Metallica's Lars Ulrich on the Rock Hall – 'Two Words: Deep Purple'

"Nirvana is a no-brainer for the first year and I'm glad that Kiss is getting the long-overdue recognition that they deserved for everything that they pioneered, and then I got two words"

Lars Ulrich of Metallica.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
April 9, 2014 12:15 PM ET

Metallica entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, the second year they were eligible and first year they were nominated. Nirvana are entering the Hall this year, the first year they have been eligible, a decision Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich supports, but he still has some hopes for one artist who has been eligible for two decades now. "I'm not gonna get into the politics or all that stuff, but I got two words to say: 'Deep Purple,'" he tells Rolling Stone – repeatedly. "That's all I have to say: Deep Purple. Seriously, people, 'Deep Purple,' two simple words in the English language. But definitely, Nirvana is a no-brainer for the first year and I'm glad that Kiss is getting the long-overdue recognition that they deserved for everything that they pioneered, and then I got two words, 'Deep Purple!' Did I say that already?"

20 Artists Eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Next

Hard-rock legends Deep Purple issued their debut, Shades of Deep Purple, in 1968, which made them eligible for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The band has been nominated for induction into the Rock Hall twice, in 2013 and 2014, but, much to Ulrich's chagrin, have yet to make the cut.

Metallica paid homage to Deep Purple when they recorded the song "When a Blind Man Cries" for the tribute album Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head, which came out in 2012. More recently, they covered songs by a group associated with Deep Purple – Rainbow – which guitarist Ritchie Blackmore founded after he left that band. Rainbow featured vocalist Ronnie James Dio, previously the singer of Elf, and with Dio on vocals the group recorded three studio albums. Metallica recorded a nine-minute medley of Rainbow songs for the comp Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life.

In an interview with Rolling Stone about the comp, Ulrich described how Blackmore's riffs in Rainbow have inspired Metallica. "If you listen to the riff in 'A Light in the Black,' that's fairly fast down-picking," he said. "If you listen to 'Kill the King,' that's not entirely dissimilar to certain Metallica things. Certainly those correlations aren't that radical, but it ultimately inspires us to play music and live and breathe every day."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »