James Hetfield gets emotional onstage after feeling “insecure” about his guitar playing

James Hetfield
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Regardless of success or skill level, guitarists are all prone to insecurity at times. James Hetfield, for example, one of the most accomplished rhythm players in history – recently voted by Guitar World readers as the second best rhythm guitarist of all time – admitted that he was feeling “a little insecure” about his playing before performing in Belo Horizonte on Thursday night.

Speaking to the 60,000-strong crowd after finishing ...And Justice For All classic One, Hetfield revealed that he felt like “an old guy”, and that he “can't play anymore”, adding that it was all “bullshit that I tell myself in my head”.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.