Lars Ulrich (born December 26, 1963) is the drummer of Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to an upper-middle class family and worked in a gas station and as a paper boy during his childhood and teens. At the age of thirteen he begged his grandmother to buy him his first drum kit. The kit was a Ludwig because he wanted to have the same drum kit as Ian Paice of Deep Purple. Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of seventeen, to pursue his training in tennis. After publishing an advertisement in a local Los Angeles newspaper, called The Recycler, he met James Hetfield and created a band â€” Metallica.
Although not regarded as drumming's greatest, Lars has been considerably influential due to both the popularity of his band and trademark drum phrases such as the machine-gun double bass in the hit song One. Lars is also notable for off-time signatures such as those in Battery and exceedingly fast thrashes a la Dyers Eve.
It has been said in the past that his live ability does not match up to his studio output, but this can be attributed to his tendency for going out of time with the other instruments. This was particularly the case during the 1980's, however in recent years and noticeable from the 'Load' tour onwards (1996) he has considerably worked on his live ability, and now plays with more flair and tightness.
The Napster case may see Lars remembered more for suing his fans than his sometimes underrated drum work, but there are still plenty of people who will stick up for Lars' creativity (Dillinger Escape Plan's Chris Pennie for one) above any personality critcisms.
His father, Torben Ulrich, who was an acclaimed tennis pro from the late 1940s into the early 1980s, was also a musician, playing jazz with such giants as Stan Getz and Miles Davis; another jazz legend, Dexter Gordon, was Lars' godfather. He had a jazz club in which Lars spent a lot of time as a child. In February of 1973, Torben Ulrich gained five passes for five of his friends to a Deep Purple concert that was being held in the same Copenhagen stadium as one of his tournaments. When it was discovered that one of the friends could not go, their ticket was handed over to the nine year-old Lars. The young Ulrich found himself mezmerized by the performance, buying the band's Fireball album the very next day. The concert and the album had a considerable impact on Ulrich, inspiring his entrance into the world of rock and roll and later on, heavy metal.
In 2004 Ulrich separated from Skylar Satenstein, to whom he was married for seven years and had two sons, Myles (born August 5, 1998) and Layne (born May 6, 2001). He is currently dating the Danish actress Connie Nielsen.
In 2005 a band called Beatallica (a band that mixed lyrics and riffs from The Beatles and Metallica) received a cease-and-desist order from Sony (who hold a lot of the rights to the music of the Beatles). In support of Beatallica, Lars Ulrich asked Metallica's attorney, Peter Paterno, to help Beatallica. Since then beatallica.com has been online.