METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Talks About His Childhood Love Of White Flying V Guitars (Video)

July 3, 2018

In the four-minute clip below, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield talks about his childhood love (or obsession!) with white Flying Vs and also takes a look at his new purple Snakebyte guitar.

"As most kids who love certain bands, you just wanna get the same guitar that guy is playing," James says. "I mean, really! I wanted a white Flying V forever — that was it. I mean, c'mon! The SCORPIONS, JUDAS PRIEST… It was a heavy metal guitar. You know, Michael Schenker — white V. It was my dream to have a white V. When I finally got a V, it was kind of weird to play. When you're standing with it, sometimes it rolls off you. And you've seen pictures of THE KINKS with a Flying V, and he's playing through the middle, holding it this way. It's, like, 'Wow! That's weird.' But actually, when you're sitting down with it, you've got the V down there, it's super easy. I loved the V shape once I got used to it."

Hetfield's main guitar for recording and touring behind METALLICA's debut album, "Kill 'Em All" was a white Flying V copy by Electra. James used this in the studio and live until the neck snapped and it was retired. That is when James moved to the Explorer guitars.

"I got my white V in 1980," James told Guitar World. "It was the second guitar I ever owned, and I probably bought it for $200. I knew it was a copy, but we treated it as a real Gibson. I wanted a white one because Michael Schenker of UFO had one, so I needed one too. The neck snapped on it twice on tour. It's been glued quite a few times. It's got Seymour Duncan pickups in it, with a little more output for the crunch than the originals had. The only other thing that's customized is the artwork. That was the first guitar I started scratching stuff into."

METALLICA is currently home on a three-month break before launching a North American arena tour on September 2 in Madison, Wisconsin.

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