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Johnnie’s TBT – Meeting Metallica in 1997

James Hetfied and Johnnie Walker
I think I must have been 12 when this picture was taken.

Today is the anniversary of Metallica’s black album release, so I figured I try this throwback Thursday thing for once.

This doesn’t go back to ’92, but ’97, when Metallica was touring for the Load album, before Reload came out.  I got the chance to hit a couple shows, as I was part of a station event where we gave away a trip to Phoenix for the Metallica show on January 5th, and then we raced back for the show in Las Cruces on January 6th.

I drove the winners to Phoenix, we checked out the show (which was amazing), and then raced ahead of a snow storm the next morning to get to El Paso for the next night’s amazing show.

If you didn’t see that tour (which is on DVD if you’re interested), they blow up the stage and props and such, and then come back in a stripped down show for the encore.  It was a great effect, with the dude on fire, people falling from lighting trusses, towers collapsing…very cool stuff.

When Metallica came back up after the destruction in Las Cruces, they announced that the highways had been closed back to El Paso, and that we could sleep there in the venue, since we couldn’t get home because of the snow!  Crazy night!

As part of that trip with the winners, we all got to meet most of Metallica.  They were all cool to meet and talk to, even though we were not allowed to take pictures of or near Jason, since apparently the “flash bothered his eyes”.  As if there wouldn’t be 2 hours of flashing stuff when he was on stage.

Here are the pics of me with Kirk and James from that meeting…cool dudes, and a great story for me!  Oh, and Korn were the opening band on that tour!

Johnnie Walker with Kirk Hammett
Me with Kirk and some other random peeps.

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