I Met Metallica November 15, 2005

Metallica Opens For The Rolling Stones
SBC Park – San Francisco, CA
November 15, 2005

Part I: The Decision

In August 2005 it was announced that Metallica had been asked to open for The Rolling Stones at their two San Francisco shows. Wow, now how cool was that? Well, I forget exactly who brought it up but my two crazy friends and I got it into our heads that we might just like to go see this oddly matched lineup.

After some airfare searching, hotel/rental car checking and concert ticket pricing, it was determined that the trip would cost just over $350 just to get out there and into the venue. Spending money? Well, there wouldn’t be much time for spending money because we were also looking at being in CA for barely 25 hours. Insane, right? But what the hell, this was a once in a lifetime event. Metallica were opening for The Rolling Stones for crying out loud!! Not to mention it had been almost one year since their 2004 tour ended and the band had been on vacation the WHOLE time!! I for one needed a fix, bad!!

So flights, a room and a car were booked, the cheapest concert tickets we could get were purchased and we were left with nothing to do but wait for Nov 15th. Did I mention these plans were made in AUGUST? Luckily I had enough going on in my life to keep me from constantly dwelling on the fact that I was going to see METALLICA in 2005!!!

Part II: A Slim Chance for Meet and Greet

About a week before the show, the anticipation was really starting to creep up on me. Luckily work was pretty insane, so once again, I had that to keep me from going crazy while waiting for Nov 15th. During the afternoon on the Friday before the show I received a call at work from my friend Kim. She asked if I had checked my email and I told her I hadn’t since lunchtime. She told me a MEET AND GREET had been announced. WHAT?! I immediately checked my email and sure enough, there it was. A last minute decision had been made.

12 lucky Clubbers would be chosen for each show to meet the band. Wow! Now I was dealing with a whole new rush of excitement! Granted I had met the band before but I thought “What the heck, I’m going to enter anyway.” I mean really, they were only picking 12 people and I was going to the show that the most Clubbers would be at. The odds of me winning were between slim and well, NONE! I double-checked my info for accuracy like 10 times and sent off the email. For a short time I thought, “How cool would it be to win?” but realistically, I knew it wouldn’t happen.

Winners for the Nov 15th show would be called on Nov 14th between 7-8pm CST via cell phone. That morning I forgot my phone at home and didn’t have a chance to charge it until I got home. Great I thought, it’s going to die just when I need it to be working, because after all, I mean, I could get a call, but really, I still didn’t see it happening. I set my phone to vibrate and then to ring so I would get the most rings out of the phone just in case I couldn’t get to it right away. Oh who was I kidding, my phone was not leaving my hand! haha

I had to run to my Mom’s after work to pick up something before the trip. On my way I sent a text message to my two friends (Kim and Jess) wishing them luck! We had decided to wait until after 8pm to call each other so we wouldn’t tie up the lines.

Once at my Mom’s I explained the M&G contest to her. I told her, “I know my chances are between slim and none, but I can still hope.” My son said, “You wont win if you’re negative.” I said, “I’m not being negative, just realistic.” At 7pm the countdown began. Holy crap was I nervous! I tried to think about anything except the contest. It wasn’t working! haha

We left for home at 7:10pm and I had my phone in my lap so I wouldn’t risk not feeling it vibrate before ringing because after all, the car stereo was cranking out the songs from the Live Paris EP! Hubby asked me to stop at McDonalds on the way home. I thought, knowing my luck the phone would ring while I was in the drive thru. Well, no such luck!

I got home around 7:30pm and sat down to put together the pages for the trip itinerary. I had my phone sitting on it’s side on the table next to me so I could see the display if it were to light up. I was not paying any attention to my phone when hubby says, “Your phone is buzzing.” OMG! A small wave of panic ran over me. I picked up the phone and the display showed “Restricted Number”! OMFG! I couldn’t believe it! OMG!!!!!! I HAD BEEN PICKED!!!!!!!!

I answered as calmly as I could, “Hello?” The woman on the other end asked, “Teresa?” I said, “Yes.” She continued, “This is Vickie from the Met Club.” I blurted out “OH MY GOD!” I jumped up from the couch and started pacing around my livingroom yelling into the phone “OH MY GOD! I DON’T BELIEVE IT! I WAS PICKED!” Hubby was sitting there, smile on his face and his hand up for a high-five. I was still walking around the room in a frantic frame of mind! I blurted out “OMG! I need to find some paper to write on! I can’t find any paper!” Vickie nicely told me to calm down and said that she would wait for me to find some paper. On my way into the other room I high-fived hubby! HEHE

We made small talk while I looked for paper and I tried to keep my hands from shaking too much. I was still going on about how I couldn’t believe I had been picked. She asked if I had paper and I replied yes. She told me to meet at 4pm sharp at 2nd and King St. and said all I needed was a photo ID. She said they would go over the rules with everyone (remember, no cameras and only two items that would have to stay with me during the entire show), that we would have our picture taken (I didn’t understand why and didn’t think to ask) and then we would be told to meet back at 5pm.

She said the 5pm timeframe was also dependent on Stones security but everything went pretty well Sunday so she figured Tuesday would pretty much be the same. She said it would take a little while to get everyone through security because of the wanding (DANG! – no chance of sneaking a camera in for later during the show!)

