When Lars Met Ron: The Unexpected Origins of Metallica’s Name

Ever wondered how Metallica, the metal behemoth, got its iconic name? It’s a tale of two enthusiasts, a fanzine, and a name that almost wasn’t!

When Lars Met Ron: The Unexpected Origins of Metallica's Name
Ron Quintana

A Chance Meeting: Lars Ulrich and Ron Quintana

In the spring of 1981, a young drummer named Lars Ulrich found himself in the bustling streets of San Francisco. Little did he know that a chance meeting with Ron Quintana, a fellow hard rock enthusiast planning to start a fanzine, would lead to the christening of one of the most iconic metal bands of all time.

Quintana, armed with a list of potential names for his fanzine, was torn between “Metallica” and “Metal Mania”. Enter Lars, who, with a twinkle in his eye and a beat in his heart, suggested Quintana go with “Metal Mania”. Why? Because Lars had his eyes on “Metallica” for his band—a band that wasn’t even officially formed yet!

Quintana, armed with a list of potential names for his fanzine, was torn between “Metallica” and “Metal Mania”.

Ron Quintana, when asked about Lars taking the name “Metallica”, was as cool as a cucumber. He mentioned that he was happy to give the name to him. After all, he had already chosen “Metal Mania” for his fanzine, even before Lars decided to use “Metallica” for the band. Quintana also noted that there was already an “Encyclopedia Metallica”, but he felt “Metal Mania” was a better fit for his fanzine. Talk about a win-win situation!

The Formation: Metallica’s Official Debut

Fast forward to October 28, 1981, and Metallica was officially formed. This was five months after Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield first met. The band’s formation was as legendary as its name, with Lars placing an advertisement in a local newspaper, “The Recycler”, looking for other metal musicians to jam with. James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm responded, and the rest, as they say, is headbanging history.