Metallica at almost 50

Who among us who grew up with Metallica ever thought we’d see the day when the members of the band were pushing fifty? 

Not that they, or we, wouldn’t make it to fifty, although they’ve sure partied like there was no tomorrow, (and so have a lot of fans), but when you’re in your teens, fifty seems so far away.

But as Blabbermouth reports, James Hetfield just celebrated his 49th birthday on tour, and it’s a trip to see him as a husband and dad, and sober, the last of which I never expected in a million years either.

In the birthday melee, Hetfield got pelted with pies and silly string on stage, which is often what happens on the road on your birthday when you’re in a band, and Metallica was also famous for pulling similar pranks on opening bands the last night of tour as well.


As we get older, time does indeed fly by, and it’s been quite a trip for me to write about the 25th anniversaries of Master of Puppets last year, and the 25 anniversary of Appetite For Destruction this year. I remembered being under the impression that when you get older you grow out of the music and movies you love as a kid, and thankfully this never happened to me.


Even in my twenties, I remember going to see Ozzy and seeing a lot of people in their forties with faded Ozzy For President shirts, and even though they’ve had to adapt to society by getting normal jobs, have families and the like, it was nice to see that your tastes in music don’t have to “mature” either if you still love it.

At the same time, you don’t like seeing what you loved as a kid becoming acceptable and respectable, but rock n roll’s been around so long now, it’s long outgrown it’s ability to shock or piss off your parents.


So indeed, by November 18, at least one member of Metallica, Kirk Hammett will be fifty, James and Lars will be there by next year, and like a metal Rolling Stones, why shouldn’t they keep doing it if they love it? 

While Death Magnetic wasn’t the second coming of Master of Puppets, to me it’s at least a step back in the right direction for the band. If they can follow up with something at least as good, forays into stuff like Lulu aside, I’ll be more than happy to see these middle aged guys keep going. Now try to imagine what they’re going to be like at 60 and 70…