We got on the subject of weather and I said anything was better than what it was currently: mid 30’s and raining! I asked how many people had entered and she said 190. (I found out at the M&G that it was actually over 200!) Once again, I commented that I could not believe I had been picked! I told her I couldn’t wait to call the friends going with me! They were not going to believe it! (I also wondered if they too had received a call).

I commented on Sunday’s set list and told her I was hoping the first two songs would be played again and anything after that would be fine by me. I also mentioned that someone in the Sunday M&G said Lars commented that 5-7 songs would be different for Tuesday. She said she saw the set list but didn’t commit anything to memory. In closing she told me she and Jeff would meet me tomorrow. I told her “Thank you so much” and we hung up.

I came out of the room squealing with delight! My son was sitting on the couch with his fingers in his ears in preparation of me screaming! haha I looked at the clock and it was still before 8pm so I couldn’t call Kim or Jess yet. I did however call another friend or two to share the great news!! hehe

I went to the kitchen and sat down to finish putting together the trip itinerary book and wait for 8pm to pass. I checked my phone again. The call came in at 7:36pm. EEK! I still couldn’t believe it! After 8pm I called Kim. She answered and I said, “Guess what?” “What?” “I won!” “No way!” “YES!” I ran through how the call went down and then got down to my new dilemma…what to have signed?!?! Needless to say, she did not receive a phone call but she was very happy for me. We talked a little longer and then I called Jess.

I had basically the same convo with her and she couldn’t believe it either. She also did not receive a call but was also happy for me and glad that at least ONE of us won. (I was so hoping that some random miracle would have happened and we would all have been picked. I know, keep dreaming, right?)

I called another friend and we discussed what I should have signed. He suggested an album, a set list from the 2004 tour, a shirt. He gave me some good ideas but I just could not make up my mind and I really wanted whatever I brought with me to fit in my purse. I hung up with him and called my Mom on the way over to my friend’s house. She couldn’t believe it and was super excited for me. I dropped my son off at my friend’s house since he was spending the night and I told her the great news! She too was happy for me.

On the way back home I called another friend who asked me, “Haven’t you met them like 15 times already?” I just laughed, told him no but added that this would be my 20th show since 1991. He told me I needed help. haha I called two more friends but had to leave a message and I sent a text message to a coworker. Yes, I was calling everyone I knew!

After discussing some other ideas with Kim later that night and since it was now almost midnight (and I had to be up at 5am to leave by 5:30am for our flight) I decided to bring the following: So What! Vol 12, Number 1 (for all the cool live shots), a cool picture I took of Rob when he was with BLS, the Paris EP, my Stanger insert that was missing Lars’ signature, an old photo of James and Kirk, and The Unforgiven 7″ picture album. I had decided I would make Kim and Jess help me decide what to have signed.

Part III: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Jess met at my house Tuesday morning and we were on the road by 5:40am. Kim met us at the airport around 6:40am and we grabbed a bite to eat. Before it was time to board the plane, I called my friend at work (she was sleeping when I tried to call her Monday night) and told her I had won M&G! She couldn’t believe it! Heck, I STILL couldn’t believe it!

We finally boarded the plane and left for San Jose at 8:22am. I felt a little wave of nervousness as we took off and then off and on again during the “man I forgot how long it took to fly from IL to CA” flight. Holy crap…not only was I going to see Metallica perform live I was given the opportunity to meet my fave band of all time again! Most of the flight to SJ was spent writing about my M&G phone call and looking out the window at the awesome scenery. Clouds, mountains, snow, all so very cool from way up high in the sky.

Part IV: Landing in San Jose, CA

We landed at San Jose Int’l Airport around 10:53am (10 minutes early even). Once we stepped outside we were in heaven. We left cold 35 degree weather and had walked out into sunny and 70’s weather! While riding the shuttle to the rental car building a couple of people asked us if we were going to the Stones shows (all three of us were wearing Metallica shirts) that night. We told them we had flown in from Chicago to see Metallica. They were pretty surprised by that. I commented that I also liked The Stones but that they (Kim and Jess) did not. A lady told us she also was going and that in 1967 she saw them open for Sonny and Cher for $4. How crazy is that? The other guy who had asked us told us he used to live in Chicago and started talking about all the concert venues he had gone to way back when.

We picked up the rental car and headed for San Francisco. I remember looking at my watch and thinking “Only 5 more hours and I will be in the M&G!” I quickly tried to block it out of my mind! Those nerves were back. We arrived at In N Out Burger by 1pm and boy were we excited to be eating. Not only had it been 8 hours but it was In N Out Burger! (they really need to build some of these in Chicago!!) We saw a few Metallica shirts in the place and once again, we were asked if we were going to the show or if we had been to Sunday’s. A couple of guys we spoke with had flown down from Oregon. As I was eating, facing the window, a guy with a Metallica shirt walked by and gave me the devil horns. I smiled and returned the gesture!

Eventually, that wave of nervousness came back again and I couldn’t finish my food because I felt like I was going to throw up. (WTH was wrong with me?!) Kim and Jess tried to take my mind off of it. I asked Kim why she thought I was feeling like this since I had met them twice before. She said it was because she wasn’t going to be there with me to keep me “grounded” (the first two times we both met Metallica we met them at the same time). I agreed with her. We planned out the rest of the afternoon and then headed for the hotel.

