Metallica’s Lars Ulrich ‘Incredibly Saddened’ by Mercyful Fate Icon’s Death
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recently said he was "incredibly saddened" to learn of fellow Danish musician Timi Hansen's death. Hansen, a longtime bassist for both Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, died Monday (Nov. 4) at the age of 61. That day, King Diamond himself confirmed the unfortunate news.
Shortly after that, Ulrich offered his condolences. Hansen initially performed with Mercyful Fate from 1981 to 1985 before joining that band's lead vocalist in the frontman's namesake outfit, King Diamond, until 1988. In ensuing years, Hansen intermittently rejoined Mercyful Fate until revealing a cancer diagnosis in August that precluded him from participating in the band's plotted 2020 reunion. Read Ulrich's message down toward the bottom of this post.
"Incredibly saddened to hear the news of Timi Hansen’s untimely passing," Ulrich shared on Instagram. "He was not only a close friend of mine and a close friend of the band’s, but he was part of a musical force that helped shape Metallica’s sound, direction & desire to be in a hard rock band."
He continued, "Timi was of course the OG bass player in Mercyful Fate, who most of you hopefully know have played a significant role in our history. Along with his fellow bandmates, King, Hank, Michael & Kim, they welcomed us to Denmark in 1984 with open arms, let us use their rehearsal studio where we wrote songs for the Ride the Lightning album, leant us their equipment, showed us the best of Copenhagen, became our partners in crime."
In addition to Ulrich's reminiscences of Hansen's assistance in Metallica's early career, the drummer recalled frequently sharing the stage with Hansen and various other Mercyful Fate members. Together, the musicians would often perform the suitably named "Mercyful Fate" medley, the 1998 Garage Inc. selection that offers Metallica's 11-minute overview of Mercyful Fate's most impactful material.
Earlier this week, King Diamond said he lost "one of my dearest friends, who has been fighting cancer for a long time, in such an incredibly brave way. I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy. Rest in Peace, Timi. My dear dear friend."
Metallica recently donated $100,000 to California wildfire relief, and the group is set to perform at five U.S. festivals next year. They rocked Europe this summer before Metallica frontman James Hetfield entered rehab for addiction treatment. For tickets to future Metallica gigs, check here.
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