Woman Who Let Metallica Practice in Her Home Remembers Them as ‘Respectful’
A young Metallica were "respectful" to then-Megaforce Records employee Victoria Calandra in 1983 when she started letting them use her Central New York home as a practice space. The circumstances are now thrash metal lore among diehard Metallica fans.
This was at the time when Metallica and other early Megaforce Records acts were made to stop using the home of Megaforce's Jon and Marsha Zazula for rehearsing. The Zazulas, in New Jersey, had received a letter informing them to cut the noise. This was also at the time that now-Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine was let go from Metallica, and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett stepped in.
"Metallica were sent to my house in Cortland, New York," Calandra recalls in a 2014 Classic Rock retrospective. "We had no problem with the neighbors. It was an old Victorian house that was really built well."
She continues, "Dave Mustaine had just been given a bus ticket and sent back to California. Kirk Hammett was barely 21, and so shy and talented. And Cliff Burton was one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. They were very young and very respectful. I was their housemother, cook and hairdresser, and made sure they followed all the rules."
Metallica Rocked the House
Calandra adds, "If they stayed in there after 11PM, I locked them in. James Hetfield broke through the door one night, however. They hung blankets on the walls and said it was really similar to where they jammed in California. They rehearsed for their first big tour while they stayed there."
Other Megaforce Records bands who were sent over to Calandra's house after Metallica included Anthrax, Exciter, Overkill, TT Quick and Raven, Classic Rock explains. However, Metallica "stayed the longest," Calandra says. "They were there for three years."
Metallica Keep Rockin' Today
These days, Metallica are preparing to again tour the world this year and into next on their massive "M72 World Tour." Supporting acts include the re-formed Pantera, Five Finger Death Punch, Greta Van Fleet and other acts, depending on the date.
Metallica will play each city on the tour for two shows without repeating songs. The concert also features a new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed "Metallica Snake Pit" to center stage for a complete 360-degree view of the show.