After getting ready I laid out all of my potential Meet and Greet items on the bed and they each gave me their two cents. Jess had a great idea for me to have my itinerary book cover signed. I debated and then made my final decision:

1. Trip itinerary cover to be signed by the whole band
2. Stanger insert missing Lars’ signature
3. A picture I took of Rob when he was in BLS (I gave him a copy of this picture at the 2004 M&G.)
4. An 8×10 live photo from the Justice era of James and Kirk

So, bottom line, one group thing and then one thing for each of them = 2 items per person. hehe

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Part V: Mission: Get to M&G on Time

The plan was to drop me off a little before 4pm at the designated meeting spot and then Kim and Jess were going to head to Pier 39. We were getting close when Dan called and asked where I was. I was “almost” there. After sitting through 2 red arrows I finally made the left turn and jumped out of the car. Kim and Jess took off and there I was, at the meeting spot and man alive, here came the nervousness again! Dan and I talked a little bit and then Jeff came over to say hi. I had not seen either of them since the Nov 2004 shows.

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Eventually Vickie came over to talk with the group of us and then one by one Jeff called out people’s names. When he got to me, I gave him my ID, he looked at it and looked at his list and said, “Oh, I don’t know.” I waved my hand at him and said, “Oh be quiet and give me that.” haha After my name had been checked off I walked up to Vickie and introduced myself as “Teresa from Chicago” and we exchanged hello’s.

After everyone had been checked off (12 Clubbers + 4 other people) Vickie gave us the lowdown. She told us that The Stones had a strict no camera rule and that not even she or Jeff were allowed to use them in the M&G. However, on Sunday night The Stones photographer was taking pictures and she hoped he would be able to be there again tonight.

She went over the M&G rules: no cameras, 2 items to sign, don’t ask them to sign skin. Everyone should line up single file and don’t rush them when they come out because they will come up to each one of you. Don’t ask them to call your Mom and wish her Happy Birthday, in fact, turn off your cell phones during the M&G. She reminded us that they were playing at 6:45pm and would be rushed for time but not to worry – there would be time for each of them to talk with us. After the rules she informed us that we were all going to have our mug shots taken. Why? She said if any pics were taken during the M&G, they were going to match up our faces and then email us the pics!! Now HOW COOL IS THAT?! Met Club ROCKS!

One by one Jeff handed us a piece of “Met Club printer paper” with our name on it and Vickie took our picture. We were told to meet back just before 5pm by the scaffolding across the street. Dan and I stood around and talked with Jeff for a little while before Dan showed me where the outdoor merch booth was located. I bought the only Metallica shirt available and a Stones “tongue” magnet.

We walked back to the corner and spent more time talking. At 4:40pm I commented how I was getting nervous again and how I had not even thought about what I was going to say to any of them. By this point, I should have been “rehearsing”. I think subconsciously I was still trying to NOT think about it. Once again he gave me some suggestions: “tell them a story” or just to tell them “they rock!” I told him I would think of something. I showed him the items I decided to have signed and then at 4:50pm I said goodbye and headed to the designated area down the block.

From what I could tell, we were standing at the “drop off” point. A lot of people other than Clubbers were hoping to catch a glimpse of anyone. From what I overheard, Lars had just arrived. Darn, I missed it! At 5pm Head of Security (wearing a Hawaiian shirt) showed up to take us in. He started to count off 12 when a couple of older guys tried to get in at the front of the line. They were quickly pointed out and he shoo’d them away. He started the count again and this time some older women were at the end of the line. Our group of 12 (+4) was growing. They were also pointed out and were told to leave. Someone else asked if they could stay to try and get a picture. Obviously she didn’t realize the M&G would not be taking place right there on the sidewalk! She was told to clear out. The last three Clubbers showed up after 5pm but we confirmed that they were part of our group. Shortly after that, the group of 4 showed up. When we told Head of Security that they were part of our group he replied with, “That’s more than 12.” We told him we knew that and “Where’s Vickie?” She and Jeff eventually showed up and confirmed that everyone was legit.

He walked us past the people waiting to get into the venue (hehe). Someone ripped our ticket and then guess what? We were not searched at all like the Clubbers at Sunday night’s M&G. I so could have gotten a camera in. Ugh. (And not for the M&G but to take some live shots. And trust me, during the Stones set, there were PLENTY of flashes going off!) Oh well. Oh, I almost got on the elevator because I thought I was following the right people! OOPS! Luckily it was full otherwise I would have gotten on that elevator! eek!

We followed the signs for catering and man something sure did smell good. I purposely fell to the back of the line because I didn’t want to be first even though I knew “technically” I would be first at some point during the M&G. We eventually stopped and were directed up a concrete ramp. We lined up like we were supposed to and Vickie ran through the rules again. It was now 5:10pm and I was second in line. By this time all nervousness had passed (THANK GOD) and I was excited! I quickly ran through something in my head and tried my hardest to not forget it! (In the past I have forgotten things and then blurted out other things I never intended on saying! haha)

Part VI: Stay Calm, Cool and Collected

Around 5:20pm or so Kirk came out and then Rob followed not too long after him. Kirk started at my end of the line and Rob went to the other end of the line. The lady next to me spoke to him first and then it was my turn. I smiled and shook Kirk’s hand and said…hell, I don’t even remember what I said first!!!! (See – Kim was always there to remember the things I forgot due to “memory loss while meeting rock stars”.

