OZZY OSBOURNE: METALLICA Did 'Better Than Great' At BLACK SABBATH Induction Ceremony

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told Rolling Stone magazine (web site) that he was surprised at how choked up he'd gotten while honoring BLACK SABBATH at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 13 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Hetfield - dressed in black jeans and a black shirt amid a sea of tuxedos - fought back tears as he recalled a young James, nine years old, stealing SABBATH records from his older brother. "Those monstrous riffs lived inside of him and spoke the feelings he could never put into words, sending chills of inspiration through him," Hetfield said. "They helped crack the shell he was stuck in. . . They have spread their wonderful disease through generations of musicians." (Read the full text of METALICA's induction speech and watch video footage of the edited version of the speech that aired on VH1 at this location.)

Afterward, Hetfield told Rolling Stone, "It was like, 'Oh, no, I'm going to start crying,'" he said. "I'd never known it until I had to access all those emotions in front of that crowd, but it just goes to show how much SABBATH mean." Following Ulrich and Hetfield's induction speeches, METALLICA blew the roof off the ballroom (for the first time ever at the Rock Hall ceremony, earplugs were distributed to the guests) with obsessively rehearsed covers of SABBATH's "Hole in the Sky" and "Iron Man". (View video footage of METALLICA's performance at this location.)

Ozzy Osbourne, in a black velvet jacket and a diamond-encrusted crucifix, summed up METALLICA's tribute: "They did fucking better than great!" but he dodged questions about why SABBATH themselves didn't perform. (Rumor was that guitarist Tony Iommi had rejected the idea.) Regardless, SABBATH's entrance into the Rock Hall closed a tumultuous chapter in the band's career. In 1999, after SABBATH had been passed over for the third straight year, Osbourne said, "Just take our name off the list. The nomination is meaningless." But backstage, standing next to Iommi, bassist Terry "Geezer" Butler and drummer Bill Ward, Osbourne had a different attitude. "What I did was wrong," he said. "I read an interview where Bill said, 'I'd like to have gotten inducted, but I respect Ozzy's decision.' I went, 'Fuck me!' I am not BLACK SABBATH. The four of us are BLACK SABBATH. And in the end, I am also honored to be in. It's something to leave my family when I go."

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