METALLICA And LOU REED: ‘Junior Dad’, ‘Brandenburg Gate’ Lyrics Revealed

METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett revealed to Mojo that he and frontman James Hetfield were both brought to tears during the sessions for the band’s upcoming collaborative album with Lou Reed, titled “Lulu”. Hammett explained that the outbursts occurred while they were recording a song called “Junior Dad”, saying, “I had just lost my father literally three or four weeks previous. I had to run out of the control room, and I found myself standing in the kitchen, sobbing away. Jamescame into the kitchen in the same condition — he was sobbing, too. It was insane.”

The lyrics that apparently got to the two metal men were “Say hello to junior dad/The greatest disappointment/Age withered and changed him.”

Hammett added, “[Reed] managed to take out both guitar players in METALLICA in one fell swoop, with his amazing poetic lyrics.”

James Hetfield‘s father abandoned his family when James was just 13, an experience that the singer/guitarist has spoken about at length in a new documentary called “Absent”.

“Junior Dad” lyrics:

Would you come to me
If I was half drowning
An arm above the last wave

Would you come to me
Would you pull me up
Would the effort really hurt you
Is it unfair to ask you
To help pull me up

The window broke the silence of the matches
The smoke effortlessly floating

Pull me up
Would you be my lord and savior
Pull me up by my hair
Now would you kiss me, on my lips

Burning fever burning on my forehead
The brain that once was listening now
Shoots out its tiresome message

Won’t you pull me up
Scalding, my dead father
Has the motor and he’s driving towards
An island of lost souls

Sunny, a monkey then to monkey
I will teach you meanness, fear and blindness
No social redeeming kindness
Or – oh, state of grace

Would you pull me up
Would you drop the mental bullet
Would you pull me by the arm up
Would you still kiss my lips
Hiccup, the dream is over
Get the coffee, turn the lights on
Say hello to junior dad
The greatest disappointment
Age withered him and changed him
Into junior dad
Psychic savagery

The greatest disappointment
The greatest disappointment
Age withered him and changed him
Into junior dad [End of lyrics]

Due on November 1 in North America via Warner Bros. Records and one day earlier (October 31) in the rest of the world through Universal Music, “Lulu” was secretly recorded in May at METALLICA‘s studio in the Bay Area. The album is based around music Reed originally wrote for a theatrical production of “The Lulu Plays”. The CD was co-produced by Reed, METALLICA, Hal Willner — who has produced albums for Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, among others — and Greg Fidelman. Fidelman also mixed the record.

“Lulu” final track listing:

01. Brandenburg Gate (4:19)
02. The View (5:17)
03. Pumping Blood (7:24)
04. Mistress Dread (6:52)
05. Iced Honey (4:36)
06. Cheat On Me (11:26)
07. Frustration (8:33)
08. Little Dog (8:01)
09. Dragon (11:08)
10. Junior Dad (19:28)

“Brandenburg Gate” lyrics:

I would cut my legs and tits off
When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski
In the dark of the moon

It made me dream of Nosferatu
Trapped on the isle of Doctor Moreau
Oh wouldn’t it be lovely

I was thinking Peter Lorre
When things got pretty gory as I
Crossed to the Brandenburg Gate

I was feeling snappy perhaps I’d been napping
And I’d just ate
A following heart can tear you apart
On a midnight to 8 shift

A graveyard romance can only give one chance
As the tombstones weave and breathe

Feeling happy when my heart got beating
On a Sunday afternoon

I dreamt of breezes going through the treeses
And stars were still illumed
I have three hearts that I keep apart
Trying to relate
To normal feelings and the nightime reelings
And some absynthe drunk so late

The cook got drunk and all the whores they shrunk
Onto the size of dessert plates
But me I’m happy cause I got my little nappy
And some opium to set me straight
I’m just a small town girl who wants to give it a whirl
While my looks still hold me straight

Straight up to illusion and fantasy’s fusion
Of reality mixed with drink
I’m just a small town girl who’s gonna give life a whirl
Looking at the Brandenburg Gate [End of lyrics]

01. “Brandenburg Gate” 30-second audio sample:


02. “The View” full-length audio stream:


03. “Pumping Blood” 30-second audio sample:


04. “Mistress Dread” 30-second audio sample:


05. “Iced Honey” 30-second audio sample:


06. “Cheat On Me” 30-second audio sample:


07. “Frustration” 30-second audio sample:


08. “Little Dog” 30-second audio sample:


09. “Dragon” 30-second audio sample:


10. “Junior Dad” 30-second audio sample:


METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told Revolver in a new interview that “Lulu” is “one of the best things we’ve ever done.” Hammett explained that the set “showed me that we could still be truly spontaneous and in the moment. We haven’t been spontaneous like that for years and years and years, probably since the ’80s.”

METALLICA‘s lead axeman added, “We were all out of our comfort zone, and because of that, we came up with stuff we wouldn’t normally come up with. It’s largely an artistic endeavor for ourselves. And we’re just inviting everyone else along for the party. This is something that most people won’t be expecting from us. All I have to say is don’t judge it by heavy metal standards and maybe you’ll understand it better.”

Hammett admitted that Reed “has a reputation for being a grouchy kind of guy,” adding, “Once we started rehearsing (for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25th anniversary concerts, though, Lou was just like, ‘Oh my God. This is great! This is what I’ve wanted to hear all my life.’ And that’s what led to, ‘Oh, we should make an album.’ And we all kind of unanimously agreed.”

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield sought to soothe fans alarmed by the music they’ve heard so far from “Lulu”, telling an Argentinian radio station, “I’m sure there’s some METALLICA fans that will think that ‘This is the new METALLICA record. I don’t like it. I’m scared.’ And it’s not. This is a project that was presented to us that we wanted to challenge ourselves with.”

Hetfield has also hinted that the band and Reed would like to perform “Lulu” live, but so far no tour dates have been announced.


Lulu (30-second Samples) by Lou Reed & Metallica

Photo credit: Anton Corbijn