Metallica on The Howard Stern Show – a date that will surely go down in Stern Show history – the heaviest band of all time sat down for a beautiful interview and three ass-kicking songs.
The band performed their first huge hit (and first music video) “One”. James said his brother told him about the book “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo, which is about a World War I soldier who wakes up in a hospital without his arms, legs or face – he’s a prisoner in his own body. Howard theorized that the song was about James – about his childhood – and James didn’t disagree.
Next up was the ballad “Nothing Else Matters”. James was embarrassed to share the song with Lars, because it was very different from the heavy rock Metallica was known for. It was about an old girlfriend, but Lars loved it and said James needn’t be embarrassed. “There’s always an open-door policy.”
Finally, the biggest gun, “Enter Sandman”. James said that, not surprisingly, this is a song about nightmares – specifically, the desire to protect your children and the fact that you can’t protect their dreams. Then Lars chimed in with a fact that even Richard Christy didn’t know – the song was originally about crib deaths. James threw a line in referencing crib deaths in their incredible performance.