Metallica Reveal Emotional Ozzy Osbourne Drug Story


Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recalled playing at MusiCares for Ozzy Osbourne to celebrate him overcoming drug addiction in a recent Mercury News interview. MusiCares helps musicians who are fighting addiction. Ulrich said playing the show made Metallica take bold action, with the band wanting to do more acoustic performances.

Q: And what is Metallica doing through All Within My Hands?

A: The big picture is that it’s about giving back to the local communities and the cities that we play in. Our foundation, which is based in San Francisco, is primarily focused on (food) banks and workforce education.

Q: And why did you decided to unplug and make this an acoustic fundraiser?

A: The first acoustic stuff that we were involved in was Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit in ’97. It was the first time we were asked to play acoustic. And we loved the challenge.

So, we did that and not only did we surprise ourselves with how much we loved it, reinterpreting our own songs, but I think there were also a fair amount of people who were mildly surprised that our songs would translate into acoustic reinterpretations.

Since then, it’s been a part of our pretty wide arsenal of things we like to do. I think we played Bridge School three times.

Q: Including the last Bridge — in 2016 — with Roger Waters also on the bill.

A: And we’ve done a couple of other benefits — a MusiCares thing and something for Ozzy (Osbourne). I’m not sure why there’s this thing that when it’s charitable then the acoustic guitars come out. (Laughs.)

But we love playing acoustic. And we love showing that side of us to the people. But, more so for ourselves, it’s just a great balance to all the other stuff that we do. So given a chance to do it, we love to jump at it.

“We had a great time down in Los Angeles honoring our hero Ozzy Osbourne at the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit,” said Metallica in the past about the show. “We dusted off our acoustic guitars and had fun with a short set of cover songs, including Rare Earth’s ‘I Just Want To Celebrate,’ Deep Purple’s ‘When A Blind Man Cries,’ Ozzy’s favorite Beatles song ‘In My Life’ and, finally, ‘Diary Of A Madman.'”

They also wrote on Facebook, “The MusiCares MAP Fund allows access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community as well as offering support groups for working and touring members. James Hetfield was the recipient of this award in 2006 and we are proud to continue to support the amazing work that the MAP Fund does.”

“Music does care,” Hetfield said about the show. “I am grateful for music and grateful for everyone who comes out and supports music.”

“Addiction is a disease that a lot of people suffer from, so by getting involved in this it’s my way of putting back and helping other musicians who can’t afford treatment,” Osbourne told Billboard before the show.