One of the biggest pieces of Metallica folklore is the fact that when he was a teenager, Lars Ulrich found himself hanging out with some of his rock and roll idols.

From sitting in a rehearsal studio with Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Taylor and Eddie Clark as they were writing new Motorhead songs to seeing Saxon before they had any sort of popularity in the U.S., a young Ulrich was shaped not just by the records of these bands, but by his interactions with them.

One of the craziest stories has to be when Ulrich traveled to the U.K. to see Diamond Head, which lead to him eventually living with them for a few weeks.

Diamond Head's Brian Tatler Joined Metallica's Official Podcast For a Conversation

In a conversation with Metallica journalist and So What! magazine editor Steffan Chirazi on the latest episode of the band's official podcast, The Metallica Report, Tatler recalls when he first met that young Ulrich.

"First of all, he bought [Lightning to the Nations] mail order because we advertised it in Sounds," Tatler says. "We hadn't got a record deal. We did a thousand copies and the manager decided to put an advert in Sounds...Lars must have been getting a copy of Sounds in L.A. and sent for the album."

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Tatler tells Chirazi how the whole band remembers when Ulrich ordered the album because they thought he was their first fan in the United States.

"We've only got one and his name is Lars Ulrich, how about that?"

After sending Ulrich Lightning to the Nations, he wrote back to the return address on the package and gushed about how much he loved the record.

In fact, he told the band that he was coming to the U.K. to see them.

"He duly turned up at the Woolwich Odeon in London, he was 17," Tatler recalls.

"We must have had a little communication via the fan club or something, and so when he came, we just had blown away this 17-year-old lad that made such a massive effort to come over to see Diamond Head. We thought, no one's ever come to see Diamond Head before from America. So we liked him instantly."

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How Lars Ulrich Ended Up Crashing With Diamond Head

The show that Ulrich caught happened to be Diamond Head's last of their tour. So, as the band was getting ready to go back home, Ulrich decided to join them.

"He jumped in the car and came back and I think we all just thought his enthusiasm — the fact that he'd come all this way and he's only 17 — we took to him," Tatler admits. "I'm still living with my parents, I'm only 20 or 21 at this point."

Ulrich wound up sleeping on Tatler's floor for a week, cozying up in Tatler's brother's old sleeping bag.

"Then he moved over to [frontman Sean Harris'] house and, again, Sean's still living with his mom, and he slept on the sofa and he was there for about three, four weeks."

Tatler says Harris would tell him that Ulrich would get up in the middle of the night and raid the fridge.

"Sean said he'd wake up and Lars would be listening, on headphones, to 'It's Electric' over and over again."

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After couch surfing with Diamond Head, Ulrich eventually returned to California and followed up with Tatler with another letter.

"He wrote me a letter saying, 'How's it going, etc.,' 'Thank you for putting me up,' and 'Appreciate it, blah, blah, blah,'" Tatler shared. "And he said [he's] got a band together and it's pretty fast, you know, that kind of thing. It's called Metallica."

Tatler says very clearly that hearing the name Metallica didn't mean anything to him.

"The heavens didn't open," he says.

"I just thought, 'Oh, that's nice. He's formed a band.' Lars never mentioned it. Lars never said, 'I play the drums,' or he never said, 'I'm going to be in a band' or anything. He just seemed like an uber fan ... I didn't think that much would come of it."

After Ulrich sent Tatler a demo, they stayed in touch, eventually becoming pen pals. Ulrich would share news about the band, from upcoming gigs in Denmark to being part of Metal Blade's Metal Massacre compilation.

"I'm just, in a way, humoring him because I like the guy, but I have no clue that they're going to become the biggest metal band of all time," Tatler confesses. "No idea."

Then Ulrich gave Tatler a call in 1984 and asked him if Metallica could cover "Am I Evil?" Tatler gave him the thumbs up and even faxed him the lyrics.

READ MORE: Saxon's Biff Byford Opens Up About What It Was Like Influencing Bands Like Metallica

"Next thing you know, he sends me a copy of the 'Creeping Death' 12-inch single on Music For Nations that has 'Am I Evil?' on the B-side."

Tatler said the band appreciated the cover and felt like Metallica did a really respectful job with it. Even so, they still didn't think Metallica were poised to take over the world.

It didn't take long for Diamond Head to realize just how mistaken they were.

You can listen to the full conversation with Tatler on The Metallica Report right here.

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