METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to the Belfast Telegraph (see video below) about his upcoming milestone birthday and how he feels about turning 50 on December 26.
"It's meaningless [and] it makes no real difference in my life," Lars said. "I don't look at age… I'm quite happy growing older, with the experiences and everything else that comes alogn with it. I'm fine. I'm a realist, if anything, so it's fine. 50 doesn’t' scare me. Bring it on. It's just fun to make fun of the other guys that already are 50. I only have three months left to do that. So there's the over-50 club in METALLICA and the under-50 club in METALLICA. But not for long."
Ulrich, a native of Denmark, played tennis professionally as a teenager and could have gone on to a career as a tennis star, but chose music instead.
METALLICA was formed when Ulrich, who had moved to Los Angeles, placed an ad in a local paper called the Recycler looking for other musicians to play with. The ad was answered by guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of the band LEATHER CHARM.
METALLICA officially formed in October 1981 and the band's first recording was "Hit The Lights" for the compilation "Metal Massacre".
Bay Area DJ Ron Quintana came up with the group's name: he was debating between using "Metallica" and "Metal Mania" for the name of his radio show and Ulrich encouraged him to use "Metal Mania" so that he could use "Metallica" for his new band.
METALLICA's first full lineup — featuring Hetfield, Ulrich, guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist Ron McGovney — played its first gig on March 14, 1982 at Radio City in Anaheim, California.