An Evening with James Hetfield

I can cross something off my bucket list. I had the incredible opportunity to spend an evening with one of my childhood heroes… James Hetfield (lead singer of Metallica). On Thursday night we showed the documentary Absent and then had the producer, Justin Hunt (who goes to Central), and James here for a Q&A afterward. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a handful of people who’s work has influenced me and I’ve been super impressed with most of them but extremely disappointed in a few. As a result, I try not to expect much out of these experiences so I don’t walk away frustrated. I’m proud to say that James is a class act and blew me away. He is a living story of redemption and it is fascinating to hear him talk about how his life is being transformed. One of the coolest moments was when my Dad and I were able to tell James the story about one of the biggest arguments we ever had when I was growing up. When I was in Jr. High or so, I was big into Metallica’s music. My Dad told me that I needed to stop listening to it as it wouldn’t be good for me. I said that if he could ever trace bad behavior to their music then I would stop. He agreed (since he thought this was a totally lopsided bet). I never had to stop listening to their music.


Hearing my Dad tell that story to him was an unbelievable moment. Definitely one of my top 5 memories with my Dad. But James’ response blew me away. He seemed genuinely touched and stated that those kind of stories are why he was willing to do a documentary like this in the first place. It was an awesome evening and I’m sure we’ll be hearing about it for awhile to come. I even got to do an interview with ABC15 but I have no idea if they showed it.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.