Scott Ian Shares ‘The Worst Moment for Me in the History of Anthrax’
Scott Ian sure knows how to tease a new project. The Anthrax guitarist will soon release his autobiography, 'I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax,' and to get fans salivating for the full book, Ian chose to share an excerpt detailing "the worst moment for me in the history of Anthrax."
Last week, Ian teased a portion of his memoir where the Anthrax guitarist described Dave Mustaine's firing from Metallica. Ian told the infamous piece of metal history from his own perspective, as he was actually with Metallica the day it happened.
Perhaps topping last week's excerpt, Ian's newest offering is about former Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin and "the biggest dick move Neil ever pulled":
The biggest dick move Neil ever pulled was when he fired Danny Lilker behind our backs after 'Fistful' came out in January 1984. The main reason he did it, in my opinion, was because Danny is taller than him. He honestly didn’t think someone should be taller than the front man onstage. He thought it made him look bad, so he tried to stand as far away from Danny as possible, which was hard when we were playing stages the size of Ping-Pong tables.
Though Lilker wasn't the most reliable band member according to Ian, it was never the guitarist's intention to let Lilker go, which Neil Turbin did without the band's permission:
“Dude, what’s going on? Neil just called me and told me I’m out of the band,” he said.
“What are you talking about?”
“Neil just called me and fired me.”
I figured he must have been confused. Neil didn’t tell me anything. We didn’t have a band meeting. I thought maybe there had been a mistake, and I told Danny I’d figure out what was going on and call him right back.
I called Neil and said, “Dude, what the f---! You fired Danny?”
“We talked about it. You knew this ...”
“No, we’ve talked about Danny’s problems and that I would talk to him and we would get him back on track. No one f---ing told you to call him and fire him, that’s ... you can’t just fire Danny, it’s not ...”
“Well, he’s out,” he interrupted. “It’s either him or me. I can’t be in a band with that slob anymore. He’s an embarrassment onstage. He’s not a professional musician. He doesn’t look like he belongs in Anthrax.”
I would wear leather pants onstage, Neil had his whole Rob Halford–meets–Rhett Forrester look, and Lilker would have jeans and a black leather jacket on with some metal T-shirt. I never had a problem with the way he looked. Cliff didn’t look like the rest of Metallica, and no one cared. It just didn’t matter.
“You can’t f---in’ do that, man ...”
“That’s it. It’s either him or me.”
I hung up and called Charlie and Spitz, and everyone came to the same conclusion. We couldn’t lose our singer. We had to go on tour and support our album. It was sickening knowing our hands were tied and we were backed against the wall. We felt like if we lost Neil the band would be done. We’d be held up for months trying to find someone else to sing for us.
I got off the phone with those guys and sat in my room in my mom’s house and cried. I was sick to my stomach, throwing up. I had gone from a state of elation from having just released our first record to feeling like I had lost a loved one, and in a way I had. I called Danny back and explained the situation: “Neil said it’s you or him. I called Charlie and Danny, and I can’t believe ... I don’t want to say this to you, but this is what we’re doing, this is what we have to do if we’re going to move forward. We can’t lose Neil. As much as we hate him, we just can’t."
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