Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has revealed that a photo on the cover of the group’s Master of Puppets album captures his reaction to an incident involving a pig’s head and a deviled ham sandwich at the group’s 1985 Monsters of Rock performance at Castle Donington.
“Someone threw a pig’s head up onstage,” Hammett says in a video to promote Metallica’s new book, Back to the Front, which documents the making of Master of Puppets and the subsequent tour.
“I couldn’t believe it. Someone actually went to a butcher’s shop, got a pig’s head, put it in some sort of receptacle, drove, carried it on their person into the goddamn show and just waited for the right moment when we were onstage to launch that pig’s head.
“I remember seeing it flying through the air and it landed by [bassist] Cliff [Burton]. Cliff was just so into it he didn’t even notice, but I noticed immediately, because, you know, being a vegetarian you notice things like that.
“Right when I thought, What’s going to happen next? my guitar got plastered with a deviled ham sandwich. I knew it was deviled ham because I could smell it. And you know, like I said, I’d just become a vegetarian.”
“I remember just playing, going, ‘My guitar smells like fucking deviled ham! This is killing me!’”
Hammett says he looked over to his guitar tech, John Marshall, who was standing offstage with photographer Ross Halfin. “He was laughing. And Ross Halfin was standing right next to him. And I was saying, ‘Fucking deviled ham!’ Ross Halfin took the shot. That’s the shot that’s on the back of Master of Puppets.”
Written by Matt Taylor, Metallica: Back to the Front tells the authorized story about the making of Metallica’s third album, Master of Puppets, and its subsequent tour. The deluxe edition of Back to the Front is available through Moonrise Media.