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Metallica Want to Avoid "Drama of a Van Halen" at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

January 15, 2009 11:41 AM ET

Metallica were on hand for yesterday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announcement, fielding questions about being asked to enter the rock institution alongside Run-DMC, Jeff Beck, Bobby Womack and Little Anthony and the Imperials in Cleveland on April 4th. "Life is good in Metallica right now," James Hetfield said. So who should induct the metal legends? "I think that's an ongoing discussion," he said. "Between who the people actually know and care about, who actually respects you as a band… You don't want just some popular guy who's attracting TV viewers to induct you just because of that."

What about the possibility of reuniting with bassist Jason Newsted, who was in the band from 1986 until 2001? "There's been an invite put out, no doubt," Hetfield revealed. "We want everyone to celebrate — everyone who's been a part of it. Jason has been a big part of that. You don't want to see the drama of a... unfortunately, Blondie or [Sex] Pistols or Van Halen. It's ridiculous. This is Metallica's moment — along with others — but let's celebrate. Let's forget the crap." As for what bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus accident in 1986, would have felt about the Rock Hall invite, Hetfield said, "I would like to think that Cliff would love this."

"Jeff Beck is one of my heroes and has been since I first picked up a guitar," Kirk Hammett said about his fellow inductee. "I'm looking forward to playing some guitar with him at some point." Each member of Metallica was also asked what band he'd like to see in the Rock Hall. They lobbied for Motorhead (Hetfield), Deep Purple (Ulrich), Rush (Hammett) and UFO (bassist Robert Trujillo.)

Take a look back at Metallica's lengthy career in a special photo gallery, plus revisit the band's first Rolling Stone cover story from 1991. For that and much more on the Rock Hall, click the links below:

Metallica: Through the Years in Photos
The Road to the Hall: Metallica Revisited
Metallica: From Metal To Main Street
Metallica, Run-DMC, Jeff Beck Lead Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2009

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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