Cassettes are this thing they had back in the old days. Buying a release on cassette was actually kinda dumb. Why? A CD or Vinyl you could easily transfer it to CASSETTE. Still, me and many others made the mistake of buying cassettes. It really came down to cost and convenience. CDs were expensive, and CD players in the car? Not with my income. So my first copy of Master was a cassette so I could crank on the go. I would ride around in my beater with my buddy John, and my other buddy … John just blasting that thing. Until … it was eaten. So I did what any child of the 80s with limited funds did. I got a vinyl copy out of the TV Guide. Thirteen records for a penny. Then went off to college, and stuck mom and dad with the random Steve Windwood records that showed up at the house for the low, low cost of 23 bucks. I still have the copy of MOP with Columbia House in the bottom corner. This record is so important to me and so many people, for the 35 Anniversary I wanted to do something special. I knew we had great audio from the band discussing the record in our vaults, but what else could make it awesome? Then I got my Metallica Vinyl Club record in the mail. It had an AMAZING live version of Leper Messiah recorded in 87 at Donington. That is when it hit me. Build a live version of the record. Play ‘em in order. Then mix in the band discussing the tunes and that incredibly vibrant and simultaneously tragic time in their history The title came quickly. Live and 35. The set list of live songs? I spent a lot of time trying to curate a list worthy of the stature of Master Of Puppets. Here is the criteria I used to guide my selections: 1. Pay homage to the legend, Cliff Burton. We lost him just a short time after the record was released. 2. Get performances from throughout the 35 years to demonstrate how well the songs held up. 3. Find a few great performances from close to home so people can relive being at the show. 4. Different sized venues, from the stadiums to arenas. Amphitheaters to small intimate shows. 5. Include a few unique, one of a kind performances. So here is the set list and a bit of an explanation of why I picked that particular version of the song: Battery – Alliant Energy Center Madison, WI 5/2/04. Amazing local show. Godsmack opened up. It was in the round. The show was about midway into the Madly In Anger Tour and Battery was about halfway through the set. Really great version of the song and a huge shout out to Mad-town as the song ends. Master Of Puppets – Helping Hands Live from HQ 11/14/20. Over the last year it has been pretty amazing to see how hard Metallica has worked to entertain the world while under quarantine. A drive in show, live streams of past show with Metallica Mondays and this amazing benefit show live from their HQ in the Bay area. Really cool version of the song certainly helps meet my goals of unique performances and different venues. The Thing That Should Not Be –Hammersmith Odean London, England 9/21/96. This song was the final song written for the record, in Europe, in the studio between one off shows. This performance was captured just days before we lost Cliff. It seemed right to have a live version of the last song created, performed live on the continent it was created on, from Cliffs final tour, The Damage Inc Tour. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Bradley Center Milwaukee, WI 8/20/2004. I originally had a version of this song from 94 from the Marcus Amphitheater. I switched it out because the recording was not that great and this is SUCH a great version of the song. James was in a particularly quirky mood that night. It was fun and comes through really strong in this song. A great, from the greater JJO area.
Disposable Heroes – Bridge School Benefit Mountain View CA 10/27/07. The original version of this song is so aggressive musically, with heavy lyrical content. This stripped down, acoustic version from the Neil Young organized benefit show is so opposite of the original. A different take, but still so intense. Really demonstrates the quality of the song writing of Master Of Puppets. Leper Messiah – Donington 8/27/87. Metallica started a Vinyl club this year. Members receive unique records every few months. The first one sent contains this version of Leper. I chose it because I wanted to have a song that represented Jason joining the band. Orion – Webster Hall New York, New York 9/27/16. This was by far the toughest choice to make. An epic song and Cliff’s signature piece. I have always admired the way Rob approaches being the bass player in Metallica. He understands the legacy of Cliff Burton and appreciates what he means to the fans. He has mad respect for Cliff and for Orion. Prior to Rob joining it was rarely, if ever, played live. I chose this version because I was at this show and got to see him perform this song. It was amazing. James gives Cliff a shout out at the end. It’s always a powerful moment in the show, and Rob plays the song brilliantly. Damage Inc – The Fillmore San Francisco CA 12/05/11. A lot went into this one. I really wanted the songs to be in album order, so that automatically makes this one the finally. So it needed to be a bad ass rendition. The year following the release of Master Of Puppets was one of tragedy and triumph. The loss of Cliff, the decision to carry on, the addition of Jason. I settled on this version because I feel it brings all that is that era of Metallica full circle. It’s from the 30th anniversary shows in San Fran. Jason Newsted joined them on stage. At the end of the song James and Rob lead the crowd in a “Jason” chant. Something pretty cool about ending it with everyone together, at home. Links and Thanks: Most of these songs can be found at livemetallica.com. It’s a pretty amazing site. https://www.livemetallica.com The vinyl club has a membership limit and is currently full. But the first year is almost over and then memberships will open back up. You can find it on their website: https://www.metallica.com
Metallica did a phenomenal job of using their powers for good. Food drives, scholarships, clothing and cash. Please check out “All Within My Hands Foundation” here: https://www.allwithinmyhands.org/
-Randy Hawke Special thanks to Andy Hall and Mike Parrish for helping curate incredible audio from the band for this radio special.