Ron McGovney, the short-term former Metallica bassist, recently responded to a tweet considering a hit Metallica song and referred to the role that James Hetfield played during its recording.
As you probably know, Ron McGovney was Metallica’s bassist from October 1981 until December 1982 and his history with the band is rather tumultuous. Ron was actually James Hetfield’s childhood friend and it can be said that they started their music career together by forming Leather Charm.
Some months later Metallica would be founded by Hetfield and Lars Ulrich with the addition of McGovney and later Dave Mustaine. The band would rehearse in McGovney’s parents’ property and record songs in his garage. However, soon tensions grew between McGovney, Ulrich, and Mustaine, and eventually, McGovney left the band.
In later interviews, Ron stated that the reason he left was because he felt that he was used for his connections as an amateur photographer and his role in the band was to provide financial support and transportation. As he felt that he was not a respected band member, McGovney decided that the best would be for him to leave.
After he left Metallica, he was replaced by Cliff Burton but this didn’t mean that he lost his fame or that it was forgotten that he was a member of the legendary band Metallica. McGovney still receives numerous questions about the band and their interesting history.
Recently, a follower asked Ron McGovney an ‘important question’ about the first version of ‘Hit the Lights‘ in which was featured on the first pressing of the ‘Metal Massacre.’ He was asked who recorded the song’s first version, and whether it was only James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
McGovney responded by saying that while Lars was on the drums, Hetfield did the vocals and played the guitar and bass. He added that even though Lloyd Grant was on the lead guitar, he was never a member of the band.
Additionally, McGovney stated that Dave Mustaine had joined the band around the time that the song was recorded and that he ‘may have done the first lead.’Ron ended his response by saying that he doesn’t remember exactly as he ‘was at work.’
Here’s what a Twitter user asked Ron McGovney:
“A very important question, maybe you have answered it many times: Who really recorded the first version of ‘Hit the Lights,’ the one appearing on the first pressing of Metal Massacre (the one with Metallica error)? Was it just Lars and James?”
To which Ron McGovney responded:
“Lars on drums, James on vocals, guitar, and bass. Lloyd Grant on lead guitar. Note: Lloyd was brought in to do the leads. He was never a member of the band. Dave joined about the same time the tape was recorded. He may have done the first lead. I don’t remember. I was at work.”
You can check out the tweet posted by Ron McGovney below.
Lars on drums , James on vocals , guitar , bass. Lloyd Grant on lead guitar. Note: Lloyd was brought in to do the leads. He was never a member of the band. Dave joined about the same time the tape was recorded. He may have done the first lead. I don't remember. I was at work.
— Ron McGovney (@RonMcGovney) December 12, 2020