In a brand new interview with METALLICA’s fan club magazine So What!, James Hetfield spoke about catching a concert by IRON MAIDEN while his band was basing itself in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during a recent leg of its “WorldWired” North American tour.
He said: “Well, obviously hanging out with the MAIDEN guys always brings back great memories. I mean, it’s just weird to remember, you know, 1981 possibly? Hanging out in Hollywood, California, driving around with Ron McGovney [original METALLICA bassist], me and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] in the backseat, and seeing Steve Harris [IRON MAIDEN bassist] walk down the street and us, you know, dorky, shy metalheads [shouting], ‘Hey, Steve!’ And he actually turns around and starts walking towards us with a [‘okay, who said that? kind of] thing. That was, like, our first brush with somebody kinda cool and famous, so that always stuck with me. Yeah, Steve Harris, a super-down-to-earth, really cool guy. And nothing has changed. I mean, he showed up at the show that we did [in Québec City].”
He continued: “It’s really cool when other musicians are hanging out, watching you do what you do. It takes to another level. You’ve gotta kind of go to Olympic mode — you step it up. Our setlist was at least five minutes faster, the set time. Lars was so nervous: ‘Oh, my God! Steve Harris is watching me!’ [I was even a bit], ‘Does this part sound too much like IRON MAIDEN?’
“Usually halfway through the show, you figure, ‘Okay, he’s gone and he’s moved on to the next thing,’ but no — for the whole show [Steve] was standing there; the whole show, to the very end. And not only was he there the whole time, he got in the vehicles with us [laughs], came to the hotel with us. [Just a] super-cool guy. And then we got to go see them a couple of days later. And likewise, [MAIDEN was] super hospitable there.”