Kip Winger Reveals Metallica Member Apologized for ‘Dart Throwing’ Incident in ‘Nothing Else Matters’ Video
Back in January, Winger guitarist Reb Beach expressed how he felt that a pair of high profile digs led to the swift decline of his band's career in the '90s. He singled out the often ridiculed Beavis and Butt-head character Stewart and also Metallica's Lars Ulrich tossing darts at Kip Winger's poster in the "Nothing Else Matters" video as two very public jabs that had a direct impact on them. But in a new podcast appearance, Kip Winger reveals that one of the Metallica members reached out with an apology, though perhaps not the one you'd think.
Winger told the Appetite for Distortion podcast (as seen below) that Metallica's James Hetfield is the person who reached out over the slight. When asked if he ever found out the reasoning why Ulrich was throwing darts at his poster, he explained, "You can see a video on Howard Stern where he's going, 'Man, I threw darts at Kip, but it was nothing personal.' He's never apologized."
In the Howard Stern appearance that Winger is referencing, Lars told the SiriusXM host, "In the 'Nothing Else Matters' video, which was filmed at the studio while we were recording the Black Album, we had a dartboard... We'd get Creem magazine, Circus magazine, and we'd take posters of people who look particularly obnoxious and put them up on the board and throw darts at them. There's a shot in that video of me throwing darts at Kip Winger. To this day I apologize when it's brought up in interviews; it was nothing against Kip Winger personally."
Winger went on to add, "James Hetfield called me about a year and a half ago and apologized for the incident. James was really cool. James is the kind of guy I can totally be friends with. And he was very sincere; it wasn't like he just called to apologize and then blow me off. He's actually texted me a few times; we text every now and then. I don't think Lars would ever call me to apologize."
While speaking with the In the Trenches With Ryan Roxie podcast back in January, Reb Beach commented, "Metallica didn’t help with showing in their biggest video [in which] they throw darts at a poster of Kip Winger. They would show it at their live show, and my friend who went to see them said the entire arena laughed at that part of the video where Lars throws darts at Kip.”
Metallica, "Nothing Else Matters"
Beach went on to comment that after the two public slights, the group saw a significant drop off in their touring audience. “I sold all my guitars, 20 guitars," recalled Beach. "I just bought a house in Florida, sold that – I was only there for 10 months – moved back to Pittsburgh from Florida, which I wish I didn’t have to do. And that was a really rough time.”
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In his own reflection of that time, Winger told the Appetite for Distortion podcast, "I think everybody was just young kids, and they were thinking it was funny. To me, it's not funny to slag off a fellow musician. But who knows? They were just doing what they were doing. I don't know. I can't answer to that."
As for the Beavis and Butt-head slight, Winger says he found the humor in it. 'Beavis And Butt-Head was hysterical; it was really funny. I ended up on the wrong end of it. I think that's just gang mentality. Gang mentality — people wanna hide behind… And especially on the Internet, they can hide behind their keyboard and go, 'That guy sucks.' But if I was in the room with the guy, he'd be, like, 'Hey, man, how's it going?'"
He continued, "I just don't think it's a great practice to slag your fellow artists. Everybody has their opinion. There's bands that I don't like necessarily. But the point is that the older I get, the more I realize what goes into this stuff. So there isn't any band that I don't like where I can't appreciate what work they put into it. Because I don't care who you are, if you've taken the time to get your song on a record and put it out there and made a video, you worked hard on that. I don't care if it's good or bad to me — whatever; it doesn't matter — you put a lot of work into that, and I can respect that on every level."
Though Winger disbanded in 1994, they've reunited on multiple occasions and the band has actually recorded a new album, their first since 2014's Better Days Comin'. The record, titled Seven, is due May 5 through Frontiers Music Srl.