Ron McGovney

Last updated

Ron McGovney
Birth nameRonald McGovney
Born (1962-11-02) November 2, 1962 (age 56)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal, thrash metal, speed metal
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsBass, guitar, vocals
Years active1981–1982, 1986–1988, 2011, 2013
Associated acts Leather Charm, Metallica, Phantasm

Ronald J. McGovney (born November 2, 1962) is a semi-retired American musician, best known as the original bass guitarist in the heavy metal band Metallica from October 1981 to December 1982.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Contents

Having previously played with guitarist James Hetfield in the garage band Leather Charm, McGovney was a member of Metallica during its first year of gigging and appeared on their early demos before departing late in 1982. After a period of inactivity, he later played in the thrash metal band Phantasm.

James Hetfield American musician, songwriter and record producer

James Alan Hetfield is an American musician, singer, and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield is mainly known for his intricate rhythm playing, but occasionally performs lead guitar duties and solos, both live and in the studio. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering a classified advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler. Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards and released ten studio albums, three live albums, four extended plays and 24 singles.

Leather Charm was a short-lived American hard rock band from Downey, California, noteworthy as a forerunner to Metallica. The group rehearsed new wave of British heavy metal covers and original material for a period of months in 1981.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Musical career

Leather Charm and Metallica

In June 1981, McGovney formed his first band, Leather Charm, with his childhood friend Hetfield and guitarist Hugh Tanner of Hetfield's previous band, Phantom Lord. Tanner soon left Leather Charm to pursue a career in music management; the subsequent lineup featured guitarist Troy James and drummer Jim Mulligan. The group rehearsed a set of new wave of British heavy metal covers and original material for a period of months, but Mulligan's departure later that year led to the band's demise.

The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.

Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich established their new project, Metallica, late in 1981. With the addition of McGovney and guitarist Dave Mustaine early the next year, the first gigging lineup of the band was completed. After their debut performance on March 14, the band spent 1982 rehearsing in McGovney's parents' long-since-demolished rental property near the 605 freeway and building a local following in the Los Angeles and Orange County heavy metal scenes. They recorded several demos during this time, including one recorded in McGovney's garage, the Power Metal demo, and the live No Life 'Til Leather . A recording of the song "Hit the Lights" with McGovney playing bass was featured on a repressing of the Metal Massacre Vol. 1 album.

Lars Ulrich Danish musician

Lars Ulrich is a Danish musician, songwriter, actor, and record producer. He is best known as the drummer and co-founder of the American heavy metal band Metallica. The son of tennis player Torben Ulrich and grandson of tennis player Einer Ulrich, he also played tennis in his youth and moved to Los Angeles at age 16 to train professionally. However, rather than playing tennis, Ulrich began playing the drums. After publishing an advertisement in The Recycler, Ulrich met vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and formed Metallica.

Dave Mustaine American musician

David Scott Mustaine is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter of the American heavy metal band Megadeth, as well as the original lead guitarist of the American band Metallica.

Interstate 605 is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the Greater Los Angeles urban area of Southern California, running about 27 miles (43 km) in length from Seal Beach to Duarte. The San Gabriel River Freeway closely parallels the San Gabriel River for most of its alignment, hence its name, which is one of the few Southern California freeways not named after a city along its route. Though this does not include the improvements with the interchange with I-105, reconstruction of I-10 between I-605 and I-405, and the addition of an HOV lane between I-405 and I-10, I-605 is one of the only remaining freeways that kept its original alignment throughout its run through Los Angeles County since it first opened.

McGovney's time in Metallica was reportedly tumultuous, as he often clashed with Ulrich and Mustaine. [1] He felt that, aside from using his connections made as an amateur photographer, his role was that of monetary and transportation provider, rather than a respected member of the band. [1] He ultimately quit on December 10 due to growing tensions, and was replaced by Cliff Burton. After leaving Metallica, McGovney became uninterested in playing music and sold most of his equipment. [1]

Cliff Burton American musician, member of Metallica

Clifford Lee Burton was an American musician and songwriter, best known as the bass guitarist for the American band Metallica from December 1982 until his death in September 1986.

