They say you can't go home again -- but Metallica did, recently.
The group returned to its former band house at 3132 Carlson Blvd. in El Cerrito, Calif., where the quartet lived from 1983-86 and wrote material for its Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets album. El Cerrito Mayor Greg Lyman proclaimed Metallica an official cultural institution, and drummer Lars Ulrich joked that, "Thankfully, most of the things that went on in here are forgotten."
Ulrich also revealed that a couple of years ago the group had come back to El Cerrito to look into buying the house's garage from the current owners with an eye towards moving and reconstructing it at the band's current HQ facility in Marin County, but that particular part of the house had been torn down. "Maybe we could finish the new record quicker if we were in that f***ing garage," Ulrich cracked, alluding to Metallica's long-awaited follow-up to 2008's Death Magnetic.
During the ceremony frontman James Hetfield said that, "I think we've all kind of forgotten a lot of stuff that's happened in our history, and this is a great way to jog our memories and to see people's faces here, as well. We're so grateful for everyone that's here and being a part of this with us."
Guitarist Kirk Hammett saluted friends from the El Cerrito days who were no longer around -- including original Metallica bassist Cliff Burton -- saying that the ceremony "is really, really emotional for me. I'm sure it's emotional for you guys, too. I'm just glad we're here together, you know, 30 years on, to celebrate together, and it's a beautiful thing."
Metallica - Interview with the band [Berkeley, CA 2016]
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.