Part II: Kill ‘Em All and the Big Four

Along with making it all the way down from Seattle to see The Big Four show in Indio, CA, KJ Doughton was also one of the chosen few who got see Metallica get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

The band invited everyone who was on the Kill ‘Em All thank you list, and this event, along with the Big Four show, was a big reunion that brought a lot of the faithful back into the band’s orbit.

“Several years ago, I basically sold or traded most of my metal collection as work and family priorities took over,” Doughton says. “I just resigned myself to the fact that the metal era was over for me. Then I got the call; the invite to Cleveland. Suddenly, all of the excitement and electricity came back. It was surreal. Stumbling through the Cleveland House of Blues Club, with Joe Perry on my right and Jimmy Page on my left, and James giving me a hug…. rock ‘n roll Nirvana. I still slap myself, wondering if it was all a big dream.


“I had this surge of gratitude to the band,” Doughton continues. “I hadn’t seen them in over twenty years, but they hadn’t forgotten. The moral of that story: Don’t second guess yourself into thinking you’ve outgrown something that’s such a big part of your life.


It’s remarkable to think that it’s been twenty five years since Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth put out their most groundbreaking works, Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood, and Peace Sells. (Anthrax’s best, Among the Living, came out in 1987.) Did Doughton ever think he’d see it all come this far?

“People can go, ‘Oh, I knew that Metallica would be the biggest band in the world from the day I laid eyes on them in 1983,’ or whatever, but that’s all bullshit. Nobody knew. I figured they’d become an American Motorhead at best. Then they kept growing and exceeding everyone’s expectations time and time again. Amazing.”


Check out what ESP guitars is doing to celebrate their relationship with Metallica, and the 25th anniversary of Slayer’s masterpiece Reign In Blood here.