The Story Of How James Hetfield Burned Himself Badly On The Stage

Metallica, one of the greatest and most influential bands in music history, opened up about the tragic accident during the Guns N’ Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour which resulted in frontman James Hetfield having second-degree burns all over his body because of a pyrotechnics mistake.

As many of you know, there has been a co-headlining concert tour including two legendary bands named Guns N’ Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour during 1992. While the expectations were already high thanks to the iconic bands’ reputations, the live performances were filled with notorious moments from frontman Axl Rose vomiting while performing on stage to being hit in the genitals by a cigarette lighter thrown from the audience.

However, the most tragic and infamous incident during the tour happened when the iconic frontman James Hetfield suffered from second and third-degree burns due to a pyrotechnics incident at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 1992. After this terrible accident, the left half of his body was heavily burned including his left hand and both arms, Metallica had to end their performance earlier than expected and Hetfield was rushed to the hospital.

The Most Painful Day Of James Hetfield: ‘This Is Pain I’ve Never Felt In My Whole Life’

During an interview, Metallica members opened up about the shocking accident and frontman James Hetfield stated that he was standing in the wrong position, thus, the person who was responsible for the pyrotechnics did not see him. The incident took place during the opening of ‘Fade to Black’ as Hetfield revealed and a colored flame that is hot enough to melt the metal was lit under him.

According to the legendary frontman, it was the worst pain he has ever felt and he, along with his bandmates, was panicked during the accident since his hand and his arms mean everything to James Hetfield and the band. Luckily, Hetfield survived this near-death experience and healed completely.

Here is what Hetfield said about the accident:

“During ‘Fade to Black,’ I’m up there playing the part and these colored flames are going off. I’m a little confused about where I should be, I walked forward, I walked back. The pyro guy doesn’t see me that I’ve walked back out there. There’s a big colored flame that goes right up under me and instantly you squint and turn.

So I’m burned all my arm, my hand completely down to the bone, the side of my face, hair is gone, part of my back. I looked down and watched the skin just rising and things going wrong. This is pain I’ve never felt in my whole life and it won’t go away. I’m freaking at this point you know, with anxiety.”

You can watch the interview below.