Scott Ian is arguably the most well-known and most recognizable guy in Anthrax, thanks mainly to his goatee which actually lays claim to its own zip code. I mean seriously, he wins in all facial hair contests! The man can grow normal beards of epic proportion as well! Just feast your eyes on that beard up there!
OK, so we're not here JUST to talk about facial hair... Scott Ian has been in the news lately for more than his beard and his book (could this be the sequel series to "The Sound & The Story"?!?)
Scott already made music news when he shared "the worst moment for me in the history of Anthrax". This story from said book chronicled a time back in the 80s when former Anthrax lead vocalist Neil Turbin canned bassist Danny Lilker in what Ian calls "the biggest dick move Neil ever pulled".
Check out the excerpt from LA WEEKLY:
The biggest dick move Neil ever pulled was when he fired Danny Lilker behind our backs after ‘Fistful’ came out in January 1984. The main reason he did it, in my opinion, was because Danny is taller than him. He honestly didn’t think someone should be taller than the front man onstage. He thought it made him look bad, so he tried to stand as far away from Danny as possible, which was hard when we were playing stages the size of Ping-Pong tables.
“Dude, what’s going on? Neil just called me and told me I’m out of the band,” he said.
“What are you talking about?”
“Neil just called me and fired me.”
I figured he must have been confused. Neil didn’t tell me anything. We didn’t have a band meeting. I thought maybe there had been a mistake, and I told Danny I’d figure out what was going on and call him right back.
I called Neil and said, “Dude, what the f—! You fired Danny?”
“We talked about it. You knew this …”
“No, we’ve talked about Danny’s problems and that I would talk to him and we would get him back on track. No one f—ing told you to call him and fire him, that’s … you can’t just fire Danny, it’s not …”
“Well, he’s out,” he interrupted. “It’s either him or me. I can’t be in a band with that slob anymore. He’s an embarrassment onstage. He’s not a professional musician. He doesn’t look like he belongs in Anthrax.”
I would wear leather pants onstage, Neil had his whole Rob Halford–meets–Rhett Forrester look, and Lilker would have jeans and a black leather jacket on with some metal T-shirt. I never had a problem with the way he looked. Cliff didn’t look like the rest of Metallica, and no one cared. It just didn’t matter.
“You can’t f—in’ do that, man …”
“That’s it. It’s either him or me.”
I hung up and called Charlie and Spitz, and everyone came to the same conclusion. We couldn’t lose our singer. We had to go on tour and support our album. It was sickening knowing our hands were tied and we were backed against the wall. We felt like if we lost Neil the band would be done. We’d be held up for months trying to find someone else to sing for us.
I got off the phone with those guys and sat in my room in my mom’s house and cried. I was sick to my stomach, throwing up. I had gone from a state of elation from having just released our first record to feeling like I had lost a loved one, and in a way I had. I called Danny back and explained the situation: “Neil said it’s you or him. I called Charlie and Danny, and I can’t believe … I don’t want to say this to you, but this is what we’re doing, this is what we have to do if we’re going to move forward. We can’t lose Neil. As much as we hate him, we just can’t.”
Oh, band drama.... This un-burying of historical thrashy drama has brought a media frenzy around Ian, with Neil Turbin even speaking out his side of this decades-old story which you can read RIGHT HERE
Oh trust me dear reader, it doesn't stop there! Ian mentioned yesterday that supposedly Metallica had plans to fire drummer Lars Ulrich back in 1986- around the same time Cliff Burton tragically died in a bus accident, possibly putting things in perspective and having the band keep Lars. I am really hoping there isn't some conspiracy theory that rises out of this story claiming that Lars had something to do with the death of Cliff to stay in the band... But we all know what can happen on the internet...
"I'm not outing this; that would never be my intention. My book's not like an exposé; it's not that kind of a book.
"But yeah, the story was that they had made a plan that they were gonna make a change and get a new drummer. We were all kind of blown away by that, because it was the four of them. It was just, like, 'Wow! Really?' And they were, like, 'Yeah. When we finish this tour, we're gonna find a new drummer.'
"What could I do? Just as a guy who was friends with all of them, you feel, 'That's a bummer for Lars. That sucks.' And at the same time, you hope that your friends can continue on and do what they wanna do with themselves.
"Obviously, history turned out differently for METALLICA and they went on to become, arguably, one of the biggest bands on the planet. So I'm just glad it all… obviously it all worked out for my friends. [It was a] horrible tragedy that Cliff was killed in that bus accident."
Being that Anthrax and Metallica were close friends at a very young age, it's no doubt that Ian knows these guys well. But is this honest, or is this simply a bunch of mudslinging in order to raise attention around his new book? You be the judge. Similar to how Neil Turbin spoke out his side of the story, perhaps Lars will have some news for us as well. Or perhaps it will be Kirk Hammett? After all, he did write the foreward to Scott's new book...
(Note: You'll want to read that /\ )
Thanks to Anthrax.com and Blabbermouth for the images!