MAYTALLICA: The Metallica Moment That Made me Move to El Paso
Happy Maytallica everyone! This morning I relayed a story about the first time I saw Metallica…and how it convinced me to take the job at KLAQ back in 1992.
Part of the “wooing” process when I was negotiating with my future employers, KLAQ, was some real V.I.P. treatment at a Metallica concert. It was right after “Enter Sandman” came out and, while I was in town interviewing, it so happened that Metallica was doing a show at the Don Haskins Center (still the Special Events Center at that time). I had all but decided to take the job but I think this experience is what closed the deal.
On this tour, Metallica had what they called “The Snake Pit”, an enclosed VIP area directly underneath the stage. We had great views of the bottom of James Hetfield’s boots. I really didn’t know anybody in El Paso at that point but I saw a few record label guys and gals that I knew so I was having a good time.
I’m going to guess there were 30 or 40 people down in this “Snake Pit” area. There were two unescorted women there. Now, I don’t KNOW for a fact that they were strippers; all I knew is that they were attractive in that 80s/90s rock video way. Tight skirts, boots up to the knees and such enormous hair.
Before Metallica had even come onto the stage, I saw these two ladies on their knees and, for just a split second I thought, “Somebody must have lost a contact lens”. It was really dark and there were strobe lights going but once my eyes kind of adjusted to everything I could make out what was actually going on: they were…doing a very nice thing to one of the security personnel.
I guess everyone could see what was happening but NO ONE was acknowledging it. My mind, much like the security guy, was blown. It was in that moment that I thought, “Hey! El Paso is kind of a crazy little city!”.
I think I signed my first contract the following afternoon. For the record, I’ve NEVER seen anything like that at a rock concert since. But it made an impression on me at the time.
I love Metallica.
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