METALLICA star Lars Ulrich has broadcast a video message to his fans explaining the bizarre illness which forced him to miss last week's DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL (06JUN04) in Britain.

The legendary drummer has explained - in a recording on the band's official website - that his frantic lifestyle caught up with him on the plane journey to the gig at Donington Castle, England, forcing them to land in Germany where an ambulance was waiting for him.

Ulrich, 40, says, "I dreamt I missed a Metallica show. It was so scary.

"Seriously though, we'd been going pretty heavy for most of the year, as you're aware. I had a little episode on the airplane going to Donington the other day, and I thought I would be best to get it checked out cos I was having a weird half hour there.

"I think that part of the past six months of playing super-duty metal and travelling the world, at my age caught up on me.

"But I want to thank, obviously, all the fans in Donington for being so supportive, and I want to thank - and from what I heard from James (HETFIELD) and KIRK (HAMMETT) and ROB (TRUJILLO), it went well – JOEY (JORDISON) from Slipknot for stepping up, and DAVE (LOMBARDO) from Slayer."

10/06/2004 21:46