The Sid Vicious-Related Fact That Changed James Hetfield’s Life
Metallica has gone through many changes since it was formed, like any other band in the music industry. These changes have been pretty apparent in their sound and overall attitude. The band entered the metal scene with their debut studio album, ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ released in 1983. The album’s musical approach was visibly different from the mainstream sound of the early ’80s and brought a breath of fresh air to heavy metal with its fast-paced speed metal.
The band’s second album, ‘Ride the Lightning,’ also arrived in 1984. The album again stood out with its fast tempo, yet it also showed the group’s musical growth. They were now dealing with more sophisticated lyrics and harmonies. Metallica had begun to make their voices heard more and consolidate their place in the metal scene, yet their early days were also pretty wild. All the band members were heavy drinkers, and they were also destructive, especially while on the road with other bands. However, James Hetfield once had an epiphany thanks to Sid Vicious.
How Did Sid Vicious Help James Hetfield About His Career?
Metallica members would go quite wild when they drank alcohol excessively. It had been prevalent for them to be loud and perform destructive actions like smashing dressing rooms. However, they also knew that it couldn’t go on like this forever, and they had to pull themselves together at some point if they wanted a long-term music career.
In April 2001, the band members joined an interview with Playboy and reflected their thoughts on their early days. James Hetfield stated that all their destructive actions were related to their excessive alcohol use. According to the singer, the worst one was in their appearance on Oakland’s annual Day On The Green Festival at the Oakland Coliseum in 1985.
They began behaving uncontrollably due to heavy drinking all day and throwing everything around them. They demolished the whole trailer, then Hetfield was invited to his room by the event’s promoter, Bill Graham. He said to the singer that Sid Vicious and Keith Moon, famous for their wild lifestyles, would also behave like Metallica. Then, James Hetfield realized that both names were dead, and thus, maybe the rocker should’ve gathered himself up. He noticed that being in a band was much more than that.
Here is the fact that changed James Hetfield’s life in his words:
“Smashing dressing rooms were all booze-related. The worst was A Day on the Green. A buddy and I completely ripped on Jagermeister and got it into our heads that the deli tray and the fruit had to go through a little vent. ‘The vent is not big enough. Let’s make a hole!’ The trailer was ruined. Bill Graham was the promoter.
I was summoned to his office. Like, ‘I have to see the principal now.’ He said, ‘This attitude you have, I’ve had the same conversation with Sid Vicious and Keith Moon.’ It was like, ‘Cool! Oh, wait, they’re dead. Not so cool. Maybe I should get my shit together.’ I realized at that point there was more to being in a band than pissing people off and smashing sh*t up.”
Keith Moon and Sid Vicious both died at a very early age during the height of their career. James Hetfield realized that his life could’ve also gone in the same direction if he had continued behaving like that. Thus, he decided to pull himself through if he wanted a long-lasting career.