Haven’t run a Quora Digest story in quite a while now, so let’s remedy that lapse, shall we? This is a good ‘un, involving Metallica vocalist/rhythm guitarist James Hetfield.
What is James Hetfield like in person?
James Hetfield phoned me several years ago out of the blue regarding a vintage Airstream trailer I restored and was selling. The trailer was a 1948 Airstream Wee Wind. There were about 62 made and there aren’t that many survivors. (I designed Airstream’s 75th Anniversary trailer and also build custom trailers) He purchased the trailer, and I had it shipped to California. A couple months later I flew out to LA to do a book signing. When it was over, I drove up to San Francisco and met him plus his family at the Marin/Sonoma car show near his home. He lives somewhere around that area. Spent the afternoon with everyone. He had the trailer at the event which he towed behind a 1947 Lincoln Zephyr. No one really noticed him as he was dressed pretty conservatively. I found him to be a nice guy. Didn’t seem to have a giant ego and genuinely listened while I showed him the various aspects of the Airstream. He also introduced me to some other car collectors at the event. It was a very enjoyable day. I’ve had other business dealings with James since and my opinion hasn’t changed. He also has been very generous, comping me great seats when they are on tour, and even onstage seats to their concerts. Is James Hetfield a nice guy? Hell yes.
Hetfield, an Airstream guy? Damn, that’s another one I didn’t see coming. I’ve always heard that, with the (very) occasional exception of axeman Kirk Hammett, the Metallica guys can be a bit unpleasant, shall we say, as a general rule. After years and years of mega-stardom, hit record after hit record, and all that touring on the long, arduous slog to the tippy-top of the rock and roll slagheap, it’s kinda understandable, really. Nice to hear that t’ain’t necessarily so just the same.
No embed this time out—not because I have anything against ‘em, mind; I like their stuff just fine, ever since the Black Album at any rate. I just kinda burned myself out on ‘em around the time Garage Inc was released and “Whiskey In The Jar” got played into the fuckin’ ground, that’s all. I mean, they did a good job on it and all, but jeez-o-PETE, man.
It ain’t as if the band needs any promotional help from the likes of me anyhoo, so I’ll just hold my fire and wait for something more obscure, off-the-wall, and non-ubiquitous to cross my path, methinks.