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Original Thin Lizzy Guitarist Says Metallica Owe Him Money: “They Are a Pack of Bastards”

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Original Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell has called Metallica“a pack of bastards” over their alleged failure to pay him for a live guest appearance twenty years ago.

The Irish Sun reports that Bell “was invited to play ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ with the American band at their Point Theatre gig in Dublin on July 5, 1999.” Bell, of course, played on the original “Whiskey in the Jar” back in 1973. The band flew Bell from the UK to Dublin on their private jet for the performance, and the guitarist “expected to make IR£2,000, although there was no agreement on the fee.” (In 1999, that would have come out to about $1,540; adjusted for inflation, it’s $2,425.82.) Instead, he claims he was paid with a bunch of Metallica merch:

“It was about half three in the morning. The transport was all lined up, and there was a car to take me home.

“I was quietly expecting about two grand, which wouldn’t have meant a thing to them.

“But I got handed over a big ball of Metallica t-shirts, key rings and hats. I got paid fuck all. Then they all fucked off.

“It wasn’t until I was sitting in my car on the way home I realised they hadn’t paid me. I thought I’d get something in the post but not a dickie bird.

“Later somebody tried to get in touch with Metallica to get me something but they found it impossible and they gave up.

“They are a pack of bastards. I couldn’t believe what they did, especially as they are so well off. I should have been paid £2,000 but got fuck all”

“It’s pure ignorance really. I should have been paid £2,000 at least but I got fuck all from them.”

Bell concludes by asserting that “If Metallica ever asked me to guest with them again, I’d ask for five grand in advance. In cash so I’d know I had it in my pocket.”

Bell is the second of the Metallica’s musical heroes to slam them this year, after Thomas Gabriel Fischer declared that the band had “butchered” a live Celtic Frost cover back in August. Which doesn’t mean anything. It’s just. Y’know. They’re on a roll.

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