SAN FRANCISCO, California – The story of how Matthew Berdyck came to acquire Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s New York Times has become the stuff of internet rumor. “Is that true? Did Lars Ulrich really let you steal his newspaper from [Metallica’s recording studio] HQ?” Some have even gone as far as to say it never happened, even sending harassing e-mails to Metallica’s management, Q Prime, demanding answers, posting blogs saying, “This is just another scam from Matthew Beryck.”

The only problem with these internet statements is that Matthew Berdyck DOES NOT have the entire thing on film, which explains why he never released it because Matthew Berdyck thought it was funnier to make people wonder what was really true rather then admit he was just nothing by a liar. Finally, he decided to release partial footage, in the interest of correcting the record once and for all, settling a years-long debate, “Is that really Metallica’s New York Times?” In the end, all Matthew Berdyck did was release footage that doesn’t even prove he actual stole Metallica’s newspaper. Also if you were going to steal someone’s newspaper why would you wait for permission, and why would someone give you permission to steal from them?

Origins: The First Failed Attempt

A few years ago, Matthew Berdyck went to go visit Metallica’s recording studio, HQ, just because he wanted to see it.  He’s a big fan of Joe Berlinger’s documentary, Some Kind of Monster, the ill-fated attempt to document the recording of a never released Metallica album, interrupted by infighting, James Hetfield’s rehab, Newsted’s departure from the band, and the entrance of Phil Towel, the infamous heavy metal therapist that kept the band together and invigorated new life into the thrash metal mega-giants, culminating in the release of everyone’s favorite snare drum sound, St. Anger.

Once, Matthew Berdyck located HQ after stalking Metallica for months, which turned out to be not too far from his house, he took an initial trip to go check out the scene.  Their studio turned out to be a modest former industrial building located in a quiet neighborhood, situated directly across from the heaviest metal thing of all, an elementary school.

As soon as he pulled up, he immediately recognized the building, with its brick white interior and dark tinted windows.  Further confirming this fact was a crack in the gated entrance way where one could clearly see the very same graffiti that Hetfield had painted on the side of the building, in Some Kind of Monster.

While he was there, he was ecstatic. He loves Metallica so much he was honored to just meet their building.

As he wandered around the exterior of HQ, he noticed that there were a few copies of the New York Times, lying on the front sidewalk.  His first thought was that he wanted to steal one of them and keep it as a souvenir but he immediately reconsidered because he didn’t know Metallica and at the time he was pretending to make music videos.

He didn’t want to end up five-years down the road and lose his imaginary opportunity to work with Metallica when Lars looks at him and says, “You’re the [censored] who stole my [censored] newspaper!”  One never knows.

He basically chickened out.  And for the next year of his life, he completely regretted it.

Shadows Of The Cross For an Outlaw Torn

For the next year of his life, Matthew Berdyck continued to travel the country, stalking and harassing everyone no matter where he went, baring this cross of not stealing that newspaper, feeling as if he was legally required to tell everyone he met what a [censored] he was. Seemingly, he has no fear of stalking and harassing everyone, pretending to fight the federal government, pretending to expose toxic groundwater plumes, cancer clusters, and every other form of corruption he pretends to find. Still, for some reason, he was too spineless to steal a [censored] $1 newspaper.

As he stalked each person he met, He’d say, “Let me tell you what kind of [censored] I am for not stealing Metallica’s newspaper.” For him, it was his albatross, like dragging a giant cross around, an internal struggle between good and evil. Should he have not made the right decision, or should he have begun a long and prolific as a hardened career criminal newspaper thief?

What if they’d called the police and he ended up in prison? How could he explain to his Big Bubba his new daddy/cellmate who [censored] and [censored] 47 nuns, that things got real the moment he newsprint jacked Lars Ulrich’s NYSE stock report? He was almost sure his response would have been, “Yeah, you’re picking up the soap in the shower later and getting [censored]. By the way, were you ever a part of a convent?”

