Metallica’s Robert Trujillo once hid in the shower from a Manson family shootout with the police

30 officers were involved in the shootout, and Trujillo remembers taking cover and hiding from the chaos.

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo has recalled the “eerie” time when he hid from a shootout between police and the family of murderer and cult leader, Charles Manson.

The altercation happened close to where a young Trujillo was staying at his Grandmother’s house in California, and he had to take cover and hide away, along with his father, for safety amid gunshots and police helicopters.

Appearing on the Time To Relax podcast, Trujillo remembered the incident: “Charlie Manson just had gotten arrested,” he begins (via Metal Injection). “I am in Hawthorne, California. I’m staying at my grandma’s house… The gun shop, the army surplus shop around the corner on Hawthorne Boulevard, was robbed. And basically, the Manson family had this grand scheme.

“You can check it out on the internet. They were gonna rob the gun store and get their ammo and everything, and they were gonna go to LAX [Los Angeles International Airport], and the plan was hijack a 747 and demand that Charlie gets sent to them, and they’re gonna take this plane to God knows where.”

He adds, “This is what they were thinking. Obviously, the plan didn’t work. Cops show up. There’s a shootout. We’re hearing gunshots, the whole deal. All of a sudden you get the ghetto birds [police helicopters], and they’re flying around.

“They’re talking through their kind of intercom, whatever they got going up there: ‘Everybody, take cover’, whatever. And so my dad turns off all the lights. We’re hiding in the shower. And it was really eerie,” he states.

Manson himself was put on trial in 1970 (along with three of his followers), and he was originally sentenced to death for his crimes, but this was later altered to life imprisonment when California abolished the death penalty in 1972. He died in prison of natural causes in 2017 at the age of 83.

The story which Trujillo is referring to occurred on 21 August, 1971. Four of Charles Manson’s followers were found guilty of robbing a Western Surplus Store and engaging in a shootout with 30 police officers.

Metallica currently remain on the road for the M72 world tour in support of their latest album, 72 Seasons. Find out more via the Metallica website.

Related Tags


The destination for all things guitar.

© 2023 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.