I do know that I told him that my friends and I flew in from Chicago just for the show. I pointed to my cover page and how I had done a spoof on the MasterCard commercials and showed him the picture of my friends (I always pointed to them when I told the story) and said, “How funny is it that I ended up winning M&G?” I asked him to sign it (he signed KH pretty big and wrote 2005. I didn’t think he normally dated his signatures.) I then told him I had something else to show him and I pulled out the Justice Era photo. He said “Wow, that was before I could grow hair on my face.” I had him sign it, said thanks and that I was REALLY looking forward to the show tonight. I also told him tonight’s show was my 20th since 1991. He smiled, kind of nodded his head and moved on to the next person.

One down, three to go and so far, I still was not nervous. I looked up the line and saw Rob making some low, crouching moves. Not sure what someone said to him but I thought it was cool to see him interacting with the fans. I don’t remember exactly when the Stones photographer came out but he started off with a video camera, going down the M&G line filming Kirk and Rob.

Eventually it was my turn to meet Rob. I shook his hand and told him it was great to see him and then I went into the story about my friends, Chicago, being the M&G winner, etc. and asked him to sign the paper. I then told him I had met him in Aug 2004 and had given him a picture I took of him and said, “I would like you to sign my copy of it.” I pulled out the picture and he said “I remember that.” He paused, as if admiring the picture and the look I read on his face was”Wow, this is a cool picture.” (which was basically a calmer version of his reaction when I gave it to him last year. hehe)

As he was signing it he said, “This was at that crazy place outside of Chicago right?” I said, “Yes. Synergy in Chicago Heights*.” I’m pretty sure I told him it was my 20th show and that I was looking forward to tonight. But again, “rockstar memory loss sets in”. I for sure said “thanks” and he moved on to the lady next to me. Both Kirk and Rob left and we were left to wait for James and Lars.

*since writing this my friend corrected me. I should have told Rob it was in West Chicago! Oh well.

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Picture of Rob and I by the Rolling Stones photographer – I just love the intensity in his face while signing

I showed the guy next to me the picture of Rob and we started talking about BLS and the two shows I was at this year. Eventually the two guys next to him were in on the various conversations. Standing next to me was former Barrier Guy (he was actually saying former Bay Area but it sounded like Barrier every time he would say it), then College Boy who was not from SF but went to school here and Chicago Guy (from Ravenswood).

I found out College Boy and Barrier Guy and I were all at the San Jose 2004 show. Chicago Guy and I were at the Chicago and Milwaukee shows. College Boy told a story about being on the rail in San Jose and how he saved his voice the whole show for the “yell-off” at the end for one of Lars’ sticks. He said he yelled with everything he had and Lars actually jumped back like he was scared (apparently for real). Well, it paid off because he ended up with the drumstick! He said he would have liked to have had it signed but none of his collection was at school and he didn’t have time to go back home to get it. He commented that he bought two St. Anger albums just for this.

I asked them if they wanted to hear a cool rail story and then told them about the second Chicago show last year. I explained how the two friends who came with me to the Stones show and I were the only girls on the rail in a long line of guys. Well after the show James came to our side and told security, “Just give them to the girls” and how one by one he gave security a guitar pick to give to each of us. They replied with “Wow, that is a cool story.”

At one point, the lady next to me asked if I was on PPM. I said yes and we exchanged PPM names. She was Kirks Angel. She commented that she had forgotten to say some things to Kirk and Rob because she was so nervous. It happens. Trust me, I knew from past experience.

Barrier Guy and I passed the time by talking about music, Metallica, various shows, Ozzfest, Shadows Fall, etc. He told us that he had been in The Club for 10 years and never met the band. The other guys said it was their first time too. He asked me if I had ever met them and I told him this was my third time but only second time meeting Lars. I told him I had been in the Club since Jan 1998 but didn’t win M&G until 2000. I told him my friend won a radio contest for 2 passes through The Zone (and I pointed to Chicago Guy) for the Chicago shows. He asked which night and I said Friday. I then said, “And then I got the call last night about this M&G!” We were all like “ONLY 12 PEOPLE!” and I added, “and over 200 entered.” Crazy.

College Boy asked if I was at the New Years show. I said, “Detroit?” and he said “No, when they played Trapped Under Ice.” I replied with, “NO! I only went to the first show.” He commented about how you shouldn’t go to the first night because the second night is when they will play something you are not expecting. All while talking to these guys I kept looking over my shoulder expecting at any minute to see James or Lars. We must have been talking for at least 15-20 minutes.

At some point Steffan appeared. I was going to say something but couldn’t think of anything other than I had a copy of So What with his signature on it. I decided not to say anything. Kirks Angel gave him a pin of some sort. He thanked her, they talked for a little bit and he recognized her PPM name. I thought that was pretty cool. I also didn’t realize he had an accent!

