METALLICA Has A Full-Time Archivist On Staff; Best Job Ever?
Metallica is currently in the midst of reissuing its entire catalog under its own Blackened Records label. If you've seen the box sets for Kill 'Em All or Ride The Lightning, or even the upcoming Master Of Puppets remaster out this Friday, then you'd know these reissues come with a ton of cool stuff. Live records, demos, alternate pieces of artwork, pretty much everything pertaining to each record that gets reissued.
Unearthing all that stuff might sound like a full-time job, and that's because it is! Specifically a man named Bob Pfiefer's job, who literally gets paid to hunt down cool Metallica memorabilia, masters, demos, live recordings, and all that. Drummer Lars Ulrich tells Revolver that while Pfiefer's job is to hunt down all this stuff, there are some things that you just can't hunt down no matter what.
We actually have a person who works for us, Bob Pfiefer, whose full-time job is to travel the world in solitude and try and unearth Metallica tapes and Metallica first-generation masters, and that type of stuff. That's literally his only job! And you have to sort of be realistic about it. There's some stuff that just doesn't exist — no matter how many rocks you turn over, it's just not going to show up. You can throw your little rock star shit fit, or whatever, but some of this stuff is just lost to time.
When you're looking for stuff from the Eighties and before, it's pretty limited — a lot of radio stations didn't keep all their archived stuff, TV shows often erased [their tapes] and recorded over it. For me as, say, a Deep Purple fan, I'm pretty sure that every single recording that exists of Deep Purple playing live from, say, 1969 to 1973, I've already heard. Because it's not like two weeks of shows from their 1972 U.S. tour are suddenly going to show up in perfect condition. You kind of have to come to the conclusion that what's there is there, and you accept that and move on.