Paramount+ released its new docuseries, ‘I Wanna Rock: The ’80s Metal Dream’ in July 2023. Within the series, Kip Winger gave insight into an old dispute between him and Metallica members.
The dispute started after the music video for Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ showed a brief part where Lars Ulrich was seen throwing darts at a poster of Winger. This part led to public backlash toward the singer, which affected his career during that period.
According to his words, he took years to recover from the incident’s effects. But later, things settled down:
“James Hetfield called me to apologize about a year and a half ago. He was really contrite and was like, ‘You know what? That was uncool. And I’m sorry we did that.’ It was a very nice conversation. It seemed that the guy was completely awesome, and I totally could be friends with him. But, you know… it was really Lars [who threw the dart]…”
Winger said Ulrich himself never apologized to him and commented on his actions in the 1991 music video by saying:
“It’s just not cool to diss musicians. Even with the most poppy musicians who people might hate, a lot goes into it, man. It’s a person’s whole life devoted to what they believe in. So, I don’t believe in slagging off fellow musicians. That’s basically it.”
In addition to Metallica’s video, MTV’s show, ‘Beavis & Butt-head,’ showed a nerdy character, Stewart, wearing a Winger t-shirt. This also affected the singer’s public image at the time, but he still made peace with the showrunners when:
“I had an email exchange with Mike Judge when they decided to remake ‘Beavis & Butt-Head.’ They wanted permission [to use the Winger name/logo on Stewart’s shirt] this time, which was very ironic because they didn’t ask my permission the first time — which was somewhat of an admission of guilt, really!”
Winger revealed how he reacted to the offer and went on:
“Well, I didn’t seize the moment because I’m not a vindictive person. … I found [Judge] on Facebook, and I private-messaged him and said, ‘Listen, I got a notice from MTV that you guys want to do this, but I’d like to talk to you.’ So, he was nice enough to email me, and we just discussed it. It wasn’t anything other than me trying to take the high ground, like, ‘Hey, I’m not gonna hate on you for life for this.’ And I did give them permission — and they paid me! I thought, ‘Well, f*** it. It would be weird not to be on there now, after all this time.’”
During his part in ‘I Wanna Rock: The ’80s Metal Dream,’ Kip Winger said that he was happy to make peace with Metallica and Mike Judge. On the other hand, the vocalist explained that he wouldn’t change a thing in the past because it ‘fueled his engines to not let [his career] end this way.’
You can check out his statements here and watch Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ in the video below.
- James Hetfield Had To Clean Up After Lars Ulrich, Kip Winger Explains
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