Q: What did the narrator in the song “Ride the Lightning” do to end up on death row?
James Hetfield: It must have been pretty bad if he was in that chair. It came from living in the Bay Area, hearing about the death penalty in California. And it was kind of a big deal, being near San Quentin. There was no real character, it was fictitious. It had to be something real bad. I think he stole music online.