Lars Ulrich says Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis is "the greatest rock star in England."
The Metallica drummer praised the Glasto boss as Eavis was given the Music Industry Trusts Award at the Grosvenor House hotel in London last night. The prize is awarded every year to a leading figure in the UK music industry.
Ulrich flew to London specially for the event and presented the award to 79-year-old Eavis, just months after Metallica headlined the Worthy Farm festival to widespread critical acclaim.
In his speech, Ulrich said: “Michael Eavis is the greatest rock star in England. You know why? Because he’s not trying to be. Glastonbury is the least corporate festival you can play.”
Ulrich added that he had given up on his dream of playing at Glasto with Metallica until the call came from Eavis this year.
He said: “I never in a million years imagined that would happen. I thought it was beyond our reach, and after a decade of hope I had finally come to peace with that.
“When asked about it, I would profess my desire to visit, or perform, on the hallowed grounds of Worthy Farm, yet I had truly given up on it leading to an appearance.
“But lo and behold, this year, news filtered back to me that Michael and Emily were finally interested. I never asked why and I never questioned it.”
The awards show – now in its 23rd year – is held in aid of Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Performing Arts & Technology School. Coldplay, Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton were among those who paid tribute to Eavis via video link.
Ulrich’s entire speech has been published by the Guardian.