Apart from having been called a bunch of a**holes by the “Dude”, aka Jeffrey Lebowski (who was a roadie for them for a while) the problem with the former members of Metallica is that they have always brought their bassist bad luck. A bassist is not a weather vane; a bassist is a pillar. He is the one who, with his associate on the drums, gives the rest of the band their rhythmic direction without getting thrown off course by the soloist’s flourishes or the vocal hysterics of the singer. The demisemiquaver music with a four-beat kick no longer being what it was before the advent of the internet, DJ-producers, and cheap home studios, the band’s accountant was soon inspired by the idea of making “big bucks” elsewhere. While it may be preferable these days to listen to a Led Zeppelin live gig in Madison Square Garden than to force down your tumbler of malt aged in a vinyl-record press, it’s not a bad idea to remember that people are rarely mega-talented in multiple spheres; the law of compensation obliges us to be wary of deaf, blind, puny little hunchbacks: they generally make up for it in extraordinary and unique knowledge or know-how.
So, while we must grant Metallica near scientific knowledge when it comes to “loudness” and perfect mastery of the bass output on an SSL 4000 console, we may find it necessary to say “each to his own” should be inscribed once and for all at the entrance to the most illustrious wine cellars. In the era of nepotistic likes and dislikes, instant selfies, and minute-long TikTok and YouTube videos, it is not uncommon these days for someone to think they are a lion or a stallion because, as fate would have it, they were born in a zoo or a stable.
Let us note, nevertheless, that for every “box set” of bottles purchased (as a reminder, this is a limited edition distributed only in some American states), some “goodies” are offered: two picture discs, a plastic guitar pick, a ballpoint pen, some stickers, and a zine. While growing old (disgracefully) may bring on arthritis (just ask the talented Phil Collins, who can no longer hold a pair of drumsticks) and make descending through two scales tricky, it is still sad but true that as long as the memory remains, nothing but the shopkeeper’s mentality matters and the sandman may enter any time