Interview: Scott Ian of Anthrax Recounts How His Love For the New York Yankees Landed Him in Jail

Back in 1997, Anthrax guitarist — and avowed New York Yankees fanatic — Scott Ian was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal an on-deck circle from the Yankees' spring training camp in Tampa, Florida.

Luckily for Ian, after spending only a few hours in jail, paying a fine and apologizing to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, the charges were eventually dropped.

Yesterday, September 14, the Big Four tour came to Yankee Stadium, and Ian and his band, as well as Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, were welcomed by thousands of screaming metalheads. But was the guitarist greeted with such a warm reception from the Yankees brass?

We recently caught up with Ian, who graciously shed some light on this topic.

So, you're about to play the Big Four show at Yankee Stadium. I bet you didn’t think that was possible back in 1997 when you were busted for stealing an on-deck circle.

I didn’t steal anything. I was accused of trying to. I had broken into Legends Field in Tampa, which is their spring-training facility, at three in the morning. Basically I wanted to go look at the Thurman Munson monument. I ran around the bases like an idiot and then when I left the cops were waiting for me. So, long story short, I got to apologize to George Steinbrenner on the Howard Stern show and they ended up dropping all the charges.

You gonna try taking another victory lap at Yankee Stadium?

[Laughs] Nah, because they’re gonna be covered by whatever they put down on the field so it doesn’t get ruined by 30,000 metalheads!

So no bad blood between you and the Yankees organization?

No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I saw Steinbrenner at a game a few months after he called into the Howard Stern show. We had spoken but never actually met. So I was in the Time Warner box and he was in his box, which is right next to it. I was staring at him and we made eye contact. I guess maybe at some point he had seen a picture of me just to see who this guy was. He looked right at me, shook his finger and shook his head, like, No, no, no. And I just started laughing. It was a really cool moment.

Scott Ian and his Big Four cohorts grace the cover of the November 2011 issue of Guitar World magazine, which is on sale now at our Online Store. And be sure to check out our photo gallery of outtakes from the magazine cover shoot -- and our new Big Four Poster Special, available only at our Online Store.

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Brad Angle

Brad is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and video producer. He is the former content director of Revolver magazine and executive editor of Guitar World. His work has appeared in Vice, Guitar Aficionado, Inked and more. He’s also a die-hard Les Paul player who wishes he never sold his 1987 Marshall Silver Jubilee half stack.