When Metallica Stole Their First Managers’ Wedding Champagne

James Hetfield cringed as he recalled the moment Metallica repaid their first managers’ kindness by stealing a bottle of champagne they had kept since their wedding.

Jon and Marsha Zazula believed so much in the band’s music that they formed Megaforce Records specifically to spread the word about the future thrash icons. Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett appeared in an introduction video for the tribute show they recently held for the late Zazulas.

“They put up with a lot of shit from us,” Hetfield recalls in the clip, describing how Metallica had arrived at the Zazulas’ New Jersey home in 1983 to be put up in the basement. “Hey, we’re here – and we’re getting rid of our lead guitar player!” he told Jon Zazula, referring to the dismissal of Dave Mustaine. “He’s like, ‘OK, well, let’s keep going – we share the same vision.’”

You can watch the clip below.

“Most of us didn’t have the highest of social skills,” Ulrich added, noting that a “sense of love” ran beneath the entire experience. “Ground Zero for everything that was Metallica … was their house.”

Hetfield said, “We were just wild and unruly; we knew what we wanted to do but we didn’t know how to get there.” He admitted their antics included “raiding their liquor cabinet” and the moment they had stolen the champagne. “She was pissed,” he said of Marsha. “‘Dude, I was saving that! That was the champagne from our wedding!’ They found us a place to live after that!”

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