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LARS ULRICH Explains METALLICA's Strange History With One California Arena & Their Seat Cushions

It got expensive fast.

metallica lars ulrich
Photo: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Metal shows can get pretty rowdy, even at larger seated venues. Nobody knows it better than Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, partially because he had to pay for all those cushions and seats you all were chucking on around.

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In an interview with Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend, Ulrich touched on playing the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in California. Ulrich jokes (likely with a tear in his eye) that Metallica has personally replaced pretty much all the seat cushions in the place, saying "What are there 16,000 seats in there? We've paid for about 15,000 of those 16,000 seats over the years because every time we were playing Long Beach Arena, people would just take the cushion, you know, play frisbee with it inside the arena," he said as transcribed by Metal Hammer. "The next day [the venue staff] would be like, 'Okay, Metallica, here's those $300,000 worth of cushions that you have to pay for'."

Ulrich went on to say that the issue got so bad that eventually Metallica had to make a public service announcement on Los Angeles radio station KNAC.

"We had to go on KNAC [radio station] multiple times and go 'Listen, whatever. You know, you're our fans, and we're your fans and we're all in this together. We want you to have a good time and we support that. But understand one thing, if you think you're rebelling against the building or rebelling against authority or rebelling against the man or whatever the fuck it is, do you think you're rebellious? The only people you're really rebelling against is Metallica."

The convention center isn't the only place Metallica had some issues in the past. Ulrich also points out that fans used to get pretty nuts with the folding chairs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, too.

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"I don't know if any of you would like to guess where 40,000 folding chairs ended up three songs into the set. Yeah. That's right. All those – whatever there was – 30, 40,000 folding chairs ended up on stage. And so we had to stop the show".

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