Around 5:40pm Lars came out! I was quite surprised since it seemed like Lars was always the last one to appear at prior M&G’s. He was standing pretty close to my end of the line when he asked Vickie if James had been out yet. She said, “No, he was still eating.” I think I blurted out, “You’re not the last one out this time.” Lars could not decide which end of the line to start at. He started to go up the ramp twice but then decided to start at my end of the line. He spoke with Kirks Angel first. If I remember correctly, Lars made a comment about how quiet it was and then made the “ssshhh” sound to all of us. Again, I blurted out, “At least Godsmack isn’t playing.” (He either didn’t hear me or chose not to hear me, but I was referring to the Chicago M&G in 2004. haha)

At one point I overheard Kirks Angel ask about a bear she had sent him and she described it to him. He said, “That was from you?” He said thanks and hugged her. Very cool. Toward the end of their conversation I was getting ready for it to be my turn and he stuck out his hand to meet mine. We shook hands but he was not finished talking with her so we kept on shaking hands until he was looking at me (hehe). When it was my turn I told him about “My friends and I…” (you know how it goes.)

I showed him the paper and he took it from me and said, “Let me look at this…airfare…” he pointed to the cost and said, “Wow, how did you get that? That’s a great price.” I told him “We bought them back in August!” He looked at the concert ticket price and commented about getting the “cheaper seats”. He looked over the other items and then I pointed out the short time frame we were in CA. He seemed surprised by that and I told him that we flew out just to see them. I asked him to sign the paper. I told him tonight was my 20th show since 1991. I swear he took a small step back because he seemed surprised by that too.

I told him I had one other thing for him to sign and explained how due to the “two item rule” when I met him in Chicago last year I had one thing missing his signature. I opened my Stanger insert and asked if he would sign it. He said sure. He then put his hand up to the side of his face and sort of whispered, “If you have more than two items, just let me know.” I laughed. How cool. I told him I was really looking forward to tonights show.

Barrier Guy had the Lars/Torben So What! Issue and jokingly asked about getting Torben’s signature. Lars pointed behind him and said, “He’s back here somewhere.” Before Lars got too far away I thought he might get a kick out of seeing the old photo I had. As Lars was about to meet the next person I said, “Lars, I know you’re not in this picture, but I thought you might like to see this.” I showed him the photo and he asked, “What did Kirk say?” I told him about the facial hair remark and he laughed. He also said something like “Wow, look at all of James’ hair.” He then made a reference to the James Hair Watch website. I cannot for the life of me remember if he said it was the funniest or the best website but either way I got the impression he’d been there before and maybe even often.

At some point James came out and started at the top of the ramp. I was glad he was the last one and that I had the time to collect my thoughts. James after all, IS my fave. When Lars got to Chicago Guy he must have asked where he was from because when he said Chicago, Lars turned back and pointed to me as if to say, “Hey, she’s from Chicago too.” As Lars moved down the line, someone asked if the setlist would be different from Sunday and he replied with “most definitely.”

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Picture of Lars and I by the Rolling Stones photographer – Can I just say I LOVE the last picture? I wish I could remember why we were smiling at each other.

I also need to add, from the time Lars came out until the time he left he seemed to be in a really fun, relaxed mood vs Chicago 2004 where he seemed excited in an energized way. I also loved that he was wearing a necklace that one of his kids must have made him (he was wearing a similar one in Chicago last year too). I also noticed that towards the end of one conversation with someone he was already shaking the hand of the next person but still talking with the current person. Same as he had done with me right before he was finished talking with Kirks Angel.

James was about halfway down the line when I noticed he seemed to be really involved with a conversation. The guy he was talking to lifted his arm and exposed a Pushead tattoo. Something was said and I think James said, “it’s ok” and signed his initials on the guy’s arm. Guy said thanks and James moved on down the line.

College Boy met James and he said something, shook his hand and then hugged him. He must have said something else because I heard James say, “No regrets”. College Boy had a look on his face that told me meeting James Hetfield obviously meant a lot to him. He seemed to be on Cloud 9. They then started talking about racing of some sort and he told James maybe he would see him on the road. James sort of said off to the side something like “…see my tail lights.” (hehe)

Barrier Guy met James next and who did I see off to the side? The Stones photographer!!!! OMG, please pick me, please pick me when I’m meeting James! haha At one point I thought I might be in the background of a picture so I was trying to smile vs looking like a dork. Well, not only am I in the background, I’m looking up at James! haha
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Photo by Rolling Stones photographer

Part VII: Ladies and Gentlemen, James Hetfield!

Finally, my time had come! I was actually going to meet James Hetfield again! HEHEHE OMG, I was SO excited I can’t even explain it. (note, I was NOT a nervous wreck and did not feel any unplanned words trying to escape from my mouth! haha) James walked over to me and I as I shook his hand I had THE biggest smile on my face and said, “Every time I meet you, I have the biggest smile on my face.”

(you know, now that this is over, I dont really remember much of that hand-shaking part. It all seems like a faded dream! Why the “rockstar memory loss” at a time like this! haha)

While I was shaking James’ hand I thought I saw the photographer again, I thought I’m not letting go until I hear the camera snap! haha I showed James the itinerary cover and told him the “my friends and I flew in from Chicago” story and asked him to sign the paper.

