Hetfield’s attendance at the Petersen Automotive Museum reception was announced weeks earlier, and on Thursday the rocker showed up as scheduled at the “Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection” pre-opening ceremony, which was also attended by his Metallica bandmate Robert Trujillo, Blabbermouth reports.
The singer also participated in a Q&A at the event. “There’s no other place like this,” Hetfield 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.”
“Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection” opens to the public on February 1st. In addition to cars from Hetfield’s garage — like his 1953 Buick Skylark, a purple 1956 Ford F-100 pickup, and ” ’36 Ford in bare metal called Iron Fist” — the exhibit will also feature instruments and memorabilia from his personal collection. (There’s also a book out later this year.)
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In September 2019, Metallica canceled a planned tour of Australia and New Zealand so Hetfield could re-enter a rehabilitation center. “As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again,” Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo said in a statement at the time.
Metallica’s All Within My Hands benefit gig — the band’s first concert since Hetfield’s rehab return — is scheduled for March 28th. After that, Metallica have already booked a series of North American summer festival dates, including two-night headlining gigs at Epicenter in Charlotte, North Carolina; Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, Florida; Sonic Temple in Columbus, Ohio; Louder Than Life at Louisville, Kentucky; and Aftershock in Sacramento.