Sunday, April 19, 2009

Joel McIver reviews Metallica The Club Dayz 1982-1984

Bill Hale
ECW Press, £13.99
ISBN 9781550228762
Thrashers’ underground roots exposed
As a photographer with the cult San Francisco mag Metal Rendezvous International in the early to mid-80s, Bill Hale was in the right place at the right time when it came to capturing Bay Area thrash at its peak. There’s still a gap in the market for a photo book covering the whole of that sprawling, influential scene, but The Club Dayz does a useful job of covering the rise of Metallica, that movement’s most successful band by several orders of magnitude.
Hale begins the journey on 18 September 1982 at the legendary San Fran venue The Stone, where Metallica’s pre-Cliff Burton line-up supported the briefly-acclaimed Hans Naughty and Bitch. Hale writes that this was the first show at which frontman James Hetfield (then a mere 19 years old) both sang and played guitar. Accompanied by the axe prodigy Dave Mustaine, the much put-upon bassist Ron McGovney and the weeny drummer Lars Ulrich, James bashed out a set based largely on Diamond Head covers. How times have changed…
The Club Dayz continues into 1983, with Ron replaced by the virtuoso Cliff Burton. By now the thrash scene was thriving, and musicians such as Paul Baloff and Kirk Hammett of Exodus and Katon DePena of Hirax make an appearance. Hale goes on to cover the Raven tour in spring ’83 and the beginning of Metallica’s ascension to international prominence. It’s all good, sweaty, mostly unpublished stuff, and highly amusing for anyone who can’t imagine the Led Zeppelin of our generation dressed in spandex and acne.
Extra text by North California industry legends Ron Quintana (who invented the name Metallica), Hale’s editor John Strednansky and metal guru Bob Nalbandian add bang for your bucks. Until fellow Metallica disciple and SF photographer Brian Lew does his own book, this is the one to track down. Joel McIver