Mike Rowe’s Story About Meeting Metallica’s James Hetfield Is Just Cringeworthy

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Mike Rowe seems like a good dude. The host of Dirty Jobs frequently made a compelling case for why you should buy a Ford and homeboy never met an old, beat up baseball hat he didn’t want to wear. Basically, Rowe seems like a perfectly normal, hard-working American dude.

Until we learned about this story where MIKE ROWE DIDN’T KNOW WHO JAMES HETFIELD WAS!

Sorry. Got a little fired up. Let’s back it up a bit.

Rowe recently took to Facebook to do a little bit of social media over-sharing — something your mother or aunt do on a regular basis. The famous handyman decided to tell a funny little story about the time he met Hetfield and gasp, didn’t recognize the Metallica singer and guitarist. It should be pointed out that Mike Rowe is not your mother or your aunt and fears of generalizing someone aside, you would expect a man like Rowe to recognize Hetfield. He didn’t, though.

Here is Rowe’s play-by-play account of the encounter:

Large Tattooed Man: Sorry to interrupt, you’re Mike Rowe, right?
Mike Rowe: I’m him.
Large Tattooed Man: I just wanted to tell you I enjoy your shows, and really appreciate what you’re doing for the skilled trades.
Freddy: bark-bark-bark, snap-growl-snap, bark-bark-bark!!!
Mike Rowe: Freddy, knock it off. Bad dog! Sorry. You guys local?
Large Tattooed Man: I live around here, and Sophia’s from Argentina.
Freddy: bark-bark-bark, snarl-growl-snap!!
Mike Rowe: That’s nice. What part?
Sophia: Buenos Aries.
Mike: I was there a few years ago. Beautiful place.
Sophia: It is.
Mike Rowe: So what do you do around here?
Large Tattooed Man: I play in a local band.
Mike Rowe: Cool! I love local bands. What kind of music?
Large Tattooed Man: Rock and roll.
Mike Rowe: Nice. What do you call yourselves?
Large Tattooed Man: Metallica.
Freddy: bark-bark-bark, snap-growl-snap, woof.
Mike Rowe: Oh my God. Of course. You’re Lars Ulrich. Forgive me. I heard you lived around here. What a pleasure to meet you.
Large Tattooed Man: Actually, my name is James. James Hetfield.

Lars? You thought James Hetfield was Lars…like, Lars, Metallica’s slightly obnoxious drummer who stands way more than any drummer ever should and has a thing for obscure films? Dude, Mike Rowe, I’m going to be frank here: how could you?

There’s Lars:

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And there’s James:

The Big 4 - Metallica. Slayer. Megadeth. Anthrax.
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Mike Rowe, they look nothing alike and I repeat: how could you, sir? And based on his own words, it’s not as if Rowe is a stranger to Metallica’s music. He claims Metallica is a band who “have entertained me for the last 35 years” and whose songs he claims to have memorized.

Rowe’s reason for this embarrassing brain fart? Mimosas. Yeah, day drinking.

We’ve all had a few too many with a side of eggs before, but what is this, Amateur hour? For what it’s worth, he copped to feeling like an “idiot” for the mix-up and seemed pretty mortified in his note. So we can forgive you… this time.


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