James Hetfield performed live for the time since his rehab stay on Thursday (February 20) at a tribute to Eddie Money. The METALLICA frontman played an acoustic rendition of Money's "Baby Hold On" at Saban in Beverly Hills, California.
Hetfield wasn't among the announced guests at "A Star-Studded Tribute To Eddie Money", proceeds from which benefited the USC Eddie Money Cancer Research Fund.
Hetfield and Money were friends, with the METALLICA guitarist/vocalist recalling how he first connected with the late singer.
"So I got to hang out with Eddie the last probably three years of his life," James said before playing the song. "I saw the cleaned-up version of Eddie.
He explained that he first met Money at an Oakland Raiders football game where Eddie was performing the national anthem. "I met him before he went out there, and he kinda blew me off," Hetfield recalled. "I thought, 'Who is is this pompous ass?' And if you spot it, you've got it, is what I'm saying. So it was like two big dogs going in a circle around each other, which was kind of funny. I saw through it. I saw through that ego, and he saw through mine, and we got to be friends, 'cause I think our egos matched the size or our insecurities."
Hetfield has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when METALLICA canceled an Australian tour and announced that Hetfield was returning to rehab to battle his addictions. The singer/guitarist first got treatment in 2002, a process that was chronicled in the 2004 documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster".
James made his first major public appearance since entering rehab on January 30, when an exhibit featuring 10 of his classic custom cars opened with a ticketed reception at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.