By now you know about all of the special surprise guests that appeared during Metallica’s 30th Anniversary shows. Hell, you probably could name the exact night each guest appeared on. If that’s so, then you know that one of the biggest surprises during the second night came from Mercyful Fate. Seeing Metallica perform with four of the Danish metal icons’ original members was pretty spectacular for many reasons. For one, it was the first time the four members performed together in 18 years. Plus, it was the first time we’ve seen King Diamond on stage since his triple-bypass heart surgery.
While you’ve probably already have seen photos and video of the performance, long time Mercyful Fate/ King Diamond manager Ole Bang posted a recap of how the reunion came together and the night itself on Diamond’s official website. While you can read the entire posting online (note: the recap will supposedly be moved the site’s forum section soon), here’s a good chunk of Bang’s recap:
“It actually started a while ago, when Lars Ulrich approached the original MF members, to find out if able and willing to participate. It was all to be secret to keep in line with the surprise effect. When that was sorted, we went to San Francisco; Timi, Michael, Hank & myself from Denmark, and King obviously from Dallas. It would be King’s first appearance since he joined Metallica on stage in Dallas, and his first since the by-pass. We were all anxious and excited about the event, and met up at the San Francisco hotel booked for us. Really nice to see the guys together again; a first time in 18 yrs.
The following morning ( Dec 7th ) we were taken to sound check, which was also kept under tight secrecy. . . . actually had to enter the Filmore through the kitchen of a Korean restaurant, and up the fire escape staircase. Sound check was a blast for me to watch. Michael & Hang were given each a Metallica flying V-guitar’s and a bass was ready for Timi. A few moments later the 8 guys on stage went through the medley already agreed on, spending quite some time on getting detail absolutely right. King and James went over who would sing which part and after some adjustments on the monitors it ended with a complete run-through of the medley. Altogether it was a very smooth sound check, with a really nice and friendly Metallica crew, whom we all owe a huge Thank You!
During sound check, both Livia [Zita, Diamond’s wife] and I got some photos of the action, some of which have already been posted on line. Metallica had their own photographers all over the place, so you’d surely seen the action by now. The Filmore was set for a great evening, and we now realized who would be the other surprise guests of the evening. They turned up one by one for their sound check, and we spend some time checking out the ‘Metallica Museum’ with rare and unusual effects on display. We then had an afternoon break and returned in the evening around 9pm. The place was packed, and upstairs in the VIP area we had a chance to meet up with a lot of old friends in the business, whom we had not seen for years. One very important person in the Mercyful Fate history is Ron Quintana, who was partly responsible for spreading the word of the band, way back in the early 80’s. Our label boss Brian Slagel was there, and we simply just ran into people we knew again and again.
King arrived in full make-up and made his way to a small dressing room, right by the stage, at the time when Lou Reed performed on stage. He might have gotten a small surprise when he got off stage, or maybe someone had warned him. When Jason went on stage it was time for Mercyful Fate to be ready. Only a few seconds after he left stage, we heard Lars starting his story of the ‘good old days’ back in Copenhagen when recording their first albums. The next 10 minutes are documented on all the video footage much better than I can describe it ….. and after this there’s really not much to say.
It was an amazing experience and I believe there are loads of comments and stories about how it was to be in the audience. The following morning we checked out and flew back home…… oh Yes, we did hang out for a while after the show, and Yes we did go to a place for after hours drinks . . . but that’s another (private) story.”
It’s especially funny to imagine Mercyful Fate having to walk through a Korean restaurant to get to the venue. We also would’ve liked to have seen Lou Reed’s reaction when he saw King Diamond in full make up. Before getting into the recap, Bang hinted that more news would be coming soon. Whether said news will involve King Diamond only or Mercyful Fate as well is unclear, but we’re excited to hear what it might be.
You can check out more pictures taken from the night, including some shots back stage, taken by Diamond’s wife Livia Zita on Facebook. And in case you still have seen it, you can watch fan filmed footage of Mercyful Fate’s performance with Metallica after the jump.
[picture via Metallica.com]