Why Hetfield is a Rockstar for Rehab-ing It
Yesterday, an official letter from Lars, Kirk, and Rob was posted to the Metallica website. News became viral that the band is postponing an upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand so that legendary rocker and vocalist James Hetfield can seek treatment for some current struggles with addiction.
For so many reasons, Hetfield is even more of the ultimate rockstar. I was pleasantly surprised reading comments on Metallica’s post as well, seeing fans praise the rocker for getting help and sending well-wishes.
It’s not easy to get sober. As someone in recovery for over six years now, I know. I’ve previously blogged about the influence music and rockers had on me when I was getting my life together. The likes of Nikki Sixx posting about his struggles gave me hope. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in a world that I loved saved me. So if I were to be face-to-face with James Hetfield today, here’s what I would say:
Thank you for rocking. Thank you for the music. And thank you for getting help. It’s not easy to care for yourself with the pressure of millions of eyes watching you. With band dynamics, financial stressors and implications, and more. But the right decision is not always the easy decision. When I saw you in concert a few years ago at MetLife Stadium, you said “it’s good to be needed”.
You are needed. For more than just music. The example you’re setting by getting help on a public level is a message of hope to addicts everywhere. It’s a message that no-one is above assistance. That it’s ok to be vulnerable. If one of the most bada** rockstars isn’t above getting help, why should we be.
Your message is needed as much as your music. In a world where society is on the verge of being crippled by addiction, and stigmas run rampant, you’re making it OK. Just by the public statement of ‘hey, I need to care for myself before anything’.
The rock world needs more Metallica, just like society needs more people like you. The biggest failure would be in not trying to better ourselves, but getting help to rock in the future- now that completely makes you a true rockstar.
Here’s to taking some time to focus on you, away from the millions of eyes, and to seeing Metallica rock again on stage one day!