Former Metallica bassist Ron McGovney sent a message of support to James Hetfield after it was announced the frontman had returned to rehab.

The band canceled its tour of Australia and New Zealand after announcing that Hetfield was undergoing treatment for the addiction issues he’s fought for many years.

“James Hetfield has been a friend of mine long before Metallica,” McGovney wrote in a tweet. “I always looked up to him as a musician even when we were in high school. If he needs anything, he has my number. I have been sober for two years. It’s not easy. I’m with you big guy.”

Guitarist Kirk Hammett acknowledged the outpouring of sympathy received after the announcement. “Sending thanks to all of you out there sending your support to us,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum tweeted his own message to Hetfield, saying, “Take care of yourself, my friend. You are a human being like everyone else that has real struggles. The disease of alcoholism doesn't discriminate. You are very strong to take the steps needed to be healthy and happy. The rest can wait.”

Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta credited Hetfield for having inspired him to deal with his own addiction issues. “Meeting James … and speaking with him about my drinking problem was very eye-opening, because this is a guy who is in one of the biggest bands in the world with so much pressure on him,” he wrote. "He really made me think if he could quit, so could I.”

He added that "if you or anyone you know may be going through something similar, maybe James having the courage to confront his demons again can be the compass to point you in the right direction. No amount of booze, drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc. will fill the hole inside that is eating at you and growing. Get help. Go to a meeting, look up free resources online. Take a step away from the dark river and don't look back.”

Slipknot, who were set to open for Metallica on the Australian and New Zealand tour, offered their own message of support on Twitter: "Of course, are thoughts are with James and Metallica. We wish them nothing but the best."

 

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