That One Time Scott Ian Got Arrested With Cliff Burton
Loudwire had the honor of hosting a promotional event for Scott Ian’s newest book Access All Areas, where fans engaged with him over Facebook Live and in person as they asked questions and requested stories. Among those stories: the time Scott Ian got arrested with Cliff Burton, a riveting tale of fear, deception, surprise, disappointment and pigs bein’ pigs.
Scott tells the story best, but it can’t hurt to relay the events: in an effort to find a Walkman in the London winter, Scott and Cliff found themselves padded in thick coats with their long hair in the subway under the gaze of a few British police officers who were certain of their guilt for possession. “It’s good to see that you obviously have nothing better to do,” Scott said to the officers after they threatened to take them in “for suspicion,” after which they were promptly tossed in a cell stripped down to tighty-whities with the freezing London cold seeping in. He was trapped for six hours as about ten officers worked their way through Metallica’s shared flat in search of whatever they could find, ultimately coming away with nothing. Odd, Scott thought, as Cliff had a “giant bag of weed” hidden under his mattress that the officers failed to search — yeah, London’s finest failing to look in the most obvious place for an illicit substance is hardly a surprise. After the failed search, Scott was taken to the Captain’s office where Cliff sat with a half-smile — aware of the officers’ shortcomings and privy to information Ian had no way of knowing — only to find that the officers had made a “mistake,” earning an apology from the Captain.
And then they walked away free men. But they did not walk away with a Walkman.