Legendary film composer Ennio Morricone died earlier this morning, July 6, at 91 years old. According to Morricone's lawyer Giorgio Assumma by way of the New York Times, Morricone was in the hospital the past week after falling and fracturing his femur. Morricone is famous for his scores for movies like The Untouchables in 1987, Bugsy in 1991, and more recently his compositions for Quentin Tarintino's The Hateful Eight.
In the metal world, Morricone is best known for his 1966 composition "The Ecstasy of Gold," which has served as the intro to hundreds (if a thousand plus) of Metallica shows over the years. Metallica has taken to their Facebook to pay their respects to Morricone.
The song is included on several Metallica live albums such as Metallica Through the Never, S&M, and Live Shit: Binge & Purge, and even made it as a studio version to the reissue of …And Justice for All as a bonus track after appearing on the 2007 tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone.
Metallica writes on their social media "R.I.P. Ennio Morricone, Your career was legendary, your compositions were timeless. Thank you for setting the mood for so many of our shows since 1983." Vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield also paid his respects separately on the band's page.
"The day we first played 'The Ecstasy of Gold' as our new intro in 1983 it was magic!" said Hetfield. "It has become apart of our blood flow, deep breathing, fist bumping, prayers and band huddle pre-show ritual ever since. I have sang that melody thousands of times to warm up my throat before hitting the stage. 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.
"R. I. P. Maestro Morricone 🙏🏻
"With respect, James ‘papa h’"
Take a look at this epic footage of the band entering the venue to "The Ecstasy of Gold" in 2009.
[Morricone photo via Cancha General]