Ennio Morricone, the late, great composer for the movies, was the mastermind behind so many of your favorite soundtracks. The Roman also inspired more than a few artists to lift their game, including at least one legend of rock.
Metallica’s James Hetfield has paid tribute to Morricone, who died Monday (July 6), at the age of 91.
Writing on the Hall of Fame-inducted metal group’s official Instagram, Hetfield recounts how Morricone’s “The Ecstasy Of Gold” had become Metallica’s hype-up track, “part of our blood flow, deep breathing, fist bumping, prayers and band huddle pre-show ritual.”
He continued, “I have sang that melody thousands of times to warm up my throat before hitting the stage,” Hetfield writes. “Thank you Ennio for pumping us up, being a big part of our inspiration, and a bonding between band, crew, and fan. I will forever think of you as part of the Metallica family.”
Known as “The Maestro,” Morricone scored more than 500 films, including seven spaghetti Westerns directed by his countryman Sergio Leone, including 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (which featured “The Ecstasy Of Gold”).
Morricone received an honorary Oscar in 2007, and landed an Oscar proper for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 movie The Hateful Eight.
His body of work includes original scores for Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988) and John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror The Thing (1982).