How Cliff Burton Made James Hetfield Pass Out

Iconic bands often weave humorous tales into the fabric of their legendary journeys, and Metallica, a heavy metal behemoth, is no exception. In a recent interview on Metal Mayhem ROC, Kirk Hammett, the renowned guitarist of Metallica, regaled the audience with a lighthearted anecdote from the band’s past.

Hammett fondly recalled a peculiar incident involving James Hetfield and a joint passed around by Cliff Burton:

“Remember that time we were all down in the kitchen, and Cliff was smoking a joint? He passed it around to everyone, including James. Next thing we knew, James passed out on the kitchen floor, and we couldn’t get him to move into the bedroom.”

The aftermath of this unconventional episode had its quirky details:

“We piled chairs on top of them, and later on, he woke up with this mark on his face. I asked, ‘What happened, man?’ He said, ‘Oh, I was using one of the armchairs as a pillow.’ I was like, ‘What!?'”

Injecting an extra layer of playfulness into the band’s camaraderie, Hammett shared a tradition where chairs would be stacked on someone who dozed off. He recounted a particularly amusing incident involving Lars Ulrich falling asleep, adorned with chairs and even a tomato slice on his ear, prompting a brief awakening before drifting off again.

“It was a thing we used to do a lot back then. Whenever someone passed out, we’d pile chairs on top of them. They wake up and try to sit up into a pile of chairs. The funniest thing. We’d just wait for that person to wake up, and it was always hilarious.”

While reflecting on the camaraderie within Metallica, Hammett provided humorous insights into their playful traditions. However, he also acknowledged the unique challenges of working with Hetfield in another interview, marveling at James’ ability to surprise everyone with extraordinary musical moments:

“I love James as a musician and as a brother, but it’s hard to be in a band with him. Sometimes he shows up and plays something like, ‘Where did that come from? I’ve never heard anyone play something like that.’ And it’s still coming.”

Despite the challenges, Hammett expressed deep admiration for Hetfield’s natural musical talent, recognizing his ability to effortlessly create complex guitar parts. The interplay of camaraderie and musical surprises undoubtedly contributes to the rich tapestry of Metallica’s legendary journey. Experience more of Kirk Hammett’s insights in the interview below:

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