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Photo by Rolling Stones photographer – OK, I know I have that
“dreamy” look on my face but really, I am talking to him. hehe

Then I said, “I have a little trip down memory lane for you.” I showed him he photo and he seemed to have his own little flashback. He said “wow” and commented on Kirk’s shirt, “That’s Pushead’s old band. But I’m sure you already knew that.” I told him “No, actually I didn’t. I just learned something new.” Since the people around me saw the picture before James came out, someone asked when he thought it was taken and if it was at Donington. He pointed to the blurred out sponser (Marlboro) in the background as he was trying to remember. Someone else made a comment about his facial hair and he said, “Yeah, the chops”. Someone else offered a suggestion and he said he was a little heavier at that time. After all the thinking he couldn’t quite place the timeframe. I asked him to sign it.

I then told him I was REALLY looking forward to what was coming next. He thought I meant the show that night and said, “Yep, 75 minutes.” I said, “No, no..the NEXT step.” (referring to the next album) and he caught on to what I meant. Sarcastically I said, “I think you guys have been on a long enough break.” I smiled and immediately patted him on his upper arm and then seriously said, “I’m just kidding. If you need more time, take it.” I forget his exact words but he more or less said he was ready to get back into it.

I remember pointing to my friends on the cover page and told him I had met them because of Metallica. I then told him I was REALLY looking forward to tonight’s show. I also told him it was kind of cool since my friend (I pointed to Kim on the page) and I saw the last two shows of the tour last year and now we were seeing them again in Nov of this year.

Someone asked about new material and he said something about how they would begin writing soon. Someone else asked about the next tour and he slowly and with sarcasm said something like, “After we write the songs…” Someone asked about the next Summer Sanitarium and he said, “We usually do those every other year…” and he was trying to think of the year of the last one and someone said 2003. I then held up my hand to the side of my face and said, “Remember with Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit in Chicago?” To my surprise James said, “With all the booing and Mancow stuff?” I said “Yes!”

James moved on to speak with Kirks Angel and then he was gone. A bunch of people yelled Goodbye and or Thanks.

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Photo of James and I by Rolling Stones photographer – Ok, I so wish I could remember what was so funny! I love the look on James’ face!

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**I would just like to say, not only THANKS to Metallica for giving their fans such an awesome opportunity, but I would like to thank the Stones photographer for taking such cool pictures! Oh and thanks to Met Club once again for sending the pics to me!

Vickie thanked us all for being there and then the Head of Security walked us out to the field. I had no idea where my section was or even if Kim and Jess were there yet. I was told to walk up any aisle and once at the top I would be able to get to section 204. As I was walking up I heard someone yell my name. I looked to my left and it was DAN! haha Now what are the odds that he would see me? I sat down next to him. It was 5:55pm. Everclear was supposed to start at 6pm. I called Kim and they were in our seats. I told her I had just gotten out of the M&G and was going to sit with Dan until Everclear was finished.

Everlcear played all their hits and a new song. Off and on during their set I was singing along or giving Dan some highlights from the M&G. At the end of their set they left the stage and then came back out saying, “We have 3 more minutes and we’re going to take advantage of it. This one is dedicated to The Rolling Stones.” Art played acoustic guitar and the rest of the band sang along with him to a song I didn’t know. I found out later they did a Stones cover.

Part VIII: Metallica LIVE!

It was now 6:30pm. I had less than 15 minutes to get to my seat before Metallica took the stage. I said goodbye to Dan and took off running. Well, not literally but I was walking pretty fast. I was in Section 128 and had no idea how to get to Section 204. I found an escalator but not for the Club level. Ugh! I asked and was told it was on the other side of where I was. Good deal. At least I didnt have to go far. I wanted to run up but couldn’t due to people in the way! haha I finally got to the top and had to walk about 10 sections to the right. Finally! I made it to my seat in 10 mins! WOOHOO! Kim and Jess were there and I met TorchMistress (another fellow Clubber).

They all asked me how the M&G went. I looked at my watch, I had 5 minutes. I quickly told them as much as I could and showed them all the things I had signed. I was about 95% through the story when the lights went out and Ecstacy of Gold started blaring through the speakers. OMG! I jumped up, they jumped up and OMG…IT WAS STARTING!!!!!!!!! Kim, Jess and I along with other random fans in our section were all yelling, screaming and clapping. OMFG! The time had come. All the planning, all the waiting, everything had come down to this point right now.

It had been one year, one very long year since I had seen Metallica play live. I was SO ecstatic that I really didn’t care what they played (well, I was hoping The Black album would not dominate the setlist), I just wanted to hear as many songs as I could in that 75 minute, short for a Metallica set that is, timeframe they were allotted.

I swear I cheered and clapped all the way through Ecstasy along with others in our section. When the band came out, the crowd exploded. I swear I had chills. I was caught off guard by the first few notes of what they started playing but then it hit me and I started jumping up and down as I shook Kim’s arm. ORION! THEY WERE PLAYING ORION!!! YES! I was SOO happy. Man alive, it sounded so good too. The older couple sitting in front of us eventually stood up during Orion. Something told me since they heard two instrumentals in a row that maybe they thought this might be a pretty good band.

After playing almost 4 minutes of Orion they went straight into Creeping Death. Another fave! Kim, Jess and I were all cheering and singing and when it came time, yelling DIE, DIE, DIE! (Needless to say, the older couple sat down not long after this song started.) After that they played a couple notes of the next song and I said to Kim, “Wherever WE May Roam” and pointed down meaning here in CA! hehe I made a mental note, one Black album song. Once again, we were all singing along and then cheering wildly after each song. The older couple kept looking at Kim because of all the yelling she was doing. Towards the end of Metallica’s set they were plugging their ears from all the yelling we were doing! haha

James introduced the band and again we were all clapping and cheering loudly. Rob started in on a bass doodle and I said to Kim “BELLZ!!!!” Sure enough, I was right! HEHE We love Bellz!! All of us were jamming out to this song, singing along and I busted out with some head banging! haha Man, what a great song! My voice also started to crack for the first time. Too much singing and cheering I guess!

