METALLICA frontman James Hetfield made his first major public appearance since entering rehab last night (Thursday, January 30), when an exhibit featuring 10 of his classic custom cars opened with a ticketed reception at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Hetfield took part in a chat and helped auction two of his ESP guitars at the event. He said he was proud to have his work on display at the museum. "There's no other place like this," James said. "The Petersen is the pinnacle. It's the best place to have your vehicles. They weren't doing me much good sitting in my garage. I loved looking at them. The best part is they're all together. I didn't want to auction them off and [have them] go all over the world. It's a collection. It marks my life."
Also in attendance were James's METALLICA bandmate Robert Trujillo, along with former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony and ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell.
The exhibit officially opens to the public on February 1 and will also feature guitars and other memorabilia in addition to the cars. It's expected to remain at the Petersen into October.
Video footage and photos of Hetfield's appearance can be seen below.
Hetfield has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when METALLICA canceled an Australian tour and announced that Hetfield was returning to rehab to battle his addictions. The singer/guitarist first got treatment in 2002, a process that was chronicled in the 2004 documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster".
Among the cars on display at "Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection" are Voodoo Priest, based on a '37 Lincoln Zephyr, a '36 Auburn roadster named Slow Burn, a Delahaye inspired '34 Packard, a '36 Ford in bare metal called Iron Fist, a purple '56 Ford F-100 pickup truck and Skyscraper, Hetfield's 1953 Buick Skylark.
As previously reported, a book about Hetfield's cars, "Reclaimed Rust: The Four-Wheeled Creations Of James Hetfield", will be released on May 5 via Insight Editions. In the book, Hetfield opens up his garage for an exclusive tour of the highlights of his incredible collection of restored and customized classic cars.
A few years ago, Hetfield said that he approaches building hot rods the same way he approaches writing music. "Building cars is always an escape," he explained. "It's the same with music. I don't know what I'm gonna make. Cars are like people to me; they like love. They love to be touched, they love to be handled, they love to be driven... they love to be admired… This is a form of expression and freedom, and you can get away with driving something like that but still have your personality show through. It's just like looking at art. You look at a piece and you go, 'I don't get it.' And you look at something else and say, 'That is amazing. I wish I thought of that.'"
Algunas imagenes de ayer de la inauguración del "Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection Exhibition" en el Petersen Automotive Museum, en donde se lo ve a #JamesHetfield, por primera vez después de su rehabilitación, @RobertTrujillo estuvo presente tambien. ??? (J. CH.) pic.twitter.com/kQ1sNO2GvI
— Master of Paraguay (@masterofpy) January 31, 2020
Nuestro amado y querido #PapaHet se ve en un buen estado de salud y se ve con gran humor y actitud.
Welcome Home @james.hetfield
Posted by Orion- Tributo a Metallica en México on Friday, January 31, 2020
## ( In interview, James Hetfield!!)
* Petersen Automotive Museum **
Posted by Local Chapter Sg.METALLICA Worldwide#65 on Thursday, January 30, 2020
God is back! ✊?❤️
James Hetfield on Yesterday's 'Reclaimed Rust' / Petersen Automotive Museum
#jameshetfield #metallica #reclaimedrust
Nós, fãs do Metallica e do James estamos aliviados!
Durante o evento ontem na Petersen Automotive Museum, vimos...
James Hetfield ???hace unos minutos en la Exhibición de sus Automóviles en el Petersen Automotive Museum de Los Angeles...
James Hetfield ???en entrevista en el Petersen Automotive Museum de Los Angeles CA. USA.
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