Ex-Metallica Bassist Mocks Twisted Sister, Reveals ‘Makeup Truth’ About James Hetfield And The Band

Former Metallica bassist Ron McGovney discussed in a series of tweets on X whether Metallica had a hidden ‘makeup’ phase during their early days.

The musician initially reposted a photo from Metallica’s lineup including him and Dave Mustaine. Referring to their dressing in the picture, a fan wanted to learn if they had worn special outfits for the shooting, to which McGovney replied:

“James [Hetfield] and I dressed in our Leather Charm clothes. Lars [Ulrich] and Dave [Mustaine] just posed in what they were wearing at the time.”

Metallica’s No-Makeup Approach

Then, after seeing his answer, another user asked whether early Metallica or Leather Charm bands used eyeliner or stage makeup as the glam bands did. The bassist said the following about it:

“To be very honest… No. We would never have put on any makeup. Have you ever looked closely at the faces of the guys in Twisted Sister? Ugh!”

Recollections Of Metallica’s Early Gigs

Later, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt shared a photo from their opening for Saxon in the early 1980s. In reply to that, Ron posted another picture from the next night when Saxon was supported by Metallica this time and wrote:

“Here I am on the left with Metallica opening for Saxon the next night, 3-27-82. By the way, Tommy and Nikki from Mötley Crüe helped me book this gig for us. They introduced me to the booking agent after they saw me standing outside the Whisky one afternoon not long before the gig.”

A user said in the comment section of this photo that he recalled going to a Mötley Crüe concert with the bassist, and he was the one taking photographs for the band. Revealing that show, McGovney responded:

“And we went to the US Festival with other friends.”

Metallica’s Experimentation With Outfits

In the early ’80s, most metal bands wore leather and spandex and had big hair. Metallica added punk influence, speeding up their music for a raw and intense style. But in the mid-’90s, they lost popularity by moving away from their heavy sound, trying new music styles, and changing their image.

Metallica is famous for their casual style, usually wearing jeans and black t-shirts on stage for more than ten years. But in the 1990s, they started trying out new outfits. Hetfield said the following about that period in an interview with Classic Rock:

“The whole ‘We need to reinvent ourselves’ topic was up. Image isn’t an evil thing to me, but if the image isn’t you, it doesn’t make much sense.”

The band sported shiny all-black leather outfits at the 1996 Lollapalooza show and suits at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards. In the 2000s and 2010s, their style remained consistent, featuring leather, suits, and the classic casual clothing that they had adopted in the 1980s.

You can see the tweets below.