Metallica returned home from their 1986 European tour a changed band, struggling to find a way forward while coping with the death of bassist Cliff Burton. But rumors have long persisted that even if Burton hadn't died, the group's lineup would have changed -- that the other members had decided to fire drummer Lars Ulrich once they got off the road -- and according to Anthrax's Scott Ian, those stories are true.

Ian, out on the promotional trail for his new book 'I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax,' confirmed the tale of Ulrich's brush with the unemployment line during a recent interview with KILO FM, saying, "The story was that they had made a plan that they were gonna make a change and get a new drummer. We were all kind of blown away by that, because it was the four of them. It was just, like, 'Wow! Really?' And they were, like, 'Yeah. When we finish this tour, we're gonna find a new drummer.'"

Ian was quick to downplay the possibility of an Ulrich-free Metallica, however, adding, "I honestly think it wouldn't have happened. Believe me, I've thought about it quite a bit over the years. I honestly think that the tour would have finished and I think cooler heads would have prevailed, maybe, and I don't think the change would have taken place."

Ian's interview offers further vindication for Dave Mustaine, who aired that old laundry during a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, saying he'd heard it from Ian -- and was promptly rebutted by Anthrax's Twitter account. Ian later said the denial didn't come from him, and now he's proven it. All's well that ends well -- especially for Lars.

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