Phantasm

In 1986, Hirax vocalist Katon W. De Pena persuaded McGovney to return to music. The two formed the thrash metal band Phantasm with guitarist Rodney Nicholson and several other musicians, briefly including Dark Angel drummer Gene Hoglan. Phantasm released a demo but never recorded a proper album, and disbanded in 1988 due to disagreements between members. [2] In 2001, the thrash label Deep Six Records released the Wreckage CD, packaging a remastered version of the band's demo of the same name with a live set from 1987. [3]

Hirax band

Hirax is an American thrash metal band from Cypress, California. Starting in 1984 under the leadership of vocalist Katon W. De Pena, the band played in Los Angeles and San Francisco with the other new thrash metal bands of the area such as Metallica, Exodus, and Slayer. The band was an early example of thrash metal, speed metal and crossover thrash.

Dark Angel (band) former American thrash metal band

Dark Angel is an American thrash metal band from Downey, California that formed in 1981. Their over-the-top style earned them the nickname "the L.A. Caffeine Machine". Although Dark Angel had never achieved a mainstream breakthrough in their initial career, they are often credited as one of the leaders of the second wave of the thrash metal movement of the 1980s. Dark Angel released four full-length studio albums before splitting up in 1992. After a short-lived reunion from 2002 to 2005, the band reunited once again in 2013. They are also notable for featuring drummer Gene Hoglan, who has been a member of Dark Angel since 1984, and since their initial breakup in 1992, he has played in several notable bands, such as Death, Testament, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory and Dethklok.

Gene Hoglan American musician

Eugene Victor Hoglan II is an American drummer, acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including use of abstract devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms. His highly technical playing is extremely accurate at very high and challenging tempos, earning him the nicknames "The Atomic Clock" and "Human Drum Machine."

Later activity

McGovney ceased his professional career after the demise of Phantasm, but gave sporadic interviews and appeared at Metallica-related events. Phantasm discussed a possible reunion in 2007, but this ultimately failed to materialize.

He performed publicly for the first time in 23 years on December 10, 2011, playing two songs onstage with Metallica, Mustaine, and early studio guitarist Lloyd Grant at The Fillmore as a part of the celebrations surrounding the end of the group's third decade. Two years later, he joined Mustaine's band Megadeth onstage in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 5, 2013, sharing the lead vocal on a cover version of Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat".

McGovney has said that, although his time in Metallica came to an acrimonious end, he now gets along with his former bandmates and speculates that, given his disposition and skill-set, he might have been better able to contribute to the band had he served as road manager rather than bass guitarist. [1]

Related Research Articles

<i>Ride the Lightning</i> 1984 studio album by Metallica

Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 27, 1984, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. The album was recorded in three weeks with producer Flemming Rasmussen at the Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artwork, based on a concept by the band, depicts an electric chair being struck by lightning flowing from the band logo. The title was taken from a passage in Stephen King's novel The Stand. Although rooted in the thrash metal genre, the album showcased the band's musical growth and lyrical sophistication. This was partly because bassist Cliff Burton introduced the basics of music theory to the rest of the band and had more input in the songwriting. Instead of relying strictly on fast tempos as on its debut Kill 'Em All, Metallica broadened its approach by employing acoustic guitars, extended instrumentals, and more complex harmonies. The overall recording costs were paid by Metallica's European label Music for Nations because Megaforce was unable to cover it. It was the last album to feature songwriting contributions from former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, and the first to feature contributions from his replacement, Kirk Hammett.

<i>Load</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Metallica

Load is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on June 4, 1996 by Elektra Records in the United States and by Vertigo Records internationally. The album showed more of a hard rock side of Metallica than the band's typical thrash metal style, which alienated much of the band's fanbase. It also featured influences from genres such as Southern rock, blues rock, country rock and alternative rock. Drummer Lars Ulrich said about Load's more exploratory nature, "This album and what we're doing with it – that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and fucking die". At 79 minutes, it is Metallica's longest studio album.

