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Kip Winger says James Hetfield apologized to him

Kip Winger

Classic Rock

Kip Winger says James Hetfield apologized to him

Kip Winger was born in Denver, Colorado in 1961 and started his musical career in 1978, gaining recognition as the bassist for Alice Cooper on the praised albums “Constrictor” (1986) and “Raise Your Fist and Yell” (1987) and “Trash” (1989). But he also managed to be successful with his own band Winger, which was labeled as Glam Metal group in the 80s, being one of the targets of Heavy Metal and Grunge groups not long after.


In the official video for the Metallica hit “Nothing Else Matters”, the band’s drummer Lars Ulrich appears throwing darts at a poster of Kip and the musician revealed in an interview with Yahoo that not long ago he finally got an apology from James Hetfield. However, he didn’t hear anything from Lars.

Since 1988, Winger released 7 studio albums and is known for hits like “Seventeen”, “Headed For a Heartbreak” and “Miles Away”. Kip also worked with other artists over the decades and released solo albums.

Kip Winger says James Hetfield apologized to him

“I’m not gonna lie to you: I was a total ham. I loved the theater of that time. I dug the glam, because I was a Paul Stanley protégé — that was what a ‘rock star’ meant to me. So, I hammed it up. I did all the pictures and all that [teen idol] stuff, and I was very competitive about it all. And it bit me in the ass.”

“It was the irony of my whole existence, because my focus has always been the music and being a good musician. Like, one thing I will say about ‘Seventeen’ is if you take away the lyrics… you know, a lot of cover bands try to play people’s music, and you will never find a band that can cover ‘Seventeen’ and play it correctly. It’s a very, very difficult song to perform. It’s got a lot of tricky stuff going on from a musical point of view. And so, it was tragic, like: ‘Wow, how could I end up in this position, being the one out of all of these [’80s hair-metal] guys that can orchestrate for an orchestra?’ It was bad. It was really bad.”

“(I was) the guy that was singled out from the whole industry, really, because my name was on Beavis & Butt-Head. “(The market was) oversaturated (and it was)time for something new to happen. But nobody saw the grunge thing coming. Nobody. And then here comes Kurt Cobain, and I was on the wrong end of it”.

He continued:

“I liked a lot of songs Metallica did. ‘Enter Sandman’ is a great song. And by the way, the irony is that before that happened, The Black Album came out and I called my drummer and said, ‘Man, you should check out the drums on this record, it’s really awesome!’ I love the drumming on The Black Album. And then next thing I know, Lars has got a dart in my forehead.”

“Apparently they tried a few different names on the Stewart T-shirt, and mine was the one that stuck. It could have been Poison; I don’t know, it could have been anybody. But mine stuck, and I think it’s because Metallica threw darts at my poster. I think the two go hand-in-hand.”

“James Hetfield called me to apologize about a year and a half ago. He was really contrite and was like, ‘You know what? That was uncool. And I’m sorry we did that.’ It was a very nice conversation. It seemed that the guy was completely awesome and I totally could be friends with him. But, you know… it was really Lars [who threw the dart]…”

“It’s just not cool to diss musicians. Even with the most poppy musicians who people might hate, a lot goes into it, man. It’s a person’s whole life, devoted to what they believe in. So, I don’t believe in slagging off fellow musicians. That’s basically it.” But, he is quick to add that he’s “all good with [Metallica] now,” Kip Winger said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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