Chris’s New Year’s Eve Dream about Playing with Metallica

by Chris McGinty

[Note: If this is still here then I didn’t make it home from work before midnight to do my final draft and I want this to post on December 31, 2023, so I’m going to schedule it to do so, and do the final draft of this blog post when I get home.]

I had a pretty involved dream on the afternoon of December 31, 2023, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I had this dream on New Year’s Eve. So let’s get a bit Freudian and examine this some kind of monster. The dream description will be in blue.

I had a dream where I’d agreed to play a show with Metallica as their bassist if they couldn’t find someone else.

I’ve played bass in bands, so this checks out.

I was living at work in the dream in some weird way. It was a building, but there was also a guard shack like it was an Air Force base. There was a part where I went to the guard shack and started rubbing rhythmically on the side of the building while an Information Society song played. I knew in the dream that it was from the first album, but I don’t remember which song it was or if it was even a real Information Society song. If it had been “Mirror Shades” then I would know exactly what it represented, but it wasn’t.

I spoke recently with Nathan about what we might do in the new year, so this and one other thing I believe represents that conversation.

Information Society – Mirror Shades

Two younger guys dressed as security guards came rushing out of the guard shack to see what was going on. As this was happening, I realized that I wasn’t in uniform. I was just wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans. I got worried that I was going to be shot. Then I thought that I was holding my uniform shirt in my hand and I could show them I worked there, but then realized it was also one of my black t-shirts.

I believe that this is because of a recent conversation with my brother who recently changed jobs.

Two men in military uniform came out of the shack looking all confused, but when they saw me they relaxed, so I guess they knew me.

One night I was delivering Uber to the Naval base that was formerly Carswell Air Force Base. I pulled up to the gate figuring that they would tell me what to do. I guess I should have just parked in the visitor parking outside the base and called the customer, because I was informed that since I had pulled up to the gate itself that they had to run my driver license. It seemed a bit much, but now I know. And of course I’ve never delivered to the base again after that.

There was this whole thing where one of the new drivers (a younger female) came in from a delivery and didn’t know how to clock in from the delivery, so the manager on duty showed her. It was around this time that I got a call that I may very well be filling in as store manager at another restaurant (I think it was a Sonic) as I had agreed to. I started to get worried because I had never run a store like that, but decided that the other workers would know what they were doing and I could just keep the shift on track.

I’ll talk about this in a few minutes, because this is a little bit of what I think this dream was, but I want to have both pieces of evidence presented first.

Then I realized that I was supposed to guard that night and I’d forgotten to ask off in case I had to take the manager shift.

I have a guard job that I work every so often to stay on the schedule. When I am scheduled, it’s the one job obligation I have that I can’t get out of. I will note that this is the second reference to guarding in the dream.

There doesn’t seem to be a transition, but I was then on the phone with someone who wanted to know if the elevators in the building were actually working that day. Even in the dream, I had no context for why they were asking that. I told them I hadn’t been upstairs at all, but that if I needed to check my schedule I would let them know. I actually went over to the area where I thought the elevators were and realized that I was also working in a hospital. Then I realized that the schedule was actually posted in the kitchen area which was on the level I was on, so I had no reason to take the elevators.

Nathan does a form of security for a hospital. Still maybe referencing my conversation with him.

Then on the day of the show, I was in my car and I was driving down the road going to meet up with Metallica. I was, in fact, following the cars of Lars Ulrich and Jason Newstead.

Yes, I see the bass-ic problem there.

We came to this part of the road where it honestly didn’t look passable, so I pulled the car over. Every other car on the road looked like it had managed to go through this part of the road; because, there had been other cars on the road, I saw none of them turn back, and there were not cars where I stopped. At first the road had just stopped being paved and there were all these massively uneven spots in the dirt and mud that even people in off road vehicles might avoid driving over. I decided to walk a little further up the road to see if the road got any better figuring that I was letting the rough patch freak me out. After all, the other cars must have been able to drive on the road, right?

So, this seems like there are a number of things going on in this dream that suggest that there is some sort of life or opportunity that I feel is barred from me by obstacles that maybe other people can get around, but I can’t. The other thing that may have represented this is that there were elevators that may have been broken, but I had not reason to go up them, because I was already on the level of the building (the lowest floor) that I worked on.

The problem was there was also some flood water in the road as I walked, so I got up on this hill that was precarious enough anyway, because it seemed to only exist because they had created the path for the road. In spite of my best efforts, I still ended up waist high in the water and I noticed that Lars and Jason were also nearby and hadn’t managed to get any further down the road. I still wondered where their cars went. I started wondering how any cars could have gotten through, because the water was too deep to drive through, but the other cars on the road had gone through the water. Or did they? I seriously considered just driving through anyway, but then decided I would flood my engine and lose my car.

Obviously, since I mostly deliver for money, I worry about my car breaking down and being useless. I was also telling Miguel about the time that Nathan’s wife’s car got flooded when I talked to him yesterday.

It was about this time that either Lars told me, or I just started to become aware, that this was some sort of private drive Metallica owned on some land that was theirs. They ostensibly were supposed to use the road to get to their shows, but it wasn’t complete. They told me that they could find me a change of clothes since mine were soaked and muddy and we’d have to use the normal road to get to the show.

