A random punter leaving a pass on the ground and a backstage conversation with Lars Ulrich were the instigators for AJ Maddah to become a music promoter.
Speaking at his keynote conversation with Marcus Teague at Face The Music in Melbourne today, Maddah revealed how seeing Metallica at Sydney’s Horden Pavillion in 1989 and the events that occurred after the show inspired his career.
“I found a pass on the ground…. went backstage, had a bit of a stroll, and next thing I know Lars Ulrich came up to me and said ‘Dude, are you here to hang out with us or you’re here to eat our food?’
“I couldn’t answer cause I had so much sandwich stuffed in my mouth.”
Maddah then had a conversation with the Metallica drummer – who told him “this is what you should be doing, man”, after they discussed the marketing of the band’s tour.
Combined with the epic live display that the band had just put on, Maddah felt like he’d found his calling.
“These four guys came out with very little production, wearing sneakers and tracky dacks, playing for two hours and forty minutes with three encores, blowing everybody’s mind away,” he said.
“I was looking at the euphoria of everyone around me, and myself, and I thought, I want to contribute to this.”
Over 20 years later, Maddah has booked Metallica to headline one of his festivals – Soundwave – which has sold out around the country.
When I asked him after the keynote if he feels like he’s come full circle, he replied: “Fuck yeah!” However, he alluded that there’s still heaps of bands left on his promoter wishlist.
More reports on AJ Maddah’s keynote at Face The Music will be posted on Music Feeds later tonight.