DL: Did Lou ever discuss his intentions with Metal Machine Music with you?
MICHAEL FONFARA: I was there when Lou made Metal Machine Music. I was with him when RCA presented him with this kind of demand: “Your contract calls for a new record now.” And Lou said, “Well, I’m not ready, I don’t have the stuff written yet.” And they basically said, “Well, sorry: but, according to the terms of your contract, you have to make a record.” And Lou said, “Okay, fuck you.” He said to us, “I’ll give ’em a record all right…” We went up into this hotel room, and he just filled the room with Marshall amps. He put them all in series together, turned them all up to 11, put the mics on, brought his guitar in – and then he just whacked it a bunch of times, until it started to feedback horribly. And then we all ran out of the room and shut the door. And he just let it feedback, period, until it made the worst sound you could ever imagine. So he got plenty of that, and used that as the recording. He said, “I’ll show them. Here’s their record.” And he sent it to RCA– and they were a little embarrassed about receiving that record, but, according to the contract, they had to put it out. And so, yeah: Lou had fulfilled his contract. According to him. And, I guess, according to their terms too – but it wasn’t the record they were looking for. Oddly enough, when we got to Japan later that year on tour, there were about 10,000 people waiting for us at the airport, and Metal Machine Music was one of the top records in Japan. So we had to try and do it live onstage. And the only way to do it was to get his guitars feeding back, and then we would all leave the stage. So there’d be an empty stage, with just the audience out there going crazy, and all this feedback roaring off the stage. We did that in Japan and Australia…but eventually Lou got tired of it and decided he wasn’t going to do it anymore.