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Truck Driver Songs: Metallica “Wherever I May Roam”


Truck Driver Songs Metallica
An early version of Metallica, around 1985, clockwise from top left, James Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammet, and Lars Ulrich.

It’s time for another episode of our recurring series “Truck Driver Songs” that features the best trucker anthems from the 50s to the present! This week we kick it up a notch with a hard rocking hit from one of the most popular bands in the world – Metallica.

Metallica. Most people under the age of 40 can’t even conceive of heavy metal in their mind’s eye without including this pummeling quartet of veteran musicians. They are the 7th biggest selling act in American history. They solidified an entire genre of metal called Thrash, which combined heavy rock chords with blazing speed on drums and guitar solos. They’ve done it all in nearly every country on the planet, and they’re still going today.

Who’d have thought it when, on October 28th, 1981, drummer Lars Ulrich made a local guitarist named James Hetfield an offer he couldn’t refuse – come over to his space to cut a demo and Lars promised to get the best track in front of the talent scout for Metal Blade Records. It was a little white lie, but James agreed. They cut two songs, passed the tape around through metal fans and kept up the hype.

The “band” hired two more rock animals from the California coast metal scenes, Dave Mustaine and bassist Cliff Burton and then began playing a series of legendary live shows.

Over the years, Metallica reached amazing highs and felt crushing blows, as members clashed, died, left for other projects and accused the band of fraud. In 1986, Cliff Burton was killed during a tour bus crash and the band was devastated. They took a few months to determine if they would continue. In 1990, they decided “Yes,” and then began a search for a new beginning.

In 1991, Metallica released their self-titled album – better known by fans as The Black Album – and saw their popularity soar to stratospheric heights. With new producer Bob Rock who had revived many other hard rock acts from devastation like The Cult, Motley Crue and Aerosmith, this album featured a fuller sound and simpler arrangements. It went straight to number one all over the world, stayed there for several weeks, sold in excess of 15 million copies worldwide. They were now bonafied world class superstars.

The Black Album produced this slow-crunching metal anthem that many truck drivers took to heart, due to the lyrics singing praises of an outlaw traveler who has no time to quit and even less time to suffer fools who get in his way. It’s called “Wherever I May Roam” and we know all you hard rocking truck drivers love it.

If you can’t get the video below to play in the window, just visit it directly here: YouTube

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