Kirk Hammett

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Kirk Hammett
Kirk Hammett by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kirk Hammett speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, held in San Diego, California.
Background information
Birth nameKirk Lee Hammett
Born (1962-11-18) November 18, 1962 (age 56)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, author
Years active1979–present
Labels Warner Bros., Elektra, Vertigo, Megaforce
Associated acts Metallica, Exodus, Spastik Children

Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone 's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. [1] In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. [2] [3] [4]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Exodus (American band) American thrash metal band

Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. They have gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.


Early life

Hammett was born on November 18, 1962 in San Francisco, and raised in the town of El Sobrante, California. He is the son of Teofila "Chefela" (née Oyao) and Dennis L. Hammett (a Merchant Marine). [5] His mother is of Filipino descent and his father was of English, German, Scottish and Irish ancestry. [6] He attended De Anza High School in Richmond, California. While attending De Anza High School, he met Les Claypool of Primus, and they remain close friends.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

El Sobrante, California Census-designated place in California, United States

El Sobrante is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 12,669 at the 2010 census.

United States Merchant Marine U.S. civilian mariners

The United States Merchant Marine refers to either United States civilian mariners, or to U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners and the merchant vessels are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, and engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine primarily transports cargo and passengers during peacetime; in times of war, the Merchant Marine can be an auxiliary to the United States Navy, and can be called upon to deliver military personnel and materiel for the military. Merchant Marine officers may also be commissioned as military officers by the Department of Defense. This is commonly achieved by commissioning unlimited tonnage Merchant Marine officers as Strategic Sealift Officers in the Naval Reserves.

Hammett has a well-known passion for horror movies; that stretches back to the late Sixties. After spraining his arm in a fight with his sister at the age of five, Hammett's parents placed him in front of the television. It was during this time that he first watched The Day of the Triffids . After that, Hammett found himself drawn to his brother's Frankenstein figures, and it wasn't long before he was spending his milk money on horror magazines. For the better part of the next decade, Hammett dove deep into the horror scene. [7]

<i>The Day of the Triffids</i> (film) 1962 film by Steve Sekely, Freddie Francis

The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British science fiction film in CinemaScope and Eastmancolor, produced by George Pitcher and Philip Yordan, and directed by Steve Sekely. It stars Howard Keel and Nicole Maurey, and is based on the 1951 novel of the same name by John Wyndham. The film was released in the U.K. by the Rank Organisation and in the U.S. by Allied Artists.

Frankensteins monster fictional character created by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein's monster, often erroneously referred to as "Frankenstein", is a fictional character who first appeared in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley's title thus compares the monster's creator, Victor Frankenstein, to the mythological character Prometheus, who fashioned humans out of clay and gave them fire.

Hammett began showing an interest in music after listening to his brother Rick's extensive record collection (which included Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and UFO). [8] It was then that Hammett's whole life shifted and he stopped collecting horror magazines, and began selling his magazines to buy music records. [7] This all led him to properly picking up the guitar at the age of fifteen. Hammett's first guitar was (in his own words) a "wholly unglamorous" Montgomery Ward catalog special, which was accompanied by a shoebox (with a 4-inch speaker) for an amp. [8] After purchasing a 1978 Fender Stratocaster copy, Hammett attempted to customize his sound with various guitar parts, before eventually buying a 1974 Gibson Flying V. Hammett also took a job at Burger King as a youth, which he quit as soon as he had saved enough money to purchase a Marshall amplifier.[ citation needed ]

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Led Zeppelin English rock band

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia, and folk music.

UFO (band) English heavy metal band

UFO are an English rock band that was formed in London in 1968. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal. The band's current lineup includes vocalist Phil Mogg, lead guitarist Vinnie Moore, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, and drummer Andy Parker. They have gone through several line-up changes, leaving Mogg as the only constant member, and had two hiatuses. The band are also notable for featuring former Scorpions guitarist and MSG founder Michael Schenker, who was a member of UFO from 1973 to 1978 and again, occasionally, between 1993 and 2003, when Moore replaced him. In May 2018, Mogg announced that he will retire from UFO after one last tour as a member of the band in 2019.


