House of Metallica

Music Ride the Lightning Metallica (album - 1984)
Ride the Lightning crystallizes the rage, the appetite and the inspiration of a group of friends animated by a mind-blowing energy and endowed with a raw talent. An essential piece of metal history, born within the walls of a modest house in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“If I hadn’t had music in my life, it’s quite possible I’d be dead and I’d much rather be alive!”

James Hetfield, singer and guitarist of Metallica.

Often associated with San Francisco, Metallica was born in Los Angeles. It’s 1981, Lars Ulrich, a drummer full of ambition, publishes an ad in a local newspaper to recruit other musicians. Motörhead fan, he also intends to bring his stone to the building of a metal in full construction. James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner, two guitarists, answer the ad and the name Metallica is found. Later, Dave Mustaine, a six-string prodigy, joined the adventure and the first demos were recorded. He was soon replaced by Kirk Hammett and founded his own thrash band, the well-named Megadeth. In 1982, while at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, the musicians met bassist Cliff Burton and were greatly impressed by his technique. Member of the combo Trauma, he agrees to join Metallica on condition that the group moves to El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. And so the friends move into this little wooden house. In a vacuum, one on top of the other, Lars Ulrich and the others work on their music and compose some of their first classics. Songs that will be on the tracklists of the Ride the Lightning albums
and Master of Puppets. The garage of the house becomes the place of rehearsal. Metallica later sought to buy it back to integrate it into its headquarters located in San Rafael, California. Unfortunately, the place has since been destroyed, but the house is still standing.

We are now in 2016. On April 16th to be exact. On the occasion of Record Store Day, Metallica is back in El Cerrito, in front of its former home. A visit during which Lars Ulrich said: “Hopefully most of the things that happened here have been forgotten. But we really had a lot of fun…”


Ride the Lightning has been certified seven times platinum in the United States.

3132 Carlson Blvd

Proof that appearances are deceiving, this charming house at 3132 Carlson Blvd is one of the most popular heavy metal monuments in California.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the town of El Cerrito shines thanks to some of its illustrious inhabitants. The Fogerty brothers of Creedence Clearwater Revival grew up here, and Karen Grassle, the iconic actress from the hit TV show Little House on the Prairie, lives on these charming streets. However, El Cerrito is most popular in the heavy metal community as the home of Metallica. A modest building of which a part is now available for rent. Decorated with the right atmosphere!

Go there

The Fantrippers Buying Board

Cult! music: 100 mythical music places [French Edition]

Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists!

Head to Melbourne, Australia for a stroll along AC/DC Lane before crossing the iconic Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in the company of The Beatles. Visit Janis Joplin‘s home in San Francisco and find out how Johnny Cash ended up playing his greatest hits to a crowd of prisoners in San Quentin. Travel the winding roads of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and stop in Japan to catch up with Deep Purple, Phil Collins and Daft Punk. Drive down the Tina Turner Highway before entering some of the most legendary studios in music history. Go back to the troubled origins of Billie Holiday and make a pact with Robert Johnson at the famous crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists! Relive the Jimi Hendrix concert on the Isle of Wight before paying tribute to Bob Marley in Jamaica.

Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! musictells the secrets of the places that made the history of music.

Fantrippers' opinion
Content quality

Interest for fans

Value for money

Discover all the places Ride the Lightning on our map

Facebook Twitter Instagram

By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

Let's discuss this fanspot

Notify of
0 Commentaires
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments