Kirk Hammett


Some of the paint schemes found on Kirk Hammet & James Hetfields Guitars.

 

Name - Kirk Hammett
Instrument - Lead Guitars

Place of Birth - San Francisco, California

Date of Birth - November 18, 1962

Fav. Bands - Jimi Hendrix, UFO, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, John
Coltrane, Goul Mule, Chet Baker, Prez Prado, AIC, David Bowie, U2, King Crimson, Robert
Johnson

 

April 1, 1983, San Francisco, California. A phone rings; "Hi, Kirk? This is Metallica, we
just fired our lead guitar player, and we need a new one. Interested?"

Things didn't exactly happen quite that way, but Kirk did play his first show with
Metallica
fifteen days later in New Jersey. Metallica's then road manager, Mark Whittaker, once
managed
Kirk's band Exodus. When it became time to switch lead players, Mark was quick to suggest
Kirk.

Hammett's playing brought Metallica into an era of more melodic and controlled guitar
work.
He's been in the band ever since that day in 1983, which surprisingly was less then a
month after
he and his former band, Exodus opened for Metallica.

Kirk grew up in the Bay area town of El Sobrante and began playing guitar at age 15. His
first guitar
was a Montgomery Ward catalog special and his first amp a shoe box with a 4 inch speaker.
A few
years later Kirk "graduated" to a 1978 Fender Stratocaster. Always searching for his
sound, Kirk
managed to "Frankenstein" the guitar with different pick up and amp combinations.
Eventually he
traded up to a 1974 Gibson Flying V (just like Michael Schenker's!) That Flying V is
still part of
Kirk's collection, and still pops up on Metallica's albums.

With his new Flying V, Kirk started playing with other people. This led to a whole other
problem:
money. A short stint working at Burger King fixed that as it earned him enough cash to
buy his first
Marshall amp. Around that time, Kirk co-founded Exodus with Paul Baloff. They were the
support
act for Metallica twice: on November 29, 1982 and March 5, 1983.

After the call from Metallica, Kirk scraped up enough money for a flight to the east
coast. He found
himself outside his native California for the first time, on the other side of the
country and in a new
band. Oddly enough, the band never really asked Kirk to join, it wasn't until the
recording of Kill
'Em All that he felt confident he was in. After Kill 'Em All and the tour that followed,
he took lessons
from Joe Satriani and learned the virtues of jazz, blues, classical and Hendrix.

Currently, Kirk can be found in the Bay area, with his wife Lani and dog Darla.

 

All Celebrity Tribute Pages