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Metallica Biographer Defends Band’s Landmark Decisions

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Metallica have existed for 30 years within a storm of infamy and circumstance. While the band is known almost as much for their internal battles as they are for their music, one author feels that Metallica’s band-changing decisions have been very wise.

Metallica biographer Mick Wall has chronicled the career of the heavy metal legends in his new book, ‘Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica.’ Wall documents each chapter in the life of Metallica such as the death of bassist Cliff Burton, the firing of now Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and the 14-year stint of Jason Newsted.

Wall defends Metallica regarding their speedy replacement of Burton after a tragic bus crash took his life in September 1986. “The band did not move on because ‘Cliff would have wanted it,’ which is what they said at the time,” Wall tells PopMatters. “They did so because what else could they do? Guys like Lars and James … were certainly not going to throw in the towel just as their career was really taking off, even though they loved Cliff.”

Wall also credits the firing of Dave Mustaine as the correct decision for not just Metallica, but for Mustaine, as well. 

“I think the fact that Dave Mustaine was fired allowed Metallica to become much more focused. It allowed the same thing to happen to Dave for different reasons. The result was two amazing bands, both hugely successful.”

As for Newsted, Wall is not terribly sympathetic about his departure from the band: “Jason had one hell of a zillion-dollar ride,” explains Wall. “Would anyone even know his name, if not for Metallica?”

‘Enter Night’ is now available in bookstores everywhere.

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