Skip to main content

Video: Metallica's James Hetfield Visits Guitar Center in San Francisco

Metallica's James Hetfield recently visited Guitar Center in San Francisco (where I tried out, and almost bought, a very nice Gretsch 6120 about 11 years ago).

The guitarist, who sat in the store's "little room," shared stories about his early fears, becoming a musician and rising to fame. He even played some guitar!

All the while, customers shopped in the store with no idea that a member of Metallica was supplying those loud riffs they heard in the background.

In the 13-minute clip, which you can check out below, Hetfield is playing his new ESP Iron Cross signature model in a lovely Snow White finish (Check out the NAMM photo gallery below, which includes photos of the ESP and LTD versions of this model).

For more about the ESP version of this guitar, which was introduced at the 2014 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, last month, visit

For more about ESP's new NAMM offerings, head here, and check out RELATED CONTENT to the left (under the photo of Hetfield).

Image 1 of 6

Image 2 of 6

Image 3 of 6

Image 4 of 6

Image 5 of 6

Image 6 of 6

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.