Ok, fuck. This one gets a bit dense but I think I can explain it. Nathan and his wife go to Disney World 7 to 12 times a year (I exaggerate, a little). Disney was involved in some weird nonsense with Florida where previously they had more control than normal over lands they owned, but they were responsible for maintaining things like roads. One argument was that if Florida took Disney’s Vatican-City-like autonomy that Florida would now be responsible for paying to fix those roads. I don’t know if that’s true, but I think that’s what this was representing. Also, I was listening to Mary Robinette Kowan, because I have a short story writing goal for the year, and she uses The Wizard of Oz as a reference a lot, so this was Metallica’s some kind of monstrously bad yellow brick road, I guess? There’s a whole other thing with a bouncy castle obstacle course at Lone Star Park where I nearly killed myself by asthma attack earlier this year when I went there with a group of friends. There had been rain the day before, so there was water at parts of the obstacle course and one of the guys in the group had to bring me a change of socks afterward. I told you this was an involved dream.

Lars, Jason, and I went back a little on the road and ended up in some place that was a house or something, but it also seemed to be backstage at the show. I started thinking I should text Loren and tell him that I was finally going to get to see a Metallica show and that I might even be playing as bassist, but then I realized that didn’t make sense because they were going to try to find another bassist and they hadn’t contacted me at all, so they must have.

I don’t remember the nature of the conversation, but Loren and I had a conversation about Metallica a week or so ago. Loren was around a lot when I was playing in local bands… one of which had a lead singer named Oz. Sigh. I bring this up for a reason.

There was an older woman there who was a member of Metallica. She must have been a guitarist, because otherwise they wouldn’t need a bassist.

Jason not New-standing.

But as far as I knew, Kirk was still in the band and she was talking about James, so he was with the band. She was telling me that she was always telling James to close the tabs on his phone, because apparently it was bad for the memory on the phone. I was looking at her face and I must have known she was in the band all along, because I was noticing that she was clearly getting older even though she was still attractive. I told her that I left my tabs open too, and she qualified that James would start listening to podcasts but not finish them and leave the tabs open. I didn’t argue with her about it, but I was thinking that some of those audio players would lose your position if you closed the tab or restarted your phone, so that was probably why.

I recently got a new five year old used phone, because I was worried that the one I had was starting to have issues. I wanted to have a backup, but I also needed to test the backup, so I’m using the new five year old used phone.

I started worrying though because the show was later that night and I was thinking that there were some songs that if I knew what key they were in I could just play eighth notes in key, but some of the songs were a lot more complex and I hadn’t even sat down to start learning them. I had figured that if they needed me to play they would have arranged for some rehearsals. I knew that there was a rehearsal generally during the day and maybe they could start teaching me the songs then. I figured I could play on a few of the songs and since they had two guitarists (I know that’s not adding up) maybe they could just play without bass on some of those songs.

The first couple of shows I played with The Pentagon Missiles (the band that Oz was the lead singer of) I didn’t actually know how to play most of the songs. I knew what key they were in and I just eighth notes in the proper key. When we shot the video for their song “Bastard Face” I had to actually figure out once and for all what I was playing during Chelsea’s instrumental part at the end of the song, because I’d not actually written my part yet even though we’d been playing it together for months. I did have some notion of what I was doing that part, but hadn’t fully nailed it down. I think this dream more represents the time that we talked about me playing drums for a show, but I would only be able to do one beat and I would really need to practice that one beat a lot before the show, because I’m not a drummer. The idea was they had been playing without a bassist before me, so maybe just the one show we could play without a bassist. We ended up canceling the show, which was almost certainly the best call.

I finally asked the woman, “Hey, did you ever find another bassist.” She reacted in a seemingly exaggerated manner, “Oh no! We definitely didn’t!” I told her I hadn’t started learning the songs because I thought they had found someone. I was starting to think of a back up plan that one of their roadies had to know the songs, but if that was the case they would have found a bassist already. I realized that the only Metallica song that I even remotely knew how to play was “Enter Sandman,” but that was the guitar part. I really didn’t know what to do because I had told them I would play but I wasn’t sure if we’d have enough rehearsal time for me to learn all of the songs.

So I mentioned an earlier part of the dream about not knowing how to manage a Sonic, but being told that I might be covering a night at that job. I think that and the not having practiced any of Metallica’s songs were both the equivalent of me having an “exam I didn’t study for” dream, which I never had because I never went to college. I’m not sure why I’m having this dream now, but I think that’s what was going on.

Anyway, I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I would be having this dream at the end of the year. No matter what I do, I can’t help but feel like a new time is starting, even though that whole practice and belief system is silly. SO if you’re reading this somewhere near the time I posted, I hope you have good 2024. If you’re reading it another time, just remember – any time is a good time to form better habits for who you are now in your life.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who is not a former bassist for Metallica. He only fell asleep and watched TV.

1 thought on “Chris’s New Year’s Eve Dream about Playing with Metallica

  1. Pentagram measles, Metal-lickya, etc… very dense dream…
    but sometimes (as Freud said)… ‘a cigar is just a cigar’.

    BTW: I do not do security for a hospital.
    BTW2: We used to go to Disney maybe once a year (on rare occasions, twice).

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