We've finally agreed to do an official book, which will be released via Broadway Books/Random House next August. It will be a 272 page collectible stuffed with high (and low) lights from the history of the Fan Club's So What! magazine with some reflective handwritten comments and additions from the band themselves and an assortment of other cool stuff. So What! has been published for ten years now and is sent to Fan Club members on a quarterly basis. So What! editor Steffan Chirazi, who has been reporting on the band for over 15 years, will be editing the book that promises to be filled with photos, handwritten notes, roundtable interviews, original fan artwork, letters, and so much more.
    Here is the official press release . . .

    Multi-platinum rock group Metallica to release first-ever official book

    Illustrated history of the band set for summer 2004 publication

    Broadway Books acquires world book publishing rights

    (New York: December 11, 2003) Metallica, one of the most popular bands in rock music history whose latest multi-platinum album "St. Anger" has just been nominated for a Grammy, has signed with Broadway Books to publish the group's first-ever official book, a lavishly illustrated scrapbook of the band's spectacular journey.

    Charlie Conrad, executive editor of Broadway Books, acquired world and serial rights. The project is represented by Lydia Wills of Writers and Artists Agency International, which also provides personal appearance representation for Metallica. Publication is set for August 2004, when Metallica will be in the middle of a more-than-80-city North American and European tour.

    Tentatively titled SO WHAT! The Metallibook by Metallica, the book will be issued as an over-sized hardcover and will include more than 1,000 photographs, band members' handwritten entries, drawings, and reflections, and roundtable discussions with the group at its most revealing. Archival materials, including band photos and exclusive interviews and features, will be compiled from So What!, the official Metallica fan club magazine. Current band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo will add new material, including an introduction and hand-written notes and comments throughout. The book will be edited by Steffan Chirazi, full-time chronicler of the band and editor of So What! magazine, a quarterly that is mailed to 20,000 members of the Metallica fan club.

    Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by guitarist/singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, Metallica early established a critical reputation for sophisticated, often complex song structures and serious lyrics that offered an alternative to contemporary pop-metal combos such as Van Halen and Bon Jovi. Without radio play, the group developed a strong cult following before earning massive success in the late '80s and early '90s. The group's fifth full-length album, 1991's "Metallica" (a.k.a. the "Black Album" ), entered the charts at # 1 and has now sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. Metallica's 1996 album "Load" marked an artistic turning point but continued the band's string of successes, earning the # 1 spot on the charts. Following 1997's "ReLoad," which also went to # 1, and 1998's two-disc set "Garage Inc." (#2), Metallica ended the 1990s as the best-selling rock act of the decade.

    Consistently among the most successful touring acts in the world, Metallica has just completed its "Summer Sanitarium" tour, which was the second-highest grossing North American tour of 2003, behind Bruce Springsteen. Metallica's nine albums and one EP have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, including more than 55 million copies in North America, where the band is one of the top three all-time album sellers. The band has received six Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, and 26 California Music Awards.

    "Metallica has proved to be one of the most popular and enduring rock acts of all time," said Charlie Conrad. "We are tremendously excited to be publishing the band's very first official book and believe that the humor, quality, and inside nature of the material will make SO WHAT! a must-have for die-hards and casual fans alike."


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