Happy Birthday today (Dec. 26) to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. He’s 53. Other rockers celebrating include ex Scorpions, Kingdom Come drummer James Kottak (54), Saxon guitarist Paul Quinn (65), and former Candlebox guitarist Peter Klett (47).

Born in Denmark, Lars Ulrich is one of the founding members of Metallica. He met James Hetfield and formed the band in 1981 after putting an ad in a local Los Angeles newspaper. Metallica’s fast tempo, aggressive sound made them one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. The band established a growing fanbase in the underground metal community and won critical acclaim for their first four albums. Their third album Master of Puppets was described as one of the most influential and heaviest thrash albums. The band received it’s most commercial success with their fifth album, The Black Album which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1991 and featured the monster hit “Enter Sandman”.

Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. I've had the opprtunity to see Metallica many times over the years including Pepsi Arena (now the Times Union Center) in Albany back in 2007 with guests Corrosion of Conformity. Always a kick ass show and looking forward to checking them out in 2017 on the Hardwired... to Self-Destruct tour. I'm anxiously awaiting tour dates!

Dominik Bindl/Getty Images
Paul Quinn pictured left, Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Peter Klett/Youtube