Metallica Once Played a Show with Ratt at a Roller Skating Rink
One wouldn’t usually associate Metallica, the gritty, workmanlike forefathers of thrash, with Ratt, the epitome of ’80s sunset strip glam metal excess. But wouldn’t ya know it, the two bands once played a gig together, all the way back in 1982… at a roller skating rink.
Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy has been on a social media nostalgia trip lately, and in a recent post, responding to a fan who asked if the two bands ever played together, said “Someone asked me; ‘Did Ratt and Metallica do shows in the early days?’ We did shows, who said we never got along, lol. Looks like some of us did. Nothing but respect for the band. We all have our day.”
Pearcy attached four images to his tweet: 1) a screenshot from a website indicating the bands played L.A.’s famed Troubador together in 1982, 2) a poster for a show at Oakland Stadium showing both bands playing under the Scorpions, date unknown (Metallica billed under both Ratt and Y&T!), and 3 and 4) two photos, estimated to be from 1984 or ’85, of men from both bands posing together and having a grand ol’ time.
You’ll notice the 1982 roller skating rink show teased in this post’s headline wasn’t included above. And that’s because it wasn’t Pearcy, but original Metallica bassist Ron McGovney — chiming in on Twitter with a reply! — who brought that momentous occasion to the world’s attention. “Metallica /Ratt played at a roller skating rink in 1982. People were actually skating in front of us while we were on stage!” he said, along with a photo of what looks to be a backstage pass to the show attached as proof:
Billy Barty’s Roller Fantasy, according to Setlist.fm, was a venue in Fullerton, CA (in Orange County), that occasionally hosted shows but closed in 1983 after a short run in operation; Motorhead, Armored Saint, New Order and Rough Cutt also played there. Its owner, Billy Barty, was a TV actor who who started working as a child in the 1920s and remained active into the ’70s.
How a bill featuring Metallica and Ratt came to a pass we can only imagine — anyone who’s been in bands just starting out knows well that promoters often lump them together for shows with no regard for stylistic nuance — but we’re glad it’s been dug up from the dustbin of history.