Metallica: Club Dayz 1982-1984 by Bill Hale

January 24, 2011

Metallica: Club Dayz 1982-1984 by Bill HaleLongtime rock concert photographer Bill Hale’s collection of sought after Metallica photos have finally seen the light of day in his new book; Metallica: Club Dayz 1982-1984. Bill’s involvement with the band stems back to their earliest incarnation, a time when the boys of Metallica were hardly old enough to buy beer, though would still proudly earn the nickname “AlcoholicA“. This rare and very intimate look into the world of Metallica captures the 4 horsemen live in small club settings, amateur promo shots, and candid photos taken backstage at concerts in the San Francisco bay area. Bill Hale’s ability to transform himself from front row concert photographer into fly on the wall makes for a most interesting look at one of Metals longest surviving bands.

The book opens with anecdotes from long time Metallica associates involved in the early 80’s thrash scene. Bill Hale explains his fascination with capturing the very explosive band that took the heavy metal world by storm overnight. In those days and in small clubs photo passes and safe photo pits were non existent, so if a photographer was interested in getting “the right shot” one would have to get very up close in personal with the very violent head banging crowd. The visual experience gained is a tremendous effort and prime example of a photographer suffering for ones art. Brief descriptions of each photo with locations and dates are provided giving a band timeline. The first photos of Cliff Burton as a member of Metallica are here along with Dave Mustaine’s first and last photos as a member of the band. Kirk Hammet even makes a few appearances here, first as a member of Exodus hanging backstage with Dave Mustaine (who Kirk would replace). These photos are as rare as they get in the Metallica world!

Many esteemed photographers like Ross Halfin and Anton Corbijn would shoot Metallica in their later years and capture them in all their success fame and glory, though what makes this book more interesting to the casual or hardcore Metallica fan is that what’s captured here is pure metal and nothing more and nothing less (112 pages to be exact!). There aren’t private planes, fame, ego maniac’s or sold out 75,000 seater stadiums here. What we get here in “Club Dayz” is a raw look at a band that had drive and determination to play music and work hard on the club scene night after night in front of a growing army of fans.

Being a fan of Metallica, I’m glad that Bill Hale was there at the right place at the right time with his camera shooting away. This happens to be the earliest account of photos to surface on this bands early period, the innocence captured here is complete opposite of what the majority of fans would later come to see, and because of that this book is a must have for the true Metallica fan.

Here is a source for the book:
Metallica: Club Dayz 1982-1984   from


-Louie Bones-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter