Lonn Remembers Michelle Meldrum
As referenced in the Metallica chapter of Life on Planet Rock, I picked up James Hetfield one evening during Metallica's Black sessions and while he was cracking my windshield with a rough mix of "Holier Than Thou," I suggested we check out this all-girl metal band, Phantom Blue, playing at the Roxy. Former Elektra Records publicist, Byron Hontas, PR point man on Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, touted them. What I have never written anywhere are the circumstances under which Byron and I met. I was an editor at HUSTLER, not sure what my exact title was at the time but I had my content hands in just about everything (except the photo shoots – I know…lame). I get a call from the Elektra publicity department which was perhaps the first time I ever spoke to someone who worked at a record company. I had longed to share time and ramble with musicians.... Bryon pitches me this idea; "Metallica, a big thrash band from San Francisco, and has a new LP coming out called Master of Puppets," says the man nicknamed Poca Hontas. "I was thinking how cool it would be to shoot the band with four hot HUSTLER models on strings." Get me more chips, I'm all in. Fortunately for the legacy of the band I would later come to know as 'family' (or fairly close), Q Prime management put a screeching halt to our misogynistic marionette fantasy. The project's death birthed a friendship with Byron that's thrived to this day.
Four songs into the Phantom Blue set, the mighty Hetfield giggles, "Chicks shouldn't play this sh*t." No one heard the comment, especially the blonde on lead guitar named Michelle Meldrum.... As time and tide passed, chops were honed, new bands were formed, and life in studio and on the road was experienced full scale. As Michelle's rock got harder and more focused on her 'shred', she caught the eye of her testosterone driven peeps. Opinions on the woman's role in metal have evolved. Didn't Avril Lavigne perform at Metallica's MTV Icon ceremony? The shift is on. - Read the full article for some more cool Michelle stories