METALLICA's HETFIELD Recalls Friendship With 'Outlaw Country' Legend

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield spoke to Country Weekly about his friendship with the late "outlaw country" legend Waylon Jennings, who died in February 2002. The two met at a college radio station interview in the late '80s and immediately found the humor in their media-hyped "outlaw" personas.

"My dad was a big fan of Waylon," recalled James. "When we were doing that interview, I brought my Waylon CDs for him to sign for my dad. Waylon brought his son Shooter's METALLICA CDs for me to sign for him. It was a pretty cool kind of father-son crossing there.

"During that time my dad was ill," continued James, "and Waylon actually called him a couple of times and they got to chat. That opened my eyes to a whole other side of the influence of your inspiration. It's beyond music — you're touching souls. That phone call meant so much to me and my dad."

James got to pay his respects to Jennings by contributing a solo cover of "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand" (Real Audio) to "I've Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings", a new record honoring the late singer.

Hetfield's contribution comes from Jennings' September 1978 release, "I've Always Been Crazy". The process was unique for James as he not only sang, but played all the instruments (including the drums!) on the track. The song was produced by Bob Rock at the METALLICA HQ in San Francisco.


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