September 13, 1961

Dave Mustaine Born

Metallica's first full-time lead guitarist (1982 - 1983) and future Megadeth leader was born on this day.


February 10, 1962

Cliff Burton Born

The major rager on the four-string bass guitar was born on this day in Castro Valley, CA.


November 18, 1962


March 4, 1963


August 3, 1963


November 2, 1963

Ron McGovney Born

James Hetfield's high school friend and Metallica's first bass player was born on this day.


December 26, 1963


October 23, 1964


May 1981


October 1981

Metallica Forms

After being offered a slot on Brian Slagel's upcoming compilation of Los Angeles metal bands, Lars contacts James and the rest, they say, is history.


March 14, 1982

Metallica's First Show

James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine, and Ron McGovney appear on stage for the first time at Radio City in Anaheim, California. The set list was largely comprised of NWOBHM cover songs in addition to "Hit the Lights" and "Jump in the Fire" and James did not play guitar. Dave broke a string during the first song and the band had to stop the show for 10 minutes.


April 23, 1982

Metallica Appears as a Five Piece Band

Metallica attempts to perform a show as a five-piece band including Brad Parker (also known as Damion C. Phillips) on second guitar. His performance did not go over well.


May 25, 1982


June 14, 1982

Metal Massacre Released

Brian Slagel's Metal Massacre compilation is released and features Metallica's "Hit the Lights" as the closing track. On the first pressing, the recording featured James on rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals, Lars on drums, and Lloyd Grant on lead guitar. On all subsequent pressings, a re-recorded version was included featuring James and Lars alongside Dave Mustaine on lead guitar and Ron McGovney on bass.


July 6, 1982

No Life 'Til Leather Recorded

Metallica's famous No Life 'Til Leather demo tape was recorded at Chateau East Studio in Tustin, California. The seven song demo tape was responsible for spreading Metallica's name across the globe and securing them a recording contract with Megaforce Records. "Hit the Lights", "The Mechanics", "Motorbreath", "Seek & Destroy", "Metal Militia", "Jump in the Fire", and "Phantom Lord" comprised the track listing.


December 10, 1982

Ron Quits Metallica

After nearly a year as Metallica's bass player, Ron McGovney quits the band.


December 28, 1982

Cliff's First Rehearsal

James, Lars and Dave rehearse with Cliff Burton for the first time in the San Francisco Bay Area.


February 15, 1983

Metallica Moves to San Francisco

Cliff only agreed to join the band if they were willing to move up north out of Los Angeles. They have lived in Northern California ever since.


March 16, 1983


April 1, 1983

Kirk Hammett Called to Join

Originally thinking it was an April Fools' Day joke, Kirk soon found himself on a plane to New York to replace Dave Mustaine.
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