heavy metal

Metallica's Master of Pancakes

Metallica (2008) Working in this business I hear strange bits and pieces of band lore all the time. Yesterday one popped up on Reddit's /r/metal again that I have heard before but never really payed much attention too...until now. It is the "Master of Pancakes" story that goes along with Metallica and has become a bit of part running joke and part tribute over the years.

The story first came to light at a pre-show party in 2009 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Metallica. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante tells a story about a time in England in 1986 when the two band's were on tour together. Charlie was at breakfast with Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett and Scott Ian and turned to Cliff and asked "hey you know that part right before the lead when James [Hetfield] says something? What the fuck is he saying?" To which Cliff replies "Pancakes, he says pancakes." (see video below)

Metallica first played 'Master of Puppets' live at a hometown New Years Eve show in San Francisco in 1985. You can listen to the first public performance of the song here. The part in question is at the 5:49 where James yells something before Kirk plays his lead. This part of the song went on to become "Fix Me" and there were many instances in 1986 where James just screamed "Fuck Me!" Most Metallica shows in the late 80's, 90's and 00's, James yells "Fix me ." As the band's tour in support of the Master of Puppets album with Ozzy continued, James' "Fuck Me!" line began to grow more and more inaudible. Almost to the point of sounding like "pancakes!" as heard at the Charleston show in Aug of 1986 here. Soon after this date, the band headed out with Anthrax as support on the famed Damage Inc. Tour.

That tour only lasted 13 dates due to the bus accident in Sweden that tragically took Cliff Burton's life. Of those 13 dates, the two band's played seven shows in England, two in Ireland and one in Scotland and the rest in Sweden and Norway. I managed to track down several audio bootlegs (that's right, I used p2p for some Metallica bitches!) from 1986's European leg of the Damaged Inc Tour and Hetfield's "Fuck Me" goes back to "Fix me", including Cliff Burton's final show with the band in Sweden.

It wasn't until 2009 following Charlie Benante's pancake story did fans and the band both pick up on the story. Now on occasion, Hetfield will throw in "pancakes" for the crowd as a bit of a tribute to fallen bassist Cliff Burton.

At the 2010 Big 4 show in Sofia Bulgaria, it appears James is saying "Pancakes". It this due to them sharing the stage with Anthrax? see here. Again at the Big 4 show in Indio, James is clearly saying "pancakes".

Fans in Australia in 2010 made pancake related signs and pushed the Master of Pancakes movement forward. There is even a tribute page on facebook. Next time you attend a Metallica show, listen for "Master of Pancakes."

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Tags:  MetallicaCliff BurtonPancakesCharlie BenanteMaster of Pancakes

    July 02, 2011

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