Some of you might have seen this story covered over the past few days.  

Metallica has been quoted as stating (GASP) that they "can't afford to stop touring" because they don't make enough money from royalties.  They have become a live band and must tour in order to support themselves.  

And of course, they want to spend more time with their families -- but they can't afford to.   

WAH WAH WAH.   Are you as sympathetic as I am?   

And even if they did not make as much money (see below) as they have, the idea that they are complaining because they have to WORK for a living?  Are the rest of us fools for working rather than wait for money to come flying in the window?  

Regardless if you follow Metallica, I thought this was a very entertaining tidbit.  Here is one nicely laid out version of the story:   

Anyone who saw the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster knows  Metallica have a highly developed whiny side, a collective trait that also spurred their embarrassing and ultimately pointless assault on file-sharing company Napster at the dawn of the 00s. But this latest claim will strike most folks as beyond the pale even for the Bay Area rock brawlers.


In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Kirk Hammett claims the quartet can't afford not to tour because they don't make enough money from royalties. Hammett added that, although the band would like to be able to spend more time with their families, they simply can't afford to.

OK, so let's step back for a moment, shall we? In January of this year, it was revealed that Metallica's 1991 self-titled opus – colloquially known as The Black Album and which the band is currently playing in its entirety on tour - had been officially confirmed as the biggest seller in America over the past 20 years with Soundscan figures pegging Stateside sales at almost 16,000,000.

That figure complements overall album sales of roughly 53,000,000 since 91, making the quartet the fourth biggest artist of the Soundscan era, behind Garth Brooks, The Beatles and Mariah Carey.

And yet, improbably, Hammett tells Rolling Stone, "The cycles of taking two years off don't exist any more. We were able to do that because we had record royalties coming in consistently. Now you put out an album, and you have a windfall maybe once or twice, but not the way it used to be – a cheque every three months."

Hammett then said that the band would actively like to tour less, but can't. He added: "We've been a live band, we've had to get out there and play, play, play. But nowadays that was the area we wanted to kind of lay back on a little bit, and kind of enjoy our families and things. But, you know, it is what it is, and we can't change that."

Admittedly, it takes a lot of cash to keep the well-oiled Metallica machine humming. But it is hard to imagine how a band that can sell out a concert tour anywhere on the planet and that has rarely made a commercial misstep in the whole of its career - charitably overlooking their ridiculous Lou Reed collaborationLulu - doesn’t have palettes of cash in the bank.

Unless their backstage rider calls for daily servings of Unicorn Tartare and Bald Eagle Burgers topped with lobster and paired with jugs of 1952-vintage Cristal, you have to wonder: maybe time for a new accountant?