Photos: METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Signs Copies Of 'Messengers' Book In St. Louis

November 5, 2023

METALLICA's James Hetfield signed copies of the book "Messengers: The Guitars Of James Hetfield" on Saturday, November 4 at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri.

Several fans who attended the event have since shared photos taken at the signing. You can check out their public Facebook posts below.

As previously reported, James will also sign copies of "Messengers: The Guitars Of James Hetfield" on Saturday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m. CT at Third Man Records Cass Corridor in Detroit, Michigan.

Permuted Press has set a November 21, 2023 released date for "Messengers: The Guitars Of James Hetfield". In the 400-page book, Hetfield shares his personal collection of treasured guitars and reveals the story and significance of each within his life and career as the frontman, guitarist and songwriter for METALLICA.

From the Electra OGV that defined his style, sound and attitude to the mythical MX guitars, the first in a series of iconic collaborations with ESP, and from his signature Snakebytes through his ambitious projects with renowned luthier Ken Lawrence, Hetfield shares the emotional and technical elements of the chosen tools that have shaped his singular musical journey, including exotic instruments, vintage Gibsons, and custom one-offs. He also reveals many studio secrets, including the key amplifiers and gear that sculpt his tone and create his sound.

Each featured guitar is accompanied by lush museum-quality portraits by acclaimed photographer Scott Williamson, exhibiting intimate details one can only see if holding it in their own hands, alongside Hetfield's deeply personal reminiscence. Spanning more than forty guitars, ranging from the original battle-scarred road warriors to the trusted studio stalwarts and enduring tour favorites, "Messengers: The Guitars Of James Hetfield" is a meticulously crafted coffee table book and a mesmerizing window into the mind and soul of one of rock's greatest frontmen. These invaluable guitars have forged over four decades of music history.

A few years ago, Hetfield told Music Radar about his guitar tone: "[It's] the never-ending quest for the Holy Grail of guitar sounds. For me it's got to be percussive. It's got to push air, what we call bark. It's got to bark. But I don't want it really abrasive, so any fake fuzz to me really just takes away from the sound. And it's tough because when you turn guitar sounds down, you really hear what they sound like and when you push them up it sounds a different way. So we're trying to find that balance of enough mid push while still sounding big and what I've found is the wider and bigger you make it sound, the thinner it becomes in a way, at least depth-wise. You've got to find your space, elbow your way in there and sonically make some room. And it varies throughout certain songs. The guitar is really important in this song but this one, maybe it's all about groove. I think we're learning to be a little more forgiving on each other's need for volume [laughs] and look at the big picture."

In a promotional video for Ernie Ball, Hetfield discussed some of his early musical influences, saying: "For me it was a little more raw, the stuff that I liked. Discovering bands like AC/DC, then JUDAS PRIEST, and then the whole New Wave Of British Heavy Metal came out, and that was IRON MAIDEN, then MOTÖRHEAD and BLACK SABBATH, for sure, was a number one influence for me. Seeing that first album cover and seeing that first IRON MAIDEN album cover, it drew me right to it. I just got continually heavier and heavier as I was discovering music."

Hetfield went on to shed light on the mechanics of his guitar playing: "I'm kind of a little bit of a barbarian when I play. I'm always interested in the riff. It was the foundation of the song. Tony Iommi, he's ruling the song with his riff and everything else joins him. Johnny Ramone, lots of down picking lots of, you know, just fast down picking. That helped develop my style. So kind of a combination of punk rock and heavy rock at the time turned into just the down-picking style and with melody along with it."

This week at Left Bank Books came in with Margaret Renkl and her lovely book-length lovesong to the natural world, ...

Posted by Kris Kleindienst on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Holy crap what a day thus far. Was lucky enough to score a ticket for the James Hetfield book signing and had a...

Posted by Jeremy Lambert on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Yes, that IS James Hetfield signing his new book.

Posted by Sean Ebert on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Just got to meet James Hetfield at his book signing! He could not have been any nicer, engaged us in conversation and...

Posted by Darron Hicks on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Audrey and I got to meet James Hetfield (front man for Metallica for those who don’t already know) today! He did a book...

Posted by Jerrod Nelms on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Hands down the greatest day of my life. Traveled to St Louis with some dear and best friends to meet my hero James...

Posted by Ethan Aubrey on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Stood in line for hours but it was worth it to get James Hetfield to sign a copy of his book for me.

Posted by Derik Moore on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Line outside to get a book signed by James Hetfield himself. @metallica Pretty awesome

Posted by Will Gilchrist on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Wow! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! This event is currently sold out!! Can’t wait to see you all at the event!

Posted by Left Bank Books on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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