Kirk played a little doodle of his own. I thought it was cool that both he and Rob ended up in the spot light if only for a brief moment. I also noticed an extra guitar on the stage and said to Kim, “Unforgiven”. I was right! Once again we were all singing along.

Side note: since I was in the 200 level I had an awesome view. To the right was the Bay and to the left was the Bay Bridge all lit up. It was beautiful. The one thing that I wasn’t expecting was how far away our seats were going to be. Metallica were quite small. haha The two video screens helped a little but still. I had not been this far away since, well, many years ago! But on the other hand, I didn’t really care! I was HEARING METALLICA! And the light show was fantastic!

All night I noticed that all the guys seemed to be so into their playing. Lars kept standing up while drumming, Rob was doing his crouching thing, Kirk seemed to be having a great time and of course James was belting out the songs.

Before the next song James said something like “Are you guys ready for a sing along? Gimme an M, (I looked at Kim and said, “FUEL!!!”) Gimme an E, Gimme a T, Gimme an A, Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire…I yelled out UH! There should have been pyro, there was no pyro. Jess commented that “there should have been pyro” haha

Once again James spoke to the masses. (and let me tell you, the two sections at the front on either side of the long ramp in the middle had TONS of people cheering all night long!)

“Are you happy?”
“Are you happy?”
“Are you sad?”

Jess said to me, “SAD BUT TRUE!” They tore through this song. Once again, we were all signing away. My voice kept cracking. Oh man, was I going to lose my voice tonight? Next up was Nothing Else Matters. (mental note, third song from The Black Album-hehe). But it didn’t matter…it was another great song and they played it well and everyone was singing along.

As this song ended I was dying to know what was coming up next. I was SUPER ECSTATIC when I heard the opening notes for MASTER OF PUPPETS! YES! I was getting Puppets even if it didn’t originally follow Orion like Sunday night. Once again, I was totally into the song. Man, I love this band! Right before the “guitar part” I said to Kim “Let’s sing!” She just laughed and I proceeded to sing the guitar part that some people don’t like others to sing and move my hands around as if I was conducting! haha Jess even sang some of the guitar parts too! And yes, I was having a blast!!! Oh, prior to the show I read a metallica.com review that stated James sang every lyric vs having the crowd sing it. Same thing happened tonight. Talk about hearing a “new” song.

After Puppets I looked at the clock that was opposite me on the field (I had done pretty well all night by NOT looking at it. I didn’t want to know when it was going to end.) and knew that we only had a couple more songs left. The notes started playing and the lights started going crazy. It was my all time face song, ONE! It was SO weird to see One played without hearing the pyro that always accompanied it but WOW, did they have an amazing light show to make up for it! Again, I was singing loudly, banging my fist on my leg to the beat and soaking up every note. I SO was enjoying myself. You couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face all night if you had tried!

Alas, the end was near. Enter Sandman was the last song of the night. Again, everyone was singing along. I can’t tell you how great it was to have people around us appear to all be on the same level of excitement over seeing Metallica play live!

I can’t remember if it was during MOP or One or Sandman but I remember seeing James drop to his knees while playing. I just love it when he does that!!

After the show was over they threw picks and sticks. I was kind of sad since we were SO far away and couldn’t share in that part of the night. The other guys may have said something to the crowd but of course I only remember what Lars said, well, sort of. He said something like, “Welcome to the beginning and the end of the Metallica World Tour. Where else but in San Francisco!” OMG! What a riot! He also made some comment about opening for The Rolling Stones and I think See You Soon. Yes, please write that next album and tour soon!

Metallica left the stage and OMFG! We all agreed…GREAT F’N SHOW! I said, “This was SO worth the trip!” Kim and Jess both agreed. Wow, we had been blown away and had loved every minute of it.

I was dying of thirst so I went to buy a pop. Umm, I found out they don’t say “pop” in CA, it’s “soda”. After the guy behind the counter looked at me funny I told him, “I’m not from here.” I headed back to my seat and received a couple compliments on my jersey. I started talking with the Metallica fans behind me and they were surprised that we had flown out here just to see Metallica and even more so that this was my 20th show! What can I say…I’m a Muzik Freak! haha

I told Kim and Jess a few more details from the M&G and we talked about what we were doing after the show. We had to be at the Hard Rock Café before 11pm and we figured it would take 10 minutes to get out of the venue, 10 minutes to walk to the car and another 10 minutes to get to the Hard Rock. I agreed to leave at 10pm since I was the only one who really wanted to see The Stones.

Part IX: The Rolling Stones Live!

