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CLIFF BURTON “Freaked Out” When GEDDY LEE And GEEZER BUTLER Saw METALLICA Play Live

Late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was apparently "really nervous" when Rush's Geddy Lee and Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler showed up to see the band live.

Longtime METALLICA photographer Ross Halfin was the subject of a 90-minute question-and-answer period with “So What!” editor Steffan Chirazi where he discussed then-bassist Cliff Burton’s reaction to other legendary bass players coming to see the band play live.

The discussion took place on December 18, 2021 at Elk’s Lodge in San Francisco, California centering on Halfin’s book documenting METALLICA’s “Black” album era, “Metallica: The Black Album In Black & White”, when the discussion moved to more of Halfin’s entire career with the iconic thrash band.

METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett stops by as well, with audience members asking numerous questions of their own.  You can watch the video below.

Discussing his experience on one of METALLICA’s early tours, Hammett said: “Geddy Lee [RUSH] showed up at one of our shows on the ‘Ride The Lightning’ tour. We played Toronto, and all of a sudden we got a message backstage that Geddy Lee was in the audience. And [late METALLICA bassist] Cliff Burton just freaked out. He started pacing, he started smoking pot, and he was, like, ‘Oh my God! Geddy! Geddy Lee!’ He could not settle down; he was so nervous and just happy at the same time that Geddy Lee was there. And then Ross tells him that Geezer Butler [BLACK SABBATH] is out there one night. Same thing — he starts pacing around, super nervous, grab[s] a beer.”

METALLICA’s 40th anniversary shows in San Francisco last month marked the band’s return to the Chase Center for the first time since the September 2019 “S&M²” concerts that also served as the venue’s grand opening. The two shows grossed more than $4.1 million over the course of their two nights.