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Ah, the joy of humble beginnings… Metallica, one of the biggest selling acts in American history, were born on October 28, 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich and guitar player/singer James Hetfield got together via Ulrich’s LA Recycler newspaper ad. Soon, the two had recruited Hetfield’s friend and housemate Ron McGovney to play bass, Dave Mustaine to play lead guitar, and taken the name Metallica after a suggestion from Bay Area metal scene friend Ron Quintana. Their ascent was to be relatively quick, driven by sheer work-rate, effort and a rare musical chemistry. After hitting the opener’s circuit in LA (where they supported the likes of Saxon) they recorded their first ever demo No Life ‘Til Leather. The tape-trading circuit went crazy for it, and after repeatedly well-received shows in the Bay Area, Metallica found themselves relocating there after convincing bassist Cliff Burton to leave his band Trauma and replace McGovney.

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