie. I think it's bloody wicked." 

Saywell visited Vinyl Countdown to buy 72 Seasons right after after attending one of the global listening events for the album, held at the Event Cinema in New Plymouth. 

"It sounds wicked," says Saywell. "It's got bits and pieces from the previous albums, little pieces in the tracks that give subtle nods to stuff that they've done."

"I decided to open at midnight for the launch of 72 Seasons because no one seems to run these sorts of events anymore," says Vinyl Countdown owner Mark Thomas. "There's a whole generation who will never have been to a midnight launch for an album release.

"I have worked in record stores for a few decades, and the last midnight launches that I was involved with were also for Metallica albums - Load in 1996 and St Anger in 2003."

Metallica fans at Vinyl Countdown

Metallica fans at Vinyl Countdown, New Plymouth, New Zealand (Image credit: Kim Thomas)

Vinyl Countdown was opened in 2011, and carries both new and second hand stock. 

"There is a whole new generation of music fans who are discovering the superior sound of physical formats, and the joy of collecting LPs, CDs and even cassettes," says Thomas. "The chance to be the first people in the world to buy physical copies of Metallica's 72 Seasons is pretty exciting!"     

As well as running Vinyl Countdown, Thomas also plays drums with New Plymouth doom merchants Infinity Ritual, whose debut, self-titled EP was released last year. The band's first ever video, for EP highlight Underneath, dropped yesterday. 

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

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.