James Hetfield is not a happy camper. The Metallica frontman was visibly upset after his band’s highly publicized performance with Lady Gaga at the 59th Grammy Awards went awry.
James Hetfield is known for his powerful rock ‘n’ roll voice, but unfortunately, someone forgot to turn the power to his microphone on when it was time for Metallica to perform their song “Moth into Flame” with Gaga. Hetfield’s mic didn’t kick in until midway through the song, so the rocker was forced to share a mic with Gaga during their duet. While James Hetfield’s microphone glitch appeared to be taken care of by the second verse of the song, the damage was done.
According to JustJared, immediately after the disastrous performance, an angry James Hetfield kicked his microphone stand and threw his white electric guitar at his tech, who was standing backstage. You can see James Hetfield angrily hurling his guitar below.
Unfortunately, James Hetfield and Metallica were off to a bad start from the get-go at this year’s Grammys. Actress Laverne Cox screwed up her introduction of the performance and only announced Lady Gaga’s name while completely leaving the hard rock band out of the intro. Cox later apologized for the flub.
Of course, even before James Hetfield’s microphone mishap, some Metallica fans were unhappy that the hard rockers were sharing a stage with Lady Gaga. James Hetfield really doesn’t need to share vocal duties with anyone, and the hashtag #MetalliGa did not please diehard Metallica fans. On the flip side, some of Gaga’s fans thought the Mother Monster saved the day when Hetfield’s microphone went silent.
#GRAMMYs i knew Metallica sold out long ago.....but my sweet lord that was awful. Almost as bad as beyonce.....almost!— Chris Mitchem (@wvkiller64) February 13, 2017
James' mic going out sucked, but I still can't get past @Metallica played THEIR song & it was THEIR spot, & they didn't get an intro!?! WTF!— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) February 13, 2017
I can't believe Lady Gaga just singlehandedly saved Metallica #GRAMMYs— findawaytoshine???? (@twistermelody) February 13, 2017
James Hetfield is pissed! But Gaga saved the performance! Loved it! #GRAMMYs— Sean Green (@green9944) February 13, 2017
James Hetfield’s mic glitch put a major damper on his band’s initial excitement over their fourth invite to perform at the high-profile music awards show. Last month, Blabbermouth.net posted a statement from James and the band in which they revealed they were “honored” to be nominated in the “Best Rock Song” category for the song “Hardwired” from their Hardwired…To Self Destruct album. The band went on to say they were “thrilled” to be asked back to the Grammys stage three years after performing their song “One” with world-renowned Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.
“We have something very unique and special planned for this celebratory night, so tune in to watch…” Metallica teased.
It was later announced that Lady Gaga would perform with Hetfield and the band at the 59th Grammy Awards.
While not everyone was a fan of James Hetfield swapping vocals with a pop superstar, Lady Gaga recently praised Metallica—and the band’s live shows, in particular—during an appearance on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music radio show. Gaga said she recently saw Metallica play live and that Hetfield and the band were sounding better than ever.
But James Hetfield is a notorious perfectionist, so it’s no wonder he took the Grammys glitch so hard. According to Loudwire, Hetfield previously used Metallica’s fan club magazine to address his band’s need to succeed.
“We’re perfectionists,” James admitted. We’re really extremely self-critical. It’s gotten us to where we are, but it’s also the curse. When something doesn’t go right, I come down so hard on myself.”
Incidentally, James Hetfield wasn’t the only Grammys performer who had issues at this year’s show. An emotional Adele, whose performance last year was marred by technical difficulties, stopped her tribute to George Michael mid-performance and asked to start over.
And in another bizarre screw-up in involving Hetfield’s band, Metallica’s song “Master of Puppets” played loud and clear when rocker Dave Mustaine went onstage to accept Megadeth’s first-ever Grammy Award.
Take a look at the video below to see James Hetfield’s ill-fated Grammys duet with Gaga.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS]