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These Metallica fans are metal

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Posted at 7:17 PM, Nov 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-23 22:52:08-05

Lines stretched out around the area this morning for different reasons: some to stood downtown to score a free turkey for Thursday's Thanksgiving festivities, and some families lined up in Kingsville to experience an authentic ranch hand breakfast at the King Ranch.

The Solis family lined up for a different reason. Laverne, Jason and their 15-year-old son drove in from McKinney, near Dallas, after midnight Saturday morning to be among the first 25 or so people to claim a place in line outside Total Wine and More to meet members of Jason's favorite band.

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Sara Rivera (left) and Laverne and Jason Solis camped out outside Total Wines and More to meet members of the heavy metal band Metallica.

Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo were in Corpus Christi to sign bottles of their Blackened label whiskey Saturday afternoon, and the Solises weren't the only ones who didn't want to miss out.

By 11 a.m., the line stretched all the way around the back of the Total Wines and More building and curled around the backs of neighboring stores.

Taco vendors weaved through the line as different peoples' speakers played "Nothing Else Matters" toward the front of the line. "Enter Sandman" could be heard from the middle.

And many of them came with a plan, including the Solises. Sitting in folding chairs, bundled in jackets and blankets, they began their watch at around 12:30 a.m., when temperatures had dipped into the upper 50s.

"We were out here shivering last night," she said. "And then the wind picked up around 5, 5:30 (in the morning)."

Their son volunteered to take the first shift, and his parents kept a watchful eye from the car.

"I had a 15-year-old sitting out in the cold," Laverne said, with a laugh. "No, he wanted to do it. It was his choice."

A couple of hours later, he was relieved by Jason, who was later relieved by Laverne, and so went their rotation so they didn't lose their place in line. By late morning, he had been picked up by his aunt and was due to return shortly, so he wouldn't miss out.

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Metallica fans wait alongside the back of the Total WIne and More store in Moore Plaza for a whiskey signing by Metallica members Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo.

"Some of the (people in the front of the line) have been here since 7 or 7:30 last night," Laverne said.

Others in line relayed stories about fights in the line that led to security guards threatening to enforce no-overnight-camping rules. The threat seemed to be enough to restore the peace.

"Metallica fans tend to be the nicest," Jason said. "Of all the shows. It's a wide range of people, but everyone's so cool."

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The line curled around the back of Moore Plaza to meet Metallica band members.

In chatting with others in line, Laverne discovered the couple sitting on the other side of Jason actually also, at one time, lived in the same of area of the Metroplex that they do. The couple now lives in Houston, but a connection was made nonetheless.

"It's a little commune here," said Sara Rivera, who was bundled up in her folding chair to Laverne's left.

Despite the cold and the long hours, Laverne had no regrets for making the trip from their home, which she said is only one hour and a half away from Oklahoma, all the way down to Corpus Christi to see members of Jason's favorite band.

"It's so worth the drive," she said. "And, for the record, the whiskey's really good."