Pyro Tech recalls what caused James Hetfield’s 1992 burn accident


Metallica’s 1992 co-headlining tour with Guns N’ Roses was not without its share of chaos, especially the show at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium where James Hetfield suffered second-degree burns at the following a pyrotechnic accident. Pete Cappadocia, who worked as GN’R’s pyrotech on this tour, recalled what caused the Metallica frontman’s accident in a new interview on the Appetite for distortion podcast.

“So Metallica is playing and I’m sitting on a road deal because Guns N’ Roses is going to come on next, and I’m playing my GameBoy. I’m playing a game, and all of a sudden I hear this horrible noise of guitar. And everyone says, ‘James is hurt!’ So we all run to the stage,” said Cappadocia [via Ultimate Guitar].

“By the time I got there, the medical team was getting him out,” he continued. moved the monitors, they had moved a piece of pyro. And James walked to his seat.”

Apparently the rocker walked to his designated spot, and the pyro went off like it was supposed to, but then he took about half a step more and his arm went over it as he scooted around. ignited. Metallica, of course, ended their set early, and the singer was rushed to the hospital, where his clothes and wedding band were cut off to treat the injuries.

The guns took to the stage a few hours later than they were supposed to continue, which further aggravated the disappointed crowd. Apparently Axl Rose was suffering from damage to his vocal chords and felt he was going to make it worse if he continued the show – so they too cut their set early.

A riot ensued. He wasn’t the first of the rockers either.

Funny enough, Cappadocia had worked on pyrotechnics for both bands before, but Lars Ulrich wanted him to work only with Metallica on this tour. When it came time for him to choose which of the two he wanted to work with, Guns offered him more money, so he went with them. Ulrich was not happy. It had been an unfortunate hike from the start.

Listen to the full podcast episode below.

Pyro Tech recalls what caused James Hetfield’s 1992 burn accident

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