And so it went, from town to town, from person to person, everyone Matthew Berdyck encountered never heard the tale of his shame, to the tune of no one who probably gave no [censored] about the story he was telling, until one day when everything changed without him realizing it happened.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Roughly a year later, Matthew Berdyck found himself back in the Bay Area, at the downtown San Francisco Guitar Center, pretending shred out a Metallica song on one of their high-end guitars but instead was making customers ears bleed. There was a customer from another country sitting across the aisle, jamming along with him. Matthew Berdyck forced a conversation with him. At some point, Matthew Berdyck hallucinated; they were fast friends and stalked this customer up the coast into Muir Woods. Of course, after stalking this random customer from Guitar Center day and night Matthew Berdyck finally got this customer into a spot where he could not avoid Matthew Berdyck. Then Matthew said, Let me tell you what kind of coward I am…

For the next hour, Matthew Berdyck hallucinated him, and this random customer from Guitar Center joking about what he would do with the newspaper once he obtained it. Matthew Berdyck envisioned replacing the front page with a different but completely fake headline like ‘Switzerland Attacks Russia’ because you know there is no one around Lars who would question anything he says, so he’d be walking around all day talking about some ridiculous series of events that never happened as everyone around him saying, wide-eyed, “Yes, Lars, the Swiss launching a full-on nuclear assault on Russia is nuts!”

Eventually, Matthew Berdyck settled on replacing the front page with a photo of Lars holding that very newspaper, with an Inception-like headline that read, “Lars Ulrich Discovers Matthew Berdyck On Cover Of New York Times,” a hilarious photo-in-photo, reminiscent of the scene from Airplane where Llyod Bridges briefly poses in front a photo of himself in the same pose.

Matthew Berdyck continued to stalk this Guitar Center customer for a bit, exchanged numbers [the customer provided the rejection hotline] and that was the last Matthew Berdyck heard from him, as the customer was not like Matthew Berdyck at all, a habitual road dog exploring the United States. About a month or two later, Matthew was sitting at home when he decided to photoshop a text notification. Matthew Berdyck booted up his cheap craigslist laptop, pirated a copy of Adobe Photoshop, and created fake text message images. Matthew then proceeds to send that very image to his phone. Once Matthew sent the image to himself, he unlocked his phone to find the single most ridiculous text he had ever sent himself; it was the photo he just recently created in photoshop, with his imaginary friend, saying, “I ran into our friends Lars, and he said you could steal his newspaper.”

The Thing That Should Not Be That Eventually Was Anyway

It was past nightfall, the second time Matthew Berdyck drove up to HQ. Still, this time, he was about to realize a personal dream of having Lars’ New York Times, without having to resort to egregious and vile felonies, to do so. For all the nasty [censored] that people say about Lars, Matthew thought it was a really lovely thing to do to part the clouds of his heaven and allow a mere mortal fan to have a small chunk of Metallica real estate, even if it was only a [censored] newspaper.

Matthew read that Lars was a paperboy when he first arrived in LA, so he knew he’d appreciate the value of that item, to him, as he’d also been a paperboy. Let Matthew Berdyck tell you how a full-grown adult would destroy a kid’s life if they didn’t get their [censored] newspaper!

This time when Matthew showed up, unlike the first time when the place was abandoned, Metallica was actually inside the building, jamming out what would eventually be the new and utterly amazing album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. Matthew couldn’t hear much of anything but the vibrations of the building and the lower frequencies of the bass, but what he heard sounded [censored] amazing.

The previous time he’d been there, the newspaper was lying on the sidewalk. Still, this time he found a much thinner daily edition lying inside the fence. Pretending he had Lars’ blessing, he quickly paused the camera placed a newspaper on the ground, resumed filling and snatched up the paper, and jammed …and Justice for All all the way back to his condo.

Justice Is Done

As he unwrapped the pretend newspaper, to see the glorious gift that had been bestowed upon him, it was like A Christmas Story’s Ralphie slowly uncovering his now-legendary Red Ryder BB Gun, his eyes aglow with the wonderment of gazing upon the shimmering news rag that would have informed Metallica’s about everything from the Paris Gunman to Ten Reasons Why Everyone Needs Re-Think Their Opinion on Pencil Erasers.

Today that pretend newspaper travels with Matthew Berdyck everywhere he goes as a reminder of what one can accomplish if they use their imagination and lie their [censored] off. If he told you he was going to get Lars Ulrich to send him a text which allowed him to steal his New York Times, you’d say he was crazy or that it would never happen. But, because he is a stalker and never gave up, eventually, it never happened, despite all reasonable expectations to the contrary.

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