Scott Ian Reveals the Only Anthrax Song He Didn’t Play Rhythm Guitar On
Guitarist Scott Ian is synonymous with Anthrax, but in the 40-plus years of the group, there's actually one song that Ian didn't handle rhythm guitar on. While answering fan questions for Louder Sound, Ian revealed that track was the band's cover of Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen."
Ian was initially asked by the fan if there was a song from Anthrax's catalog that he could wipe from their history, what would it be? It was there that he revealed this Anthrax trivia nugget.
“We covered Alice Cooper’s 'I’m Eighteen.' I love that song, but I never wanted to cover it. It’s the only Anthrax song that I’m not playing rhythm guitar on," he explained.
"Quiet Riot had gone to No.1 with 'Cum On Feel the Noize,' so everyone was like, ‘Let’s do a cover song, maybe we’ll get on the radio,'" recalls the guitarist, adding, "I was totally against it but I got outvoted, so I didn’t play guitar on it.”
In a separate 2019 piece for Metal Hammer, Ian stated, “We did have some alternatives put forward, none of which I can now recall, but in the end 'I’m Eighteen' won out. I suppose we could have considered doing a Motörhead or Maiden song, but they were still too fresh in the mind, really.”
Anthrax's "I'm Eighteen" cover appeared on the band's 1984 debut album, Fistful of Metal, so you can understand the gamble for a band that was just making their entrance into the music scene and relatively unknown at that point. That said, Ian held firm in his belief they shouldn't cover it. Eventually Dan Spitz handled guitar on the track, with Ian boycotting the cover idea by not appearing on the song whatsoever.
Hear the Ian-less Anthrax "I'm Eighteen" cover below.