Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Cheers on James Hetfield in Quest for Sobriety
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi offered up words of support to Metallica’s James Hetfield, who entered rehab for alcohol addiction last week. “My best out to James Hetfield,” Iommi tweeted. “You’ve done the right thing seeking help — I’m thinking of you, my friend, and wishing you all the very best on your recovery. Looking forward to seeing you back at your best very soon.” He signed it, “Your pal, Tony.”
Metallica announced last week that it was postponing a run of Australasian dates while Hetfield sought treatment. “As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years,” the band’s other members — Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, and Lars Ulrich — wrote in a joint statement. “He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.”
The band members added that they intended to make up the dates “as soon as health and schedule permit.” They also said they would refund tickets for anyone who wanted one, despite postponing the shows. The run was to begin October 17th in Perth, Australia and conclude November 2nd in Auckland, New Zealand. The band has left a March 28th benefit show in San Francisco on its schedule.
Hetfield’s problems with alcoholism were at the center of their 2004 film, Some Kind of Monster, which documented the pioneering thrash group’s near collapse around the turn of the century. In 2017, Hetfield told podcaster Joe Rogan that he had maintained his sobriety for 15 years at that point, using the potential loss of his family as a motivator.
Iommi has been open over the years about his own struggles with addiction. In a 2016 interview with Classic Rock, he said he felt he was someone who could manage his compulsions but that others might have called him an addict. “I had a bash at doing a lot of coke, I must say,” he said, adding that he would sometimes do two or three grams a night. “I used to like doing coke, but then it went against me. It started making me feel worse rather than better. I got more paranoid. So I cut down and then I stopped.”
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