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James Hetfield took to Metallica’s social media channels to pen a personal tribute to composer Ennio Morricone, who passed away at 91.

Morricone’s “The Ecstasy Of Gold” from the 1966 film The Good, The Bad And The Ugly has famously served as the opener/entrance music for Metallica since 1983 as they take to the stage before a concert.

Hetfield wrote, “The day we first played ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ as our new intro in 1983 it was magic! It has become apart of our blood flow, deep breathing, fist bumping, prayers and band huddle pre-show ritual ever since. I have sang that melody thousands of times to warm up my throat before hitting the stage.”

Hetfield continued, “Thank you Ennio for pumping us up, being a big part of our inspiration, and a bonding between band, crew, and fan. I will forever think of you as part of the Metallica family.”

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.