Metallica Fans Really Liked Destroying the Chairs at LA-Area Venues, Lars Ulrich Says
Early Metallica shows were wild. For example, back then, Metallica fans in the Los Angeles area apparently had no problem destroying large numbers of chairs (or chair cushions) at the venues Metallica would play, per Metallica's Lars Ulrich.
That's how the drummer put it to Conan O'Brien on Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend, with the rock star estimating Metallica had to pay a six-figure tab for seat cushions at Long Beach Arena early on.
"The next day [the venue staff] would be like, 'Okay, Metallica, here's those $300,000 worth of cushions that you have to pay for,'" Ulrich recounted to O'Brien, as Metal Hammer pointed out.
"What are there, 16,000 seats in there?" the drummer mused. "We've paid for about 15,000 of those 16,000 seats over the years because every time we were playing Long Beach Arena, people would just take the cushion, play frisbee with it."
In fact, it got so bad that Metallica had to go on the radio in Los Angeles before the show to encourage their fans not to damage the venue.
READ MORE: Rockers Who've Defended Lars Ulrich
"We had to go on KNAC multiple times and go, listen, whatever, you know you're our fans, and we're your fans, and we're all in this together," Ulrich said. "We want you to have a good time, and we support that. But understand one thing, if you think you're rebelling against the building or rebelling against authority or rebelling against the man or whatever the fuck it is, do you think you're rebellious? The only people you're really rebelling against is Metallica.'"
Metallica Venue Damage
Lars Ulrich recalled, "At that time, things were maybe slightly more unpredictable about the physical elements of the makeup of the shows, and in front of the stage, the whole lawn. The football field at the LA Coliseum was … all folding chairs."
He added, "I don't know if any of you would like to guess where 40,000 folding chairs ended up three songs into the set. Yeah, that's right, All those — whatever there was — 30–40,000 folding chairs ended up on stage. So we had to stop the show."