Comedian Dave Hill Knew Metallica Would Be Huge in 1988
Comedian, actor and musician Dave Hill remembers the moment he realized Metallica was destined to rule the rock world. The future star of shows such as The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, standup comic and friend of Philip H. Anselmo developed an eclectic taste at a young age. This included devotion to bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
To those in the know, Metallica felt like a well-guarded secret through most of the 1980s. Despite a growing fanbase of fiercely dedicated loyalists, without the support of radio or MTV, the thrash metal leaders remained a few years off from world domination. In 1988, before "Enter Sandman" and the self-titled black album moved 16 million units around the globe, Metallica set out as one of four support bands on the Monsters Of Rock tour. Van Halen, who headlined, had just released their second album with singer Sammy Hagar.
Hill caught the tour in Akron, Ohio. "That was the first time I saw Metallica," he recalled in a new episode of Speak N' Destroy, the podcast featuring interviews about Metallica.
"It was right before …And Justice for All came out. I knew all the records. My buddy Tim and I were the only guys in our town who were into them. I mean, I’m sure there were many others, but of our friends, I should say. I remember they came on and it was just a sea of Metallica fans. I was like, ‘Oh. It’s not just me and Tim that like these guys.’"
Scorpions were the main support act. Dokken played before the German rockers, and Metallica played before them, just after newcomers Kingdom Come. But "Metallica was definitely the thing of the day," Hill said. "I mean, people were into the other bands, but that was like, ‘Oh.’ You were just like, 'This is gonna be the biggest band in the world.'"
During the Speak N' Destroy conversation, the Valley Lodge singer/guitarist and Witch Taint mastermind praised Metallica for their "endless great riffs" in particular.
"I used to know at least part of every song on Master of Puppets at some point," he explained. "I really love the Ride the Lightning record. Obviously, it's in between Kill 'Em All and Master of Puppets, so it's kind of the bridge between the two. They were starting to be more epic, but still with the scrappiness of the first record."
Elsewhere in the lengthy chat Hill talked about Metallica's relationship with ESP guitars and his love for Danzig. He shared great stories about hanging out with Fenriz from Darkthrone and Anselmo. He also spoke about the creation of the new album from Painted Doll, the band he started with legendary death metal drummer Chris Reifert (Autopsy, Death).
The Speak N’ Destroy podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and elsewhere. Previous guests include M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, David Ellefson of Megadeth, Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge, and Gary Holt of Exodus and Slayer, with Metallica as the conversational anchor throughout every episode.
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