Anthrax’s Benante recalls lyric joke that made it into Metallica song – and reacts to Big 4 show ticket prices
Metallica frontman James Hetfield deliberately delivered a wrong lyric during a live performance of Master of Puppets as a private joke between his bandmates and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante.
But when Hetfield replaced the words “fix me” with “pancakes” Benante was elsewhere – and missed the big moment.
The joke came about during a 1986 thrash tour of the UK when Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton had breakfast with Anthrax’s Benante and Scott Ian.
The drummer tells Examiner.com: “We were just talking about stuff and I said, ‘In Master of Puppets, just before the lead break comes in, James screams something out and I can never understand it. What is it?’
“Cliff looked at Kirk and went, ‘I don’t even know.’ We were ordering breakfast so Cliff said, ‘I think he says ‘pancakes’ and we all started laughing.
“Every show after that, I was on the side of the stage watching and that part would come up, and Cliff would always look at me and mouth the word ‘pancakes.’”
Burton was tragically killed in a tour bus crash later that year. But Benante explains how the joke resurfaced at the meeting where Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax decided to sign up for the first-ever Big 4 thrash concerts.
“I was talking to James about some things and that story came up. He thanked me for telling it because so much of that time is a blur to him.
“At the first Big 4 show in Poland they did Puppets, but I wasn’t on stage. Next day Robert Trujillo goes to me: ‘Where were you? James screamed out ‘pancakes’!”
The four bands make their last scheduled appearance together at the Yankee Stadium on September 14 – but some fans have been angered at the high ticket prices, with even the cheapest seats in the highest tiers costing $90.
Benante says: “If I told you I had to pay for tickets for my own family, would you believe me? I have to pay for my family to come see me play.
“The New York Yankees are promoting it, and of course the Yankees want to make all the money. So what do you do – not do it?”
Anthrax recently released new single The Devil You Know ahead of tenth album Worship Music, their first with singer Joey Belladonna since 1990′s Persistence of Time.