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The Aerosmith song that James Hetfield said is his favorite

James Hetfield


The Aerosmith song that James Hetfield said is his favorite

The Metallica co-founder, vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield helped to take Heavy Metal to another level with the music created by the band, that became the most successful and influential Thrash Metal group in history. But even though groups like Black Sabbath was huge influences to him, he was also heavily influenced by the American Hard Rock group Aerosmith.


He even had posters of the guitarist Joe Perry and vocalist Steven Tyler in his bedroom when he was a teenager. Also one of the first concerts he ever went to was AC/DC with Aerosmith as the opening act. Over the decades he talked many times about how inspiring the band was to him. Even revealed which was his favorite song from them.

The Aerosmith song that James Hetfield said is his favorite

In 2002, when Metallica already was one of the biggest bands in the world, they were invited by MTV Icon to honor Aerosmith for their career. James Hetfield shared his love for the group on his speech (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). He also revealed which is his favorite song of them.

“I would just like to close my eyes and imagine myself in my room as that teenager listening to ‘Toys In The Attic’ and ‘Rocks’. Playing them to the grooves were worn out, listening to every Brad and Joe lick toward the very end. I could sing every one of those things.”

“I would turn them up so loud to get every last note that the next song would scare the hell out at me. Especially little things like before my favorite song ‘Nobody’s Fault’. Someone walked in the studio and I heard a door. I simply thought that was so cool, ‘they didn’t take that out!’”

James Hetfield continued:

“But anyway there were plenty of posters on my wall. The one that really meant a lot to me was the one of Steven and Joe up there singing into the same microphone. My mom, God rest her soul. She was an artist and she projected my image onto the wall and painted me as Steven and as Joe, in a silhouette. It was so cool, it was in my room. I just couldn’t decide which was cooler. So I decided to sing and play guitar.”

“Also I just wanted to acknowledge how much I admire you as humans. In this music business is really tough to stay human. There is a lot of people that demand a lot of things from. All the hell that you guys have gone trough and come through as stronger people are extremely inspirational. Especially (to) myself, someone who has fallen and I love you guys, thank you,” James Hetfield said.

“Nobody’s Fault” was written by the vocalist Steven Tyler and guitarist Brad Whitford. Being featured on the band’s 1976 album “Rocks”. It is one of the heaviest tracks that the band ever recorded.

Watching AC/DC and Aerosmith for the first time at the age of 15

“Rocks” was a successful record, with three singles appearing on the Billboard Hot 100 and two that reached the top 40 (“Back In The Saddle” and “Last Child”). Curiously, one of the big first concerts James Hetfield had the opportunity to see in his life, at the age of 15, was AC/DC with Aerosmith as the opening act. It happened in 1978 at the Long Beach Arena in California.

He recalled that in an interview with Marc Maron in 2017 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). “I wanted to be the guys which I had the poster on my wall. There was a particular poster of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry together on a microphone. I didn’t know who I wanted to be, they were both so cool. So I kind of ended up being both, singing and playing.”

“(Their first album) is so raw and dirty, that’s what I like about them. My first concert, ironically was Jethro Tull with Uriah Heep opening, (maybe in) 1978. Soon after that it was Aerosmith and AC/DC. So I saw Bon Scott and I even really realized until later. (Angus) is awesome (on guitar),” James Hetfield.

He didn’t like the piano classes because he wasn’t learning Aerosmith songs

Hetfield took piano lessons when he was a kid and he told Total Guitar in 2009 that after sometime he decided to stop. The reason was because he wasn’t learning any songs he liked.

“I started taking piano lessons when I was about eight years old. Because my mum saw me basically playing drums on a piano at someone’s house once and thought, ‘Oh, he’s a musician!’ So I took some lessons at some old lady’s house, which stunk. But she gave me cookies at the end.

Hetfield continued:

“I took those lessons for three years and thought, ‘This sucks, I’m not learning any Aerosmith songs here!’ I was playing sh*t I had no care for. So I graduated to guitar because my brothers, who are 10 years older than me, were in bands at the time. So there was always a drum kit, piano and guitar sitting around the house. They were like toys. I loved hard rock so I picked up the guitar.”

“When I started playing guitar, I would fiddle around with pretty much everything. I was trying out different rhythms and trying to play [Aerosmith guitarist] Joe Perry solos. But then I just started gravitating more towards rhythm because of guys like Tony Iommi, Rudolf Schenker of the Scorpions, and even AC/DC. You know, very rhythm-based stuff,” James Hetfield 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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