Metallica Once Paid $300k For Destroyed Seat Cushions


One of the most memorable gigs in Metallica's five-decade history took place at Long Beach Arena on December 7, 1988. The band had supplied the seats with cushions for the occasion, however, during the show fans quickly removed them, and proceeded to tear them apart and toss them around the stadium.

On a recent episode of Conan O'Brien's Needs A Friend podcast, drummer Lars Ulrich admitted that the band were forced to pay $300,000 to cover the damages.

"What are there 16,000 seats in there? We've paid for about 15,000 of those 16,000 seats over the years because every time we were playing Long Beach Arena, people would just take the cushion, you know, play frisbee with it inside the arena," Ulrich told O'Brien.

"The next day [the venue staff] would be like, 'Okay, Metallica, here's those $300,000 worth of cushions that you have to pay for.'"

Ulrich adds that before the show, the band put out a warning to fans over the local radio show, asking them not to do that exact thing because they would be the ones on the hook for the cost.

"We had to go on KNAC multiple times and go 'Listen, whatever. You know, you're our fans, and we're your fans and we're all in this together. We want you to have a good time and we support that. But understand one thing, if you think you're rebelling against the building or rebelling against authority or rebelling against the man or whatever the f**k it is, do you think you're rebellious? The only people you're really rebelling against is Metallica."

The drummer also recalled a much scarier incident that occurred the same year, also in California, at the L.A. Coliseum when fans threw 40,000 folding chairs on stage. (Much scarier than a vape pen... but maybe no scarier than human ashes.)

"At that time, things were maybe slightly more unpredictable about the physical elements of the makeup of the shows, and in front of the stage the whole lawn, the football field at the LA Coliseum was [made up of] all folding chairs," Ulrich says. "I don't know if any of you would like to guess where 40,000 folding chairs ended up three songs into the set. Yeah. That's right. All those - whatever there was - 30, 40,000 folding chairs ended up on stage. And so we had to stop the show."

Metallica will play two shows at Montreal's Stade Olympique on August 11 and 13. Seat cushions and folding chairs will likely not be provided.


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