Metallica’s James Hetfield performed live for the first time since leaving rehab.
The rocker celebrated his comeback to the stage this weekend in Beverly Hills, where he performed as part of a tribute gig to the late singer Eddie Money, who died of esophageal cancer last September. As seen in fan-shot video footage, Hetfield appeared to be in healthy spirits as he delivered Money’s 1977 smash “Baby Hold On.”
Prior to his set, Hetfield recalled the brotherly moment the pair became friends at an Oakland Raiders game, where Money had sung the national anthem. “I met him before he went out there, and he kinda blew me off. I thought, 'Who is this pompous a–?’” Hetfield jokingly recalled.
“And, if you spot it, you got it, is what I'm saying,” he went on. “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."
The showcase was a pretty big deal for Money and Metallica fans alike, as it was the “Enter Sandman” vocalist’s first live show since he checked into rehab in 2019 for his ongoing battles with addiction. (He previously sought treatment in 2001, insisting he'd been "reborn straight edge" as he abstained from alcohol.) The decision ultimately forced the band to cancel the Australia/New Zealand leg of their WorldWired Tour. Since leaving rehab, the 56-year-old musician made his first public appearance nearly a month ago at the Petersen Automotive Museum reception on January 30.
Watch Hetfield’s first live performance since 2019 above.
Photo: Getty Images