This week on the music beat -- Metallica and Rat Packers Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin made news this week

By Chris Willman
Updated February 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the…Garage Inc.? Yep, Woodstock’s back for a 30th-anniversary fest or two, with Metallica in tow. The band that provided a soundtrack for the ’94 mud-a-thon has signed on to perform at a European ”adjunct” Woodstock festival south of Vienna July 16-18. Drummer Lars Ulrich says, ”If I was a betting man, I’d say we would probably play” a week later at the Rome, N.Y., event, too, set for July 23-25.

Coproducer John Scher won’t confirm the bill before late March but allows that it’s ”principally designed for 17- to 28-year-olds,” not nostalgists. ”[Founder] Michael Lang and I believe every generation deserves to have their Woodstock, and it shouldn’t be held as the holy grail of the baby boomers. We think Woodstock can and should happen every five years. It’s turned out to be a great American institution.”

It’s such an institution that Ulrich can boast that ”we’ve played two out of three, so I’d consider us vets of the Woodstock circuit.” After these and Lollapalooza, is Lilith Fair next? ”Hey,” Ulrich says, ”make me an offer I can’t refuse — I’ll be there.”

It’s the favor that keeps on giving. When Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. played a club called the Villa Venice in Wheeling, Ill., in November 1962, it was to pay back casino owner Sam Giancana for supporting Kennedy. Sinatra apparently intended to make some dough off the shows by taping a live album for the label he’d recently founded, Reprise. Yet it took the surviving Sinatras forming their own label, Artanis, 36 years later to win release for The Summit: In Concert (named for the trio’s preferred non-rodent handle).

Why no official Rat Pack, er, Summit, releases before? ”They never took themselves as seriously as we do now,” figures Bill Zehme, author of The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin’, who was asked by Tina Sinatra to contribute liner notes for the album, due out March 2. ”For them it was a gas to get together, in their parlance. Sinatra played a tighter show, but when the guys come in, it’s bedlam, and I’m sure he thought this was too silly.”

Next out on Artanis is Sinatra ’57 In Concert, recorded in Seattle with Nelson Riddle, for which faux Washingtonian Kelsey Grammer will write the notes.