BlogApril 18, 2016 8:29 PM ET

Mike Rowe doesn't recognize James Hetfield, then calls him Lars Ulrich

TV personality Mike Rowe was recognized on the street by Metallica frontman James Hetfield over the weekend. Unfortunately, Rowe, who says he's a Metallica fan, had no idea who Hetfield was. Here's the exchange that took place, as documented by the embarrassed Rowe:

Exterior. Late morning. A large man with many tattoos and dark sunglasses walks across the street toward a table where Mike Rowe is dining al fresco and drinking mimosas.

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.

Mike Rowe: Sorry. You guys local?

Large Tattooed Man: I live around here, and Sophia's from Argentina.

Mike Rowe: That's nice. What part?

Sophia: Buneos 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.

Mike: 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

Despite Rowe's screw-up, Hetfield was pleasant:

"Thank you for being so gracious and saying such kind things about my foundation. I was very flattered. I also wish to apologize - not just for failing to recognize you - but for not recognizing you in front of your charming niece from Buenos Aries. It must have been very strange for her to watch her uncle - one of the greatest singers in the history of rock and roll - introduce himself to a guy with a psychopathic dog and no idea who he was. And it must have been especially gratifying for you, when I tried to recover by calling you Lars Ulrich - the first named that popped into my head when my synapses started firing off bad information.

"For what it's worth, I know that Metallica consists of several people who aren't Lars Ulrich, but earlier this week, someone told me Lars lived in the neighborhood, so his was the name that shot into my head when I finally realized I was talking to the lead singer of Metallica. Point is, I knew you weren't Lars before I called you Lars, but I called you Lars anyway - which brings me back to the aforementioned idiocy, and my own slow unraveling. Regardless, if we meet again, I'll get it straight. Promise.

"In the meantime, this will likely endure as my favorite botched encounter for a very long time."

You can read more here if you're interested.

UPDATE: Jame Hetfield has now issued this:

"No sweat, Mike Rowe, I was the one who was buggin' you. Looked like you and your loved ones were trying to have a quiet meal. Much respect to you and what you do... and I sure remember the hair of the dog days."


Post Comment
anonymous 4/18/2016 5:51:16 PM

listen to axis

anonymous 4/19/2016 9:25:23 AM

something about Mike Rowe has been in poop and something about metallica making poopy albums..

anonymous 4/19/2016 9:46:12 AM

I 100% second the Axis comment .

anonymous 4/19/2016 11:54:46 AM

a local band

anonymous 4/23/2016 11:47:55 PM

everybody knows Mike Rowe's got a big c-ck.