METALLICA’s Official Webstore Is Selling Collection Of Visual Art Created By LARS ULRICH’s Late Father

METALLICA’s Official Webstore Is Selling Collection Of Visual Art Created By LARS ULRICH’s Late Father

METALLICA‘s official webstore is selling “Still In Play”, a collection of visual art created by multidisciplinary artist and tennis-playing legend Torben Ulrich, also known as the father of METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich.

This unique body of work, inspired by Torben‘s athletic and physical experiences and shaped by his lifelong interest in philosophy, poetry, music, and spirituality, contains more than 120 images of his rice-paper paintings and prints. Accompanying his art are three new essays, including one penned by Torben Ulrich himself.

The METALLICA store will donate all net profits from every purchase of this book to All Within My Hands, the non-profit, philanthropic organization created by the members and management of METALLICA, dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services.

Torben died last December at the age of 95.

Lars announced his father’s death in a social media post on December 20, 2023. He wrote: “Torben Ulrich: 1928-2023. 95 years of adventures, unique experiences, curiosity, pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo, tennis, music, art, writing….and quite a bit of Danish contrarian attitude. Thank you endlessly! I love you dad”.

Ten days later, Lars returned to social media to thank everyone for their messages of support following his father’s death. The musician wrote: “Since my dad’s passing 10 days ago, there has been an unexpected influx of condolences, messages, stories and testimonies coming my way about how his life impacted and affected so many people in a variety of different ways; it’s honestly blown me away.

“As you can imagine it’s been quite a surreal time, so let me say from the heart how much I truly appreciate every single thought, sentiment, feeling and emotion you’ve kindly taken the time to share with me. It means so, so, so much… Thank you, thank you, thank you…”

Torben Ulrich, who was said to be METALLICA‘s biggest fan and its biggest critic, famously told his son “I would delete that” when asked for an opinion of a new song during the writing sessions for what became 2003’s “St. Anger” album — a scene immortalized in the “Some Kind Of Monster” documentary. Torben added, as Lars laughed uncomfortably. “For me, it doesn’t cut it. It sounds like a guy shouting in some kind of echo chamber.”

Asked in a 2005 interview if he was disappointed that Lars didn’t pursue tennis as a career, Torben said: “No, no. The main thing was that he do what he thought was his choice — not our choice. But in order for him to know that more clearly, we encouraged him to leave Denmark for a year and travel to Florida, to a place called the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. He went there when he was 13 or 14. He was very interested in tennis at that time, but he was also very interested in music. After a year, he still wanted to go out and listen to the concerts and I think at the Academy they were not so keen that he stayed out, so he was reprimanded there for keeping some late hours.”

In a 1995 interview, Lars Ulrich, who turned 60 in December, stated about his childhood: “I grew up in as open an upbringing as you can imagine. Americans would call it spoiled. But I was very independent. I had nothing tying me down. At the same time, anything I wanted I had to get it myself. It’s 1975, and I want to go see BLACK SABBATH. As far as my parents were concerned, I could go see BLACK SABBATH 12 times a day. But I had to find my own means, carrying the paper or whatever, to get the money to buy the tickets. And I had to find my own way to the concert and back. From that point of view, I was left alone a lot. But in terms of culture, there was always shit going on around the house.

“My dad was always around music He was hanging out with Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry, Dexter Gordon. Dexter Gordon was my godfather. I used to play with Neneh Cherry when we were little kids. Her stepfather, Don Cherry, lived like six houses from where we lived in Copenhagen. Those types of people were always around.

“Even though tennis was his main source of income, my dad was also writing about jazz in the papers in Copenhagen. Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman were always playing in the stereo around the house. Later it was THE DOORS and Jimi Hendrix.”

In 2021, Torben released a jazz album titled “Oakland Moments: Cello, Voice, Reuniting (Rejoicing)”. The project featured him playing alongside cellist and composer Lori Goldston.

Torben had been called one the most colorful and unique voices in Danish culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, stemming from a long life of activity as a poet, musician, radio and newspaper journalist, painter, filmmaker, performer and athlete, all within a transdisciplinary approach. His work was grounded in a process-oriented, wide-ranging study of movement in spiritual, philosophical and athletic traditions, accentuating the practical while including historical aspects of alchemy, dance, yogic studies, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Sufism, Taoism, etc.

Torben also co-directed two films; 1988’s “The Ball And The Wall” with Gil de Kermadec, and 2002’s “Body & Being: Before The Wall” with Rick New and Molly Martin. In addition, he appeared in two of Jørgen Leth‘s films, “Motion Picture” (1969) and “Moments Of Play” (1986).

Back in 2017, Lars was asked about what his dad — who at the time was 88 years old — thought about METALLICA in general, to which Lars replied: “I think he appreciates METALLICA, especially when we’re daring and a little unorthodox, when we play strange sideways tempos that I don’t even know what are. He appreciates that side of it. When we play a little straighter and a little safer, he raises an eyebrow.”

Lars added: “METALLICA fans know that he’s been a fairly large presence in and out of METALLICA‘s history for 35 years. There’s a famous clip in ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ — a scene where he comes to listen to some of the stuff we were working on [for ‘St. Anger’]. He’s standing over the mixing desk and he doesn’t look too pleased. And I ask him, ‘What do you think of this music?’ There’s a long, long, long pause, and he goes, ‘I would delete that.’ [Laughs] A lot of METALLICA fans know him by association, so it’s very cool.”

Lars was also asked on what Torben thought of METALLICA‘s 2016 album “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”. The drummer said: “[Laughs] I played him the first two songs a couple of months back and he dug it; he was very into it, he thought it sounded very much like METALLICA. And then I had the office send [the album] over to him…

“I saw him for Thanksgiving dinner and he unprovoked — unprovoked! — started talking to me about how awesome the record was. I got more positive vibes out of him than I have for any METALLICA record for quite some time. He got it on CD and he asked if he could also have — [laughs] he’s 88 years old! — he’s got an iPod now and he asked if he could have it in digital form. So I’ll take that as a good sign. The days of ‘delete that’ are over, at least on this record.”