Exodus (1979–1983)

Hammett's musical interests eventually drew him into the fledgling thrash metal genre. In 1979, he formed the band Exodus at the age of sixteen, [9] along with vocalist Paul Baloff, guitarist Gary Holt, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting. Hammett named Exodus after the Leon Uris novel of the same name, [10] and played on the band's 1982 Demo . Exodus was an influential band in the Bay Area thrash movement.

Paul Baloff American musician

Paul Baloff was an American singer, most notable for his time in thrash metal band Exodus.

Gary Holt (musician) American guitarist

Gary Wayne Holt is an American guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a guitarist, the bandleader, and the main songwriter for the American thrash metal band Exodus and is also a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer, in which he took over duties for original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in 2013.

Tom Hunting American musician

Thomas "Tom" Hunting is an American drummer, famous for his work with the band Exodus. He played on their first three albums, Bonded by Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh, and Fabulous Disaster. Hunting later left the band due to illness in 1989 and was replaced by John Tempesta.

Metallica (1983–present)

In May 1983, Metallica traveled to Rochester, New York to record its debut album, Metal Up Your Ass. [11] Due to the lead guitarist's (Dave Mustaine) substance abuse and violent tendencies, he was fired from the band, and would eventually form the band Megadeth. [12] Hammett received a phone call from Metallica the same afternoon. Even though he had never left California before, Hammett gathered some money together and flew out to New York for an audition. According to James Hetfield: - "The first song we played was "Seek and Destroy", and Kirk pulled off this solo, and it was like ... things are going to be alright!"; so Kirk was instantly asked to join the band. [8] All of this happened prior to the recording of Kill 'Em All . At the time, Hammett was taking private lessons from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. He was also still a member of Exodus at the time he was offered to join Metallica, and although the offer may have come as a surprise to him, he was already well acquainted with Metallica. [13] While in Exodus, Hammett had shared the stage with Metallica on more than one occasion. [13]

Rochester, New York City in New York, United States

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

Dave Mustaine American musician

David Scott Mustaine is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter of the American heavy metal band Megadeth, as well as the original lead guitarist of the American band Metallica.

Megadeth American Thrash Metal band

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the "Big Four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.

Hammett performing live in Mexico in 2010 Kirk2010.jpg
Hammett performing live in Mexico in 2010

Hammett has written a number of riffs for Metallica since Ride the Lightning (the band's second album). One of his riffs was used on "Enter Sandman" - which went on to become one of Metallica's most popular songs. It was the first track and the first single on the band's self-titled album Metallica (also known as The Black Album ), and was ranked 399th on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [14] The bridge for "Creeping Death" was originally an Exodus riff that Hammett took with him to Metallica.

In 1986, during the band's European leg of their tour to support Master of Puppets , Hammett and bassist Cliff Burton had a dispute over sleeping arrangements on the band's tour bus. The outcome of the dispute was decided by a card draw, which Burton won by picking the Ace of Spades. Once the draw was completed, Burton looked at Hammett and said "I want your bunk", to which Hammett complied, saying that he might be able to sleep better in the front of the bus anyway. In the early hours of the following morning, Metallica's tour bus slid off the road and overturned in Sweden. Burton was thrown through the window of the bus, which fell on top of Burton and subsequently killed him. [15] Hammett has stated in an interview that he once thought that it easily could've been him who was killed instead, since Burton was sleeping in what was considered to be Hammett's bunk. In Kirk's own words "You know to this day I just think, it could have been me or it couldn't have been me but ... its never left me to this day."

Between the end of touring (and promoting) the Black Album and the start of touring in promotion of Load , he studied at San Francisco State University, focusing on Film and Asian arts. [16] Hammett went through a "blues period" around this time - which had some influence on Metallica's Load and Reload albums. [17] He also began listening to a lot of jazz music. Hammett described this period of his life as "great education", because he was able to discover where all of his own rock influences had gotten their own guitar licks. [17] However, even though jazz music had a profound effect on his improvisation skills and solos, Hammett felt that he was delving too deep into the genre. Since Death Magnetic , Hammett has gone back to being "primarily" a metal guitarist, [17] but some of his experiences of jazz and blues music still remain. [17]

Kirk Hammett performing live with Metallica at San Antonio, Texas in 2017 Kirk Hