As the release of Metallica's Death Magnetic approaches, I can't help but to reflect on my history of being a Metallica fan, as well as the role Metallica's music has played in my life. I've shared many memorable moments with friends and family while listening to Metallica, or discussing their music. One such conversation is actually how I met my wife.
It was my senior year at college, 1998. Another friend and I had just gotten our food trays and were looking for a place to sit in the cafeteria. We saw a large table that had a mix of familiar and new faces and decided to join them. This was in the first couple weeks of a new school year, and as is habit this time of year, we introduced each other to all the new people. I recall I actually shook the hand of a girl behind the back of my friend sitting on my right-and that girl is now my wife.
The topic of conversation at the table in question happened to be Metallica, and their newest single (then, The Unforgiven II). Many at the table were fans of Metallica's Reload album, and interested in how the rest of those at the table compared the new song to the original Unforgiven from Metallica's land-mark "black" album. "Which version of The Unforgiven do you like best?" was the question going around the table in between bites of tator-tot casserole (or some similar cafeteria entree/staple). The young lady whom I would soon take a keen interest in said she liked the lyrics of the new version, and that they seemed an appropriate continuation of the theme of the original.
I felt I had the perfect curve-ball comment to throw into this conversation, so at the next lull in the dialog, I spoke up, "Well, personally I prefer the strings version of "The Unforgiven".
"There's a strings version?" someone asked.
"Yeah", I said, "It's done by Apocalyptica. They have an album where they cover Metallica songs on four cellos."
"Metallica played on cellos? Sounds cool!", said the beautiful young lady.
"If you like, I could bring it over for you to borrow later tonight?"
"Sure, sounds great." she said.
And so began our friendship, that quickly grew into a romantic, long term relationship; and later, our engagement and marriage. That time was approximately ten years ago this month. We've been happily married the last six of those years, and remain fans of both Metallica's and Apocalyptica's music. Very soon, we'll be able to renew that old argument again, as Metallica have a song titled, "The Unforgiven III" on their newest album. Check back later to see what we think!