IT’s no secret Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is a big fan of heavy metal music, and an official visit from a counterpart left him grinning from ear to ear when he received a box-set of Metallica’s seminal record Master of Puppets at the Bogor palace on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Jakarta Post, Jokowi was attending a bilateral meeting with visiting Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen who handed him the gift.
“Prime Minister Rasmussen understands my favourite [music],” Jokowi, who was surprised by the unusual souvenir, said.
Jokowi, who gave a wide smile, received the box set which contained the original eight tracks of the band’s classics such as Disposable Heroes, The Things That Should Not Be and the title track, as well as unreleased demos, mixes and live recordings, according to the Jakarta Post.
Jokowi reciprocated the gift by handing over Rasmussen a rencong, a traditional dagger from Aceh.
The box set was released in conjunction with the album’s 30th anniversary, which has been on sale since Nov 10.
Some photos making rounds online showed one of the volumes bearing an autograph by Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich. The 53-year-old Ulrich was born in Denmark but moved to Los Angeles when he was 16.
Master of Puppets, which has sold more than six million copies, was recorded in Copenhagen between September and December 1985, two years after the band made a breakthrough in the then-thriving metal scene with their debut album Kill ‘Em All.
When Jokowi was elected in 2014, the world’s metalheads celebrated his ascension into office.
One of them was Randy Blythe, the lead singer of Lamb of God and one of Jokowi’s favourite musicians who took to social media to praise the president.
“Incredibly, ladies and gentlemen, the new president of Indonesia is a metalhead and a Lamb of God fan. Yes, he digs Napalm Death, Metallica, Megadeth and Lamb of God among others. Holy c#*p! The world’s first heavy metal president,” Blythe said.