METALLICA's HETFIELD Says NEWSTED Should Share HALL OF FAME Honor, But Not DAVE MUSTAINE

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield recently spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about the band's nomination for induction into the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in its second year of eligibility, with the band qualifying because it has been recording for 25 years. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Rolling Stone: Most likely, METALLICA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame next April. Who will be onstage with you?

Hetfield: "Everyone that played on a record should be there. You're considered for the Hall 25 years after your first recording, not after you formed."

Rolling Stone: That would omit Dave Mustaine [former METALLICA guitarist and current MEGADETH mainman].

Hetfield: "He wasn't on a record. Jason Newsted [former METALLICA bassist] should be up there — he was in the band for 14 years and played on quite a few records. And so should Robert [Trujillo; current METALLICA bassist]."

Rolling Stone: Will it be weird to be there with Jason?

Hetfield: "There's no reason for it to be weird. We don't want to be part of the soap opera of the Hall of Fame. Everybody wants a train wreck, like with BLONDIE onstage arguing over crap [in 2006]. That really cheapens the moment."

METALLICA got the largest number of votes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer's ninth annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame poll, which asked both print and online readers to pick which nominees on the latest Hall of Fame ballot are the ones they feel most worthy of induction. More than 250 ballots were cast, with RUN-DMC, WAR, THE STOOGES and LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS rounding out the picks. Only five acts are inducted each year, with this year's list of hopefuls also including JEFF BECK, CHIC, WANDA JACKSON and BOBBY WOMACK.

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told the Plain Dealer about the results, "That's really nice to hear," adding, "It's been a great year for METALLICA. There's a lot of love and goodwill from the fans, from the critics, from the peers, from all the sixth-graders over at my son's school. There's a lot of love everywhere I look. It's amazing to be able to say 27 years into your career that you actually feel like you're on top of your game."

The inductees will be announced this month, with the ceremony scheduled for the Hall of Fame in Cleveland next spring.

METALLICA is currently on the road in support of "Death Magnetic", which entered the Billboard chart last month at No. 1.

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