Frank Bello Says He Thanked James Hetfield For Giving Him Courage

Anthrax bassist Frank Bello shared some exclusive details about his autobiography in his latest interview with Ultimate Guitar and highlighted Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s contributions to the book’s writing process. Also, he talked about how Papa Het encouraged him to write about his life.

A while ago, Frank Bello announced that he started working on his new autobiography entitled ‘Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, and Anthrax.’ It was co-written by British author Joel McIver, and KISS icon Gene Simmons penned the foreword. The book was released on November 2, 2021, and it received very positive reviews from both his fans and book critics, thanks to its realistic and sincere tone.

The autobiography reflects Bello’s childhood full of loneliness, poverty, and pain, especially after his father left them. The bassist revealed that their mother worked very hard to take care of him and his siblings as a single mother for years. He went through challenging times due to his father’s absence, but it was very hard to talk about it for Bello. He decided not to share these things with his fans and kept them a secret.

However, Frank Bello found enough courage to open up about these issues with James Hetfield’s help. After he watched the documentary named ‘Absent,’ which featured Hetfield’s interview about his father, who left him when he was very young, Bello realized that he could also talk about his problems and how he felt about them. So, it can be said that Hetfield became an inspiration for Bello’s recent autobiography.

Bello stated in his interview:

“I talked to James Hetfield a couple of weeks ago, we played with Metallica at Welcome to Rockville. I had a great conversation with James. I hadn’t seen him in a while, and I said, ‘Thank you.’ I actually gave him a copy of my book, because James – I saw this interview with James, and he did this film, a documentary called ‘Absent.’

There’s an amazing conversation that he has about abandonment, and a lot of my book has to do with abandonment and the scars that I had from it, how I bounced back from it. The point of the book really is to show my son you can bounce back from anything, and move on but, I had a conversation with James, and I thanked him.

He added:

“I said, ‘I want to hand you this book and say to you that you made it easier for me to open up, talk about abandonment. So, after I saw that documentary, I thought that it was – you know, if James could talk about this, then I can probably talk about this.

It made it kinda easier for me, and I appreciated that he was so open with it. It made it easier for me to open up more about it. It was very important while I was writing the book.”

Moreover, Anthrax’s Frank Bello gave Hetfield a copy of the book as a gift and thanked him for the encouragement to share his experiences and feelings about abandonment. The Metallica frontman was probably very happy when he heard that he contributed to Bello’s autobiographical book.