<i>Kill Em All</i> 1983 studio album by Metallica

Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 25, 1983, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. Kill 'Em All is regarded as a groundbreaking album for thrash metal because of its precise musicianship, which fuses new wave of British heavy metal riffs with hardcore punk tempos. The album's musical approach and lyrics were markedly different from rock's mainstream of the early 1980s and inspired a number of bands who followed in similar manner. The album did not enter the Billboard 200 until 1986, when it peaked at number 155, following Metallica's commercial success with its third studio album Master of Puppets; the 1988 Elektra reissue peaked at number 120. Kill 'Em All was critically praised at the time of its release and in retrospect, and was placed on a few publications' best album lists. It was certified 3× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 for shipping three million copies in the United States. The album generated two singles, "Whiplash" and "Jump in the Fire".

<i>Cliff Em All</i> 1987 film

Cliff 'Em All is a compilation of video footage by the American thrash metal band Metallica. It was released in 1987 as a tribute to Metallica's bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus accident on September 27, 1986, at the age of 24, near Ljungby, Sweden during the European leg of their Damage, Inc. Tour. Its title is derived from Metallica's debut album, Kill 'Em All. The home video also features a performance with former guitarist Dave Mustaine on March 19, 1983, shortly before his ousting from the band for heavy drug and alcohol abuse.

<i>Some Kind of Monster</i> (film) 2004 film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Some Kind of Monster is a 2004 American documentary film featuring the American thrash metal band Metallica. It shares its name with the song "Some Kind of Monster" from Metallica's 2003 album St. Anger. The film shows many studio rehearsals and fragments of concert footage. It won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature. The DVD release was handled by Paramount Home Entertainment. Metallica re-released the film, including a bonus documentary, in 2014 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Along with South Florida, the scene was widely regarded as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal.

Excel (band) American band

Excel is a crossover thrash band from Venice, California, founded in 1983 by singer Dan Clements and guitarist Adam Siegel. They were influenced by famous 1970s punk rock musicians like the Germs and Black Flag, and heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath, Trouble, Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity and Cryptic Slaughter. They were also influenced by street art, Excel is known for painting graffiti on the streets of the cities where they make their tours, hence there are many different logos of the band.

Jump in the Fire 1984 single by Metallica

"Jump in the Fire" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the second and final single from their debut album, Kill 'Em All. The single was accompanied by fake live performances of "Phantom Lord" and "Seek & Destroy" which were alternate studio recordings with sounds of a crowd overdubbed in.

Spastik Children was a punk rock supergroup founded by Fred Cotton, James McDaniel and Rich "Jumbo" Sielert. Sielert, the drummer, was later replaced by Metallica's James Hetfield and Metallica's Cliff Burton joined on bass. After Burton's passing, he was replaced by Jason Newsted, also of Metallica. Spastik Children allowed the members of Metallica to have fun and explore a less serious side of their musical talents. The band performed only in clubs and bars in Northern California. Their music was a raw punk style, occasionally performed with little or no rehearsal. James McDaniel and Fred Cotton's influences for Spastik were bands such as Fang, Flipper, Pillage Sunday and the Mentors. Jim Martin later joined the band as a second bass player. The music was, according to friends of the band, amazing at times but mostly hilariously atrocious.

Lee Rausch is a former drummer who played with several thrash metal bands based in California from 1983 to 1987. Now he is the drummer at a church in Indian Lake, Ohio.

Jim Korthe was an American heavy metal musician and social worker. He was a drummer in the 1980s thrash metal band Phantasm, and he later fronted the nu metal band 3rd Strike.

Phantasm was an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California active between 1986 and 1988. The supergroup included several notable members, including early Metallica bassist Ron McGovney, Hirax singer Katon W. De Pena, and prolific drummer Gene Hoglan. The band did not record an album during its period of activity, but issued live and demo material on the 2001 CD Wreckage.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Ron McGovney Interview 1997". Metallicaworld.co.uk. January 15, 1997. Archived from the original on November 7, 2003. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  2. "HIRAX Biography". Blackdevilrecords.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  3. "Encyclopaedia Metallum – Phantasm (USA) – Wreckage". Metal-archives.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
Preceded by
Original
Metallica bassist
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Cliff Burton