Joey Jordison’s performance with Metallica at Download 2004 has passed into legend, with the late Slipknot drummer (and Slayer’s Dave Lombardo) substituting for an absent Lars Ulrich to save Metallica’s headline show at Donington Park.
Less well known is a story which Jordison’s former Murderdolls bandmate Wednesday 13 shares in the current issue of Metal Hammer magazine, which is a special tribute issue dedicated to the life and legacy of the drummer, who tragically passed away on July 26. The story paints a wonderful picture of Jordison as a wide-eyed Metallica fan-boy.
The date was June 1, 2003, and having played the opening day of the inaugural Download festival at Donington Park, Murderdolls decided to stick around for day two, partly because they’d heard whispers that Metallica were set to make an unbilled mid-afternoon appearance on the site’s second stage. Wednesday 13 uses the word “crazy” when recalling the day, remembering his band “running round drinking, partying and getting kinda loose.” All fun and games until the singer lost his pals, and realised he had no idea where the Murderdolls bus was parked.
“This is before the days of cell phones, so I was in real trouble,” he tells Hammer. “I’m walking around and suddenly I see this bus pull up next to me…”
The bus door opened, and to Wednesday’s astonishment, out stepped Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo, fresh from his UK debut with Metallica.
“They go, ‘Hey! You played with Joey, right?’ And I go, ‘Yeah!’ And they go, ‘Where is he?’ And I tell them I don’t know, that I’ve lost my bus. And Lars says, ‘Come on, hop in and we’ll go find him!’ So, I’m sitting there… on Metallica’s bus! They start driving around and eventually find the Murderdolls bus.”
“I go up on to the top deck and the band are all sitting there glaring at me,” Wednesday recalls. “Jordison’s sitting there in the back lounge and he looks at me and shouts, ‘Dude! Where the fuck have you been! We’re gonna be late for our show tomorrow!’ And I’m just smiling at him, and I go, ‘Well… I mean… I brought Metallica…’ Suddenly Lars and all the other guys come running up the stairs and Joey’s like, ‘WHAAA WHAAA WHAAA?!’ They’re all like, ‘Chill out Joey!’, laughing at him and he just couldn’t believe it. His face, I wish you could have seen it! So, I was the guy that delivered Metallica to Joey. That was the kind of shit that happened to us during that time.”
Famously, 12 months later, Metallica would once again come looking for Joey Jordison at Donington Park. This time, they needed a favour…
“My manager told me that James wanted to talk to me,” Joey recalled to Hammer, “and I went over there, and he asked me, and it was literally like a dream. I sat down in their little warm-up room, and we played some songs that we didn’t get to play onstage and just jammed. I mean, the show was cool, but that fucking waaaaay cooler, because it was just us. Getting to play with Metallica? Come on, it was amazing man, it’s one of my most treasured memories.”