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The Show that Never Was

On January 14, 1984, Metallica's equipment was stolen out of a truck in Boston, and their scheduled gig at Union Jack had to be canceled. The depression that set in after the theft inspired James Hetfield to write "Fade to Black." 


Flyer for Metallica's canceled "special show" with guests Sneak Attack at Union Jack, South River, New Jersey, January 15, 1984. From the Collection of Lars Ulrich

Original handwritten lyrics by James Hetfield for "Fade to Black," written on Sweet Silence Studios stationery, 1984. Metallica recorded Ride the Lightning at Sweet Silence in Copenhagen, Denmark, beginning February 1984. James describes the period that inspired the song as "bleak," following the theft of the band's gear in Boston. From the Collection of Lars Ulrich

Photo of Lars Ulrich with friend and Old Bridge Militia member "Metal" Joe Chimienti, Old Bridge, New Jersey. The photo has a handwritten note by James Hetfield explaining that it was taken the "day equipment was stolen." Although the date is listed as January 19, 1984, it is more likely January 14, 1984. From the Collection of James Hetfield