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James Hetfield Celebrates 54th Birthday - Tribute Available!

Today in 1963, James Alan Hetfield from Metallica was born in Downey, California. His father (Virgil) was a truck driver and his mother (Cynthia) was a light opera singer. Hetfield's parents divorced in 1976 when he was only 13 years old. His parents were very strict Christian Scientists, and in accordance with their beliefs they strongly disapproved of medicine or any other medical treatment and remained loyal to their faith even as Cynthia was dying from cancer. This upbringing became the inspiration for many of Hetfield's lyrics later in his career with Metallica, such as songs like "The God That Failed".

Hetfield was nine years old when started taking piano lessons. From there he took on his brother David's drums and at the age of fourteen he picked up the guitar with Robert Okner.

Here are some more cool facts about Hetfield:

- He is of German, English, Irish and Scottish descent.

- Hetfield has two older half-brothers from his mother's first marriage and one younger sister.

- Metallica's voice went to Downey High School for his freshman and sophomore years. Hetfield graduated from Orange County's Brea Olinda High School in 1981.

- Together with Lars Ulrich, he founded Metallica in October of 1981 after answering a classified advertisement that Ulrich placed in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler.

- Before Metallica, he was a member of Leather Charm and Obsession.

- Aerosmith was his main musical influence as a child, and are to blame as the reason he wanted to play guitar. He also counts Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent and Deep Purple as very important musical influences.

- For years now, Hetfield has been considered one of the best vocalists in all of Heavy Metal. He is also on plenty of lists when it comes to his guitar playing abilities.

- He loves customizing cars, which is why he curates an annual car show for Metallica's "Orion Music + More".

- When he is not with Metallica, Hetfield loves hunting, skateboarding, snowboarding, water and jet-skiing; sketching, working in his garage customizing cars and motorcycles, watching his favorite football team the Oakland Raiders, and going to hot-rod shows.

- Hetfield is also a member of the National Rifle Association.

Please raise your horns and wish "Papa Het" a very HEAVY BIRTHDAY! \m/



Photo by: Photo Terco (see more METALLICA pictures at THIS LINK!

Related links:
Metallica.com