METALLICA's HETFIELD Reveals His Most Memorable Festival Experience

May 22, 2003

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield, a veteran of the summer festival circuit, recently spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about his most memorable festival experience from the pre-METALLICA days. "Probably the most memorable was the California World Music Festival," Hetfield said. "It was one of those two-day things. The first night was TED NUGENT and VAN HALEN — no, AEROSMITH. I must have been fifteen or sixteen. I remember following around my buddy, who was selling drugs. He tore up a part of his ticket — it had a kind of rainbow edge — and he cut it into bits and sold it as acid. I was like, 'What are you doing, man?' He used the money to buy beer.

"I was a huge AEROSMITH fan. I could not believe I was seeing them so close. I worked my way up there as far as I could. There was something magical about seeing them as actual live people, not just pictures on an album. The real coolness of Joe Perry, especially. It's impossible for him to be uncool. And I remember I was blown away by the fact that Steven was calling the crowd 'motherfuckers.' I was like, 'Whoa — are you supposed to do that?'

When asked about his memories from METALLICA's Monsters of Rock 1988 tour with VAN HALEN, THE SCORPIONS, DOKKEN and KINGDOM COME, James said, "that whole tour was a big fog for me. Those were my Jagermeister days. It was bad coming back to some of those towns later, because there were a lot of dads and moms and husbands and boyfriends looking for me. Not good. People were hating me, and I didn't know why. That's when I realized Jagermeister is not the great elixir of life I thought it was. It was OK to feel drunk and fucked-up back then."

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