So I'm in the Snake Pit at the METALLICA show in Pullman for the Wherever We May Roam Tour that stopped off on the Palouse, May 6, 1992, at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

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It was a huge deal. The Snake Pit part of the tour featured an elaborate stage set up where as many as a couple of hundred fans of the band could roam, wherever, whenever, underneath, as Metallica strutted their stuff making their way to different parts of the crowd around the elevated catwalks above.

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I was on location, working, (yeah, right) representing Rock 106 KEZE Spokane's Best Rock at that time, and I was "responsible" for chaperoning listeners who won this wildly popular contest because it wasn't just your typical meet and greet, or whatever you want to call it, it was not backstage, but UNDER the stage, the Snake Pit, (James Hetfield got a venomous snake named after him this year, ya know) and you got to be there for the damn near the entire show.

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Hammett had been giving me dirty looks all night, not sure why, maybe because I wasn't a woman, and believe me there weren't many dudes under there.

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Or maybe I wasn't showing the proper reverence, or rocking my ass off enough, but near the end of the main set before the first encore, for whatever reason, ol' Kirk, he'd had enough of my "disrespect," so he spat on me. A big honkin' loogie. The soggy lump of spittle tagged my radio station black t-shirt right above the heart, it looked like a Lewinsky stain, actually.

Redferns

After a moment or two had passed with me being totally pissed, I knew, at the end of the day, I had a great story to tell for years to come. Yes, I washed the shirt. So happy birthday, phlegm hocker and famous rocker, big spitter and axe splitter, dig your riffs, not your spiffs. Take a big breath and blow out those 58 candles on the cake today.

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We were escorted out of the snake pit after the 16th and final song of the first set, "Whiplash," before the encore was to begin. I'll never forget the band challenging the crowd because after being pummeled for sixteen sweet songs, the crowd was growing weary, the band sensed it and called us out, basically, don't be running out of gas, here, we can stop right now and call it good. They still had "Master of Puppets", (although it wasn't the full song, kind of a self-edit) to shred before launching into "Seek and Destroy." And then a SECOND, four song encore after that. It was epic.

However, a loogie is nothing compared to having a balloon smashed into your face coming off the foot of Kirk Hammett at a Metallica show in Australia in 2010. Poor little kid. Kirk Hammett. The man's a menace!

Sometimes he likes to kick little kids in the head with balloons during his concerts.

Today is Kirk Hammett's 58th birthday, and did you know Metallica released their double album "Hardwired... to Self-Destruct"  four years ago to the day, today? Yep, on Hammett's 54th birthday, at the time.