Metallica’s “performance coach” Phil Towle, a former psychotherapist, recently joined in for an interview on the latest episode of the Metallica-centric podcast “…And Podcast For All”. He was brought into the picture in January 2001 to help James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich repair their relationship with Jason Newsted.
Phile Towle opens up on Dave Mustaine
During the chat, Towle was asked about one of the most memorable scenes in the Metallica documentary “Some Kind Of Monster” in which Ulrich is confronted by former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine about being kicked out of the band in 1983 for being an aggressive drunk. The meeting between Ulrich and Mustaine took place on September 13, 2001, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco, California, and was refereed by Towle.
“The Mustaine session itself was pivotal for Lars and Dave, but it wasn’t complete for Dave,” Towle told “…And Podcast For All”:
“I mean, obviously. It was the first chance that Mustaine had had to be able to purge. And I think Lars did a great job of opening up and doing his best to take it on without trying to change Dave’s mind. He couldn’t really answer the soulful part of Dave’s pain; he couldn’t heal that pain. Dave has to heal that pain in response to what was going on. But the conversation was an opener; it was a great opener for them to be able to… It was a way for each of them to communicate what was in their heart and on their minds.”
He continued: “And like so many parts of life, it had its own standalone features, but it wasn’t standalone. It was an opportunity for both of them to reconnect in healthy way. Look what happened — they brought Mustaine back when they were inducted into the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame, right?” he said, apparently referring to Metallica’s reunion with Mustaine at the 30th-anniversary concerts in San Francisco in 2011. ‘So, that led to that; I’m sure that was part of it.”
In the aforementioned “Some Kind Of Monster” scene, Mustaine told Ulrich that his dismissal from Metallica ruined his life and that he has always lived in the shadow of his former bandmates, even though he had earned several platinum albums of his own with his post-Metallica band Megadeth.