Thin Lizzy’s Eric Bell Calls Metallica ‘Pack Of Bastards’


When Thin Lizzy’s guitarist Eric Bell failed to receive his stipend for his guest appearance playing with Metallica, he labelled them none other than a “pack of bastards.”

The concert in question, in 1999 was staged in Dublin, Bell joined Metallica on stage for their version of “Whiskey in the Jar,” which they had recorded in 1998 after being inspired by Thin Lizzy’s 1973 version.

According to UCR, Bell told the Irish Sun that he was flown from the U.K. to Dublin on the band’s private jet to play at the concert and then flown back home via a private airfield.

Bell recalls “It was about half three in the morning,” the transport was all lined up, and there was a car to take me home. I was quietly expecting about two grand, which wouldn’t have meant a thing to them.”

“But I got handed over a big ball of Metallica T-shirts, keyrings and hats. I got paid fuck all, then they all fucked off.” The newspaper reported that Bell said, “there was no agreement on the fee.”

He also disclosed that he put his signature on a piece of paper at the end of the show that he had not read properly and he wasn’t sure if he had mistakenly waived the right to payment.

He said “It wasn’t until I was sitting in my car on the way home I realized they hadn’t paid me,” he added, “I thought I’d get something in the post, but [I didn’t hear a word]. Later, somebody tried to get in touch with Metallica to get me something but they found it impossible and they gave up.”

At this stage Bell exclaimed that “they are a pack of bastards. I couldn’t believe what they did, especially as they are so well off. I should have been paid £2,000 but got fuck all.”

It’s pure ignorance really. … If Metallica ever asked me to guest with them again, I’d ask for five grand in advance — in cash, so I’d know I had it in my pocket.”

His memory of the experience is one of bemusement, he said that it had been funny when he met Metallica, he didn’t know anything about them and didn’t recognize them.

They were surrounded by a large entourage of “sergeant majors” who expected him to “genuflect” in their presence. Bell remembers that the performance itself went well but he himself had felt somewhat detached from the other band members.

Bell declared by way of caution, “If somebody puts a form in front of me in future,” he concluded, “I will read it.”

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