Their set started off at 8:45pm with fireworks and the song I had guessed before the show, Start Me Up! Great opener! They continued with Shattered, She’s So Cold and Tumblin’ Dice. It was like listening to 40 Licks only better! Mick had great energy! They also had an awesome light show and a huge video screen. Why couldn’t we have had that when Metallica was playing? haha It really helped to be able to see them “more close up”. Mick, Ron and Charlie still look pretty great but man, does Keith look old! Off and on during the night Mick, Keith and Ron kept changing their clothes! Mick and Keith tended to go the flashy route while Ron was more subdued even if he was wearing a bright pink shirt!

They played Rough Justice from their new album, a song I like, and it sounded really good live. I wasn’t familiar with the next two songs, Rain Fall Down and As Tears Go By but they sounded good. The did an AMAZING version of Midnight Rambler. Kim commented that this must have been the Blues portion of the set. Mick and one of the back-up singers did a SUPER AMAZING job with Ray Charles’ Night Time Is The Right Time. I was singing along and told Kim, “Yes, I like Ray Charles.” I can’t even tell you how awesome this female singer was. They both were outstanding! And if I remember correctly, they went back into the ending of Midnight Rambler. It was almost as if the Ray Charles song was a “jam” in the middle.

Mick left the stage and “an appeared to be drunk due to his slurring” Keith sang two songs. I remember Kim asking me, “What did he say?” I had no clue! haha He played Slipping Away which I was not familiar with and then Infamy from their new album which is one of the songs I really like! After he was finished, the whole band came out and started playing Miss You. During this song the stage started to move. Before the show I told Kim when I saw them in 1998 they went out to a smaller stage in the crowd to sing some songs. Well, a section of the main stage was pushed along that long ramp that divided the field. They continued singing while moving to the back of the field. Talk about a million and one flashes going off! Jess commented how cool it looked. I agreed. Once the stage had been moved, we had a much better view of the band now.

We saw them play Oh No Not You Again from the mini stage before it was 10pm. We started our long trek back to the entrance Kim and Jess came in while they were playing You Got Me Rocking Now. I was sort of walking fast to the beat of the music. We eventaully made our decent to the exit down one ramp, then another, then another and so on. Once we were outside, I could hear The Stones pretty well. They were playing Honky Tonk Woman. I swear it took us 10 minutes to walk to the car. We had one drunk guy who wouldn’t stop bothering us for a couple of minutes. Eventually he dropped back and left us alone.

Once we were in the parking lot I could hear It’s Only Rock and Roll! One of my faves! (I found out later I never heard them playing Sympathy.) As we were leaving the parking lot I could hear Brown Sugar. (I found out later what the last three songs were: Jumpin Jack Flash, Can’t Always Get What You Want and Satisfaction. All faves…oh well.) I saw one hour and 15 minutes of The Stones set, same as Metallica, and I was happy with what I did hear.

Part X: After Show

We headed to the Hard Rock and realized our hotel was only 2 blocks away. We parked and then walked back over.

We walked in and spotted the Metallica table but since we didn’t really know anyone personally we got our own table. At 10:55pm I realized the store might be closed so I went to check. I had 5 minutes! I quickly scanned the store and purchased a guitar magnet/bottle opener and a shot glass.

We ordered, talked about the show and watched the various videos playing on the TVs. The food was pretty good even if they did give me the wrong cheese the first time around. haha Those tasty fries were awesome! The waiter told us the bar would be open until 2am but we quickly found out close to midnight that that wasn’t true.

I headed to the bathroom before we left and I heard a guy say to his friend, “She has your jersey.” I stopped at their table and ended up talking to them for at least 10 minutes. One clubber and two friends from New Jersey. They had been there since Thursday so when I mentioned, “I was one of the 12 tonight” the Clubber had no idea what I was talking about. Oops. I filled them in on that and then asked if they were at Sunday’s show. They said they were at a bar across the street and could hear perfectly. Very cool. We talked about some other random Metallica things before I said goodbye. We walked back to the hotel and called it a night at 1pm.

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Part XI: Going Home

We were up at 7am and after breakfast were on the road no later than 9am.

We hit some traffic here and there but made it to the rental car return by 10:30am. Right on time. We took the shuttle to the airport and headed for our gate. I was wearing the SBC Metallica concert shirt and Jess told me that people were turning around and looking at my shirt! I hadn’t even noticed! Funny though. We boarded the plane and waited for the long flight back home to start.

We were all set to take off when the plane stopped on the runway. The pilot informed us that due to snowy conditions in Chicago all flights had been slowed down and we would have to sit there for an hour. WHAT?! Ugh. At 1pm we got the OK to take off. Once again, I saw some pretty cool scenery.

Pretty much the whole flight back I wrote about arriving in San Francisco, the M&G, and the beginning of Metallica’s set. As you can tell, if you’ve gotten this far, I’m all about details. I don’t think I could tell a short version of anything to save my life!

Once in Chicago we had to sit on the runway while we waited for a plane to leave our gate. Jess commented, “We’re never going to get off this plane!” Our 6:03pm arrival time turned into 7:15pm. We were also back to cold 25 degree weather. Give us back that sunny and 70 degree weather! On the way home I told Jess that I felt like I had been gone for days vs the short time we really were gone. She agreed.

Once again, thanks to The Rolling Stones for asking Metallica to open for them, to the Met Club for picking my name and sending me the pictures, to The Stones photographer for taking so many pics with me in it and most of all…to Kim and Jess for taking this crazy trip with me.

Oh and last but not least, thanks to Metallica for doing what you do best…

Until the next tour…

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