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A tennis player in his youth (he is the son of former tennis pro Torben Ulrich), Ulrich was originally a drummer in San Francisco.He then moved to Los Angeles at age sixteen in the summer of 1980 to train in the sport of tennis.However, rather than playing tennis, he began playing the drums.
His paternal grandfather was tennis player Einer Ulrich.
His paternal grandmother, Ulla Meyer, was from a Jewish family, and as a result, Ulrich's father was persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.
In February 1973, Lars' father obtained five passes for five of his friends to a Deep Purple concert that was being held in the same Copenhagen stadium as one of his tournaments.
When it was discovered that one of the friends could not go, their ticket was handed over to the nine-year-old Ulrich.
The young Ulrich was mesmerized by the performance, buying the band's Fireball album the next day.
The concert and the album had a considerable impact on Ulrich, inspiring the start of his career in rock and roll and later on, heavy metal.
As a result of his newfound interest in music, he received his first drum kit from his grandmother at the age of twelve, In the documentary, Anvil: The story of Anvil, Lars states that witnessing a Y&T show was his defining moment in deciding to become a musician.
In 1981, Ulrich discovered British heavy metal band Diamond Head.
He was excited about the band's style of music after purchasing their debut album Lightning to the Nations (1980).