Cleveland-area based Metallica fan Jason Garcowski has been seeing Metallica shows since 1996. Now, in 2019, he's going to see them for the 75th time.
Walking into Jason Garcowski’s home is a little like entering a mini museum. There’s a KISS pinball machine from 1979, signed albums and photos from Motley Crue, White Zombie and Pantera lining the walls, and Metallica stuff. A lot of Metallica stuff. From one of the bands 1981 business cards, to a ticket stub from a concert at the Agora in 1983 (for six dollars!), to prototype Metallica Vans sneakers (signed), a huge inflatable black football (given out at a Superbowl show), walking through his house could be used as a history of one of heavy metals biggest bands.
After seeing them live for the first time at age 16, during on the Lollapalloza tour in 1996 (he convinced his uncle into driving him down in exchange for working on his house), and he’s been seeing the band perform whenever he could ever since.
Gradually meeting other fans from around the world at shows and online, Jason became a part of what he describes as a de facto Metallica “family”, and started traveling America along with the band whenever he could.
Last September he realized that the show he was seeing in Grand Forks, North Dakoda would be his fiftieth Metallica concert. Grabbing a hotel pillowcase, he made a banner celebrating his milestone that he took to the show, which got the bands attention from stage. “That’s almost more (shows) than me. Almost.”, joked frontman James Hetfield. This year Garcowski will have 75 shows under his belt, and is ready for more.
He doesn’t consider himself an obsessive fan. For him, as many people who find a connection in music, it ignited a passion in him when he was young, and continues to be a important part of his life, and the lives of others that he’s met along the way. As long as the band keeps touring, you can bet that he’ll be front row for his 100th show.
Metallica is playing the Quicken Loans Arena on their WorldWired Tour this Friday, February 1st.