Scott Ian Was Against Anthrax Recording This Song: ’I Didn’t Play Guitar on It’

At one point, you may ask yourself a question about bands that you listen to – “Do all these musicians really love the music that they write, record, and play live?” The simplest answer is yes, they love it, at least most of the time. On the other hand, there might be that one song, or even an entire album, that they just can’t stand. And even Anthrax founder and guitarist Scott Ian has one of those songs.


Recently, Ian had a Q&A session with his fans, all organized by Metal Hammer. One of the fans asked if there’s one of Anthrax’s songs that he would “wipe out from history.” Ian replied:

“We covered Alice Cooper’s ‘I’m Eighteen’. I love that song, but I never wanted to cover it. It’s the only Anthrax song that I’m not playing rhythm guitar on.

“Quiet Riot had gone to No.1 with ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, so everyone was like, ‘Let’s do a cover song, maybe we’ll get on the radio!’ I was totally against it but I got outvoted, so I didn’t play guitar on it.”

Anthrax - I'm eighteen

Well, we can’t blame you, Scott. You started a real metal band that was changing things in the 1980s. And having a softer-sounding tune must have felt odd. But hey, everyone has that one song that they don’t like!

Elsewhere during the session, Ian also looked back on the times when he was “properly starstruck.” He recalled:

“In 2001, there was the concert for 9/11 at Madison Square Garden, and Jon Bon Jovi introduced me to Paul McCartney. I shook hands with him for a solid minute, because while he was still shaking my hand, Jon introduced him to Lonn Friend, who used to run Rip Magazine, and the whole time he was saying hi to Lonn, he never let go of my hand. I wasn’t going to let go of his hand – it was fucking Paul McCartney!”

As far as the “strangest thing you’ve ever witnessed at an Anthrax gig,” he said:

“When we played Donington in ’87, a pig‘s head was on the stage. I don‘t know how it got there. Luckily, we didn‘t get many bottles of pee launched at us, but there was a pig‘s head. To this day we can‘t figure it out. Someone had to bring it to the show, they had to get it into the show… it probably weighed 15 or 20 pounds. How did they launch it? I still don’t have an answer.

Photo: Alfred Nitsch (20140614-090-Nova Rock 2014-Anthrax-Scott Ian)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.