Report: METALLICA Drummer's Decade-Long Art Obsession

March 8, 2004

Lydia Adetunji of the Financial Times reports that METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich does not fit the stereotypes of the heavy-metal musician. For one thing, he is a serious art collector. As METALLICA became more successful and began to tour the world, he took to slipping into galleries on his days off.

One day in 1993, he recalls, he was sitting on an aircraft as the band's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett flicked through a Sotheby's catalogue for an upcoming auction. Ulrich looked through it himself. "I saw something that I fell in love with and in Istanbul I was on the phone to Sotheby's in London the day of the auction and I got this piece of art."

It was the start of a decade-long obsession — though not one shared by the rest of the band. "It was really the first thing out of METALLICA that was my own," he says. "[METALLICA] was like a gang: we did everything together. We lived together, we slept together, we ate together."

The painting Ulrich spotted in the catalogue was by Karel Appel, one of a number of the Cobra group of anti-elitist, postwar expressionist artists whose work he collects. "I could talk about this shit for hours," he enthuses. [Read more]

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