Margaret Priebe, the 85-year-old METALLICA fan who became a viral sensation after her story appeared in Thursday's St. Petersburg Times, was invited backstage for a meet-and-greet prior to the band's show last night (Saturday, October 3) at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. Each member of METALLICA spent a little time with her, sharing stories of her favorite album, "S&M". Guitarist Kirk Hammett also mentioned that his mother now has some competition! In addition, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield dedicated the song "Nothing Else Matters" to Margaret at the sold-out concert, which was attended by more than 18,000 people."The number one METALLICA fan!" drummer Lars Ulrich said when he met Priebe, according to TampaBay.com. When Hetfield came in, he leaned down and asked, "Mind if I hug you?" She didn't mind at all. Hammett told her to "Keep it metal!" She smiled big. The band signed her copy of new album "Death Magnetic" and even gave her a roadie T-shirt. After the meet-and-greet, Priebe said, "They were just like what I'd thought they'd be — very nice."
As she was led through the arena, fans burst into applause, asking for pictures and rocking the devil horns, the ultimate metal salute. Nine years ago, Margaret turned on the radio and discovered METALLICA's 1999 "S&M" album, recorded with the San Francisco Symphony, according to the St. Petersburg Times. She had never heard such a racket before — but she loved it. Last year, she endured a cancer battle with help from her trusty MP3 player, loaded up with METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST, OZZY OSBOURNE. She's cancer-free now, but still cranks the tunes. "I like METALLICA — there's nothing wrong with them," said Margaret. "People think I'm weird. But I'm sorry, I like it loud." "Mom likes Lars," said her son, Jim, 48, who accompanied her to the concert. "She likes drummers." "Lars is cute," said Margaret. "But I like 'em all." For the St. Petersburg Times story, Margaret was asked if she'd like to meet METALLICA — Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. She smiled and said "Oh sure," but added "I wouldn't know what to say! I'd be so nervous!" Photos below courtesy of Metallica.com