Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
August 21st 1992

- David Plotnikoff, Mercury News Music Writer, 8.15.92

THE biggest guns in heavy metal -- Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Faith No More -- will not be rocking the Oakland Coliseum Arena on Thursday after all.

Representatives for local promoter Bill Graham Presents and Metallica's record label, Elektra, confirmed Friday that the Oakland show, as well as a performance at Pasadena's Rose Bowl slated for Aug. 22, have been postponed indefinitely. The remainder of the ill-fated tour is in jeopardy as the bands and concert promoters across the country wait for word on Metallica's injured guitarist, James Hetfield. Hetfield sustained severe burns on his left hand and right arm during a concert in Montreal's Olympic Stadium a week ago when he strayed too close to an onstage pyrotechnic device.

The tour -- the biggest hard-rock juggernaut of the summer season -- has now either canceled or postponed 11 of its 24 original stops. A new date for the Oakland show is expected to be announced next week. Tickets for Thursday's show will be honored at the new date; refunds will be available at place of purchase.

It was unclear at press time whether Metallica was still searching for a guitarist to replace Hetfield.

Even before Hetfield's injury, the tour was in trouble.

Guns N' Roses' lead singer Axl Rose was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant July 12 -- five days before the start of the U.S. leg of the tour in Washington, D.C. (The assault charges stem from a riot at a Guns N' Roses show in St. Louis last summer.)

Rose damaged his vocal cords during a July 29 concert in Giants Stadium in New Jersey, forcing the rescheduling of shows in Boston, Columbia, S.C., and Minneapolis. The Montreal show that put Hetfield out of commission ended in a riot after an abbreviated Guns N' Roses set in which Rose reportedly told the crowd, "We got it together in Europe only to have it come apart here. In case anyone is interested, this is going to be our last show for a long time."