James Hetfield focuses here on the thought of getting revenge for the wrongs that have been done to him by others. The lyrics were informed by two Metallica fans, who would turn up at the band's shows holding a poster of a girl. When Hetfield got the opportunity to meet them he asked why.
"[The guy] said, 'My wife and I weren't fans of the band, but we are now. Because our daughter was a big fan, and she got killed by a drunk driver,'" he explained to Rolling Stone Australia. "She was young. How could you not be pissed off? How could you not want to go after somebody? But what they chose to do was embrace the music she loved and get to know her through the music and connect that way instead. They continue to show up at shows, which I love. We're friends now. And they've gotten through something that I don't think I could get through."
Because of the song's heavy subject matter, Metallica held off from playing it live for a long time. They finally performed the song in concert for the first time during their March 3, 2019 show in Lubbock, Texas.
"Pink Cadillac" was a B-side for Bruce Springsteen in 1984, but after Aretha Franklin sang about pink Cadillacs on "Freeway Of Love" the following year, Natalie Cole covered the song and had a hit with it in 1988.