Professional wrestling legend and reality TV star Hulk Hogan has shot down the rumor that he once auditioned for METALLICA, saying that he never heard from the band after he inquired about joining them as their new bass player.
In a January 2012 interview with The Sun, Hulk Hogan said, "I used to be a session musician before I was a wrestler. I played bass guitar. I was big pals with Lars Ulrich and he asked me if I wanted to play bass with METALLICA in their early days but it didn't work out."
Three months later, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was asked during an appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" if there was any truth to Hogan's claim. "You know what?! I'm blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with having more or less a photographic memory for pretty much anything that I've been a part of," Lars replied. "That one, when that showed up two or three months ago, I was scratching my head over that one. Unless he went by… I don't know Hulk Hogan, I don't know enough about him… I'm not a huge wrestling [fan]… Unless he went by, like, his Christian name or something, and I don't know if anybody knows what his Christian name was — Dave Smith or something — if there was a whole thing that we had with him under a different name, but I certainly have no recollection of doing anything with quote Hulk Hogan endquote. That one, I was scratching my
In a brand new interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine (see video below), Hulk was once again asked about the rumor that Lars once asked him if he wanted to join METALLICA as the band's bass player. He replied: "That rumor has been turned and twisted and thrown in so many different directions — that I auditioned and that I lied and that I never auditioned and they weren't interested. The truth is I played music for many years before I ever got into wrestling, and when I heard METALLICA was looking for a bass player, I would have quit wrestling like that [snaps fingers] to get into METALLICA … When I heard they were looking for a bass player, I got my tapes together from the old band, got a couple of tapes together that Simon Cowell produced with me — GREEN JELLY, and I did an old Gary Glitter song, 'Leader Of The Gang', with Simon, back in the day, before he got his break with all the wrestling music and became a huge monster. But I got all that stuff together to send it to METALLICA and never heard a word. So they never responded to me. They either thought I was a joke or they thought it was a joke, and it wasn't me, or I was no good, but I never heard back from them … I tried — but I never did audition for METALLICA. I wish I would have. But the bass player they got was so good. My God!"
METALLICA changed bass players twice in their recording history: first in 1986 when Cliff Burton died and was replaced by Jason Newsted, then in 2001 when Newsted quit and Robert Trujillo took over two years later.
Hogan took up the bass when he was younger and played high schools and frat parties in various bands.