Think about this. Sunday 29 June 2014. Metallica playing ‘Enter Sandman’ on Glastonbury’s legendary Pyramid Stage. Flames, fireworks and riffs so loud buildings fall down in Bristol.
Worthy Farm has never seen the like of it. In Metallica’s 30-year (plus) history they’ve never played it, and in Glastonbury’s glorious 43 years they’ve never hosted them.
But now is the right time.
In an interview with NME last month guitarist Kirk Hammett said the band were set to get in the studio and “tour Europe” in summer 2014. The first minor indication that something may be brewing.
But now, drummer Lars Ulrich has gone one – huge and very unsubtle step – further and made the band’s intentions clear. “We’ve been fortunate enough to play every other festival on this planet numerous times,” he told MTV UK. “So Glastonbury is the only one that’s eluding us.”
Traditionally, whether it’s their own festival or a 3D blockbuster film, what Metallica wants, Metallica gets.
“Everybody who goes there loves it and obviously Michael [Eavis] doesn’t need our help,” he continued. “I completely appreciate and respect that – but if he ever wants to get hold of us we’re in the Yellow Pages and ready to go!”
Now, we’re sure the Eavis’ methods of sourcing bands have moved on from thumbing through the Somerset directory, but Michael Eavis really ought to give the planet’s most revered metal band a call. Here’s why.
First up – Glastonbury has a long and proud tradition of shaking things up when it comes to booking headliners. Most recently there were sneers at the prospect of Jay Z bringing hip-hop to Glastonbury (preposterous!), but look what good that did for Carter and the festival. In 2008 they struggled to sell tickets (unthinkable now) and every year following that has sold out immediately. It’d be a brilliant talking point. AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, they’ve never done it.
In 2013 the heaviest act on the Pyramid Stage was Laura Mvula. Enough said.
Next – even diehard fans will admit that Metallica have done the other big UK rock festivals, and that it’s probably time to try something fresh. Last time Metallica played Download in 2012 they performed 1991’s legendary ‘The Black Album’ in reverse order. Ace. Except it felt like that was introducing an ingredient to another otherwise tired recipe. Reading and Leeds festival? Along with Foo Fighters and Green Day, Metallica have been there, owned that. If booked again, it’d be their fourth time headlining. So a Pilton booking would be something new.
Thirdly, unlike a number of cheque-chasing reformists, Metallica don’t need the money, and, well, Glastonbury don’t pay the money. So that’s cool.
The only downside to a Glastonbury booking is that the festival is sold out already – Metallica wouldn’t exactly be playing to a home crowd. But that’s exciting, right? A band that invited such devotion getting to play to a new audience three decades after they started.
Sure, booking Metallica would potentially invite some criticism but it’d finally put some of the gripes the rock fraternity has about the lack of metal at Glastonbury to bed. Look elsewhere on the bill – dance, folk, jazz, folk, indie fans are all catered for well.
So, to Michael and Emily, we know Fleetwood Mac are favourites, we know Daft Punk would be incredible, but if you want to truly shake things up, get out the Yellow Pages, scroll down to Ulrich, and give him a bell.