KING DIAMOND Bought A Corvette With His First METALLICA Royalties

October 7, 2022

In 1998, METALLICA paid tribute to MERCYFUL FATE by recording a medley of classic MERCYFUL FATE songs on the album "Garage Inc." Titled "Mercyful Fate", the medley included parts from "Satan's Fall", "Curse of the Pharaohs", "A Corpse Without Soul", "Into the Coven" and "Evil". Asked by rock and roll comedian Dean Delray of the "Let There Be Talk" podcast if the royalties from the METALLICA tribute are "a good help" during the times when King Diamond's two bands — KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE — are not touring, the Danish heavy metal singer replied (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Right when [METALLICA's medley] came out, yeah, it was nice. I got a Corvette out of it at the time. I got a black Corvette at the time that I could not have gotten otherwise. I had a Trans Am — I sold that and got a Corvette. So that was the initial impact at the time. Now, it's, like, I guess if they do something special with it or whatever, then it does something, but that's not what I live off, I can tell you that. The same… I did something with VOLBEAT — the song that I did half the lyric for ['Room 24'] and it was nominated for a Grammy. But it's not like… I can't eat off of it; I can't pay rent or anything off it. But that's our own stuff that is doing quite well now; our own stuff is doing [well]. The tours are doing good. There's more projects going on all the time."

Earlier this year, King told Metal Hammer magazine that he was proud of having served as a musical inspiration for METALLICA. "They are the biggest metal band in the world, and for them to be inspired and to cover some of our songs, it's a huge honor," he said. "Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] called me from their studio and said, 'Want to hear something new?' and he played me their MERCYFUL FATE medley and told me it was going to be on an album. [I was[ blown away. We've played it a few times with them too."

Back in November 2019, shortly after the passing of MERCYFUL FATE's Timi Hansen, Ulrich released a statement in which he called the bassist "part of a musical force that helped shape METALLICA's sound, direction & desire to be in a hard rock band." Saying that MERCYFUL FATE "played a significant role in [METALLICA's] history," Ulrich added that Timi and his original MERCYFUL FATE bandmates "welcomed [METALLICA] to Denmark in 1984 with open arms, let us use their rehearsal studio where we wrote songs for the 'Ride The Lightning' album, leant us their equipment, showed us the best of Copenhagen, became our partners in crime....Over the years we enjoyed endless amounts of incredible moments together, including an almost complete reunion at our 30th Anniversary shows at the Fillmore in 2011. And ultimately, again as most of you know, we recorded 12 minutes of their finest musical moments as the track 'Mercyful Fate' on the 'Garage Inc.' album in '98 and have enjoyed playing that occasionally over the years with various members joining us for their respective parts."

Lars played drums on a new version of MERCYFUL FATE's "Return Of The Vampire" on the "In The Shadows" album, which came out in 1993.

Last month, MERCYFUL FATE announced its first North American headlining tour in over two decades. The trek, which will feature support from by KREATOR and MIDNIGHT, will commence on October 25 in Dallas, Texas and weave its way through fourteen cities, closing on November 16 in Atlanta, Georgia. The tour follows the band's headlining performance at this year's edition of Psycho Las Vegas.

Another band whose songs METALLICA has extensively covered over the years is DIAMOND HEAD. In 1984, METALLICA recorded "Am I Evil?" as a B-side to their "Creeping Death" single and again included on the band's multi-platinum 1998 covers album "Garage Inc." METALLICA would record three additional DIAMOND HEAD songs: "Helpless" ("Garage Days", 1987),"The Prince" ("One" single B-side, 1989) and "It's Electric" ("Garage Inc.", 1998).

In a September 2022 interview with Metal Pilgrim, DIAMOND HEAD guitarist Brian Tatler was asked if he thinks his band would not have been able to continue as a viable business entity had METALLICA covered any of his songs. He responded: "I think if METALLICA hadn't covered DIAMOND HEAD — the first cover was '84 when they did 'Am I Evil?' on the B-side of 'Creeping Death' — so I think if they hadn't, I may have looked elsewhere for employment. I think it would have been harder to keep DIAMOND HEAD going without that introduction to their fanbase. 'Cause that record sold millions of copies — versions of 'Am I Evil?' have sold millions of copies through METALLICA — and so so many more people know DIAMOND HEAD thanks to Lars [Ulrich] and Co. And it may be that a lot of the opportunities that we get now would not be there without that METALLICA connection. So I'm eternally grateful. Obviously, myself and Sean [Harris, original DIAMOND HEAD singer] still get writers' royalties, but even so, I just think it's helped DIAMOND HEAD as a name and a brand to get on more and more opportunities — get festivals and supports. Because they link it with METALLICA; they think, 'Okay, well, you're potentially tapping into a huge market.'"

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