James Hetfield, the frontman of Metallica, has made his first live appearance since leaving rehab.
The band took the bold decision to postpone a string of planned tour dates in September last year in order to allow Hetfield to take time away and visit a rehab clinic for his battle with addiction.
“Our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years,” the band said at the time. “We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand,” Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Rob Trujillo said in the statement.
They continued: “We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We’ll let you know as soon as we can. Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.”
Now though, as Hetfield appears to be in a healthier state, he returned to the live stage for the first time with a show in Beverley Hills where he paid tribute to the late US singer Eddie Money. “I met him before he went out there, and he kinda blew me off,” Hetfield recalled while on stage. “I thought, ‘Who is this pompous ass?’ And, if you spot it, you got it, is what I’m saying. So it was like two big dogs going in a circle around each other, which was kinda funny. I saw through it.
“I saw through that ego and he saw through mine, and we got to be friends, because I think our egos matched the size or our insecurities.”
See the fan-shot footage of Hetfield performing Money’s 1977 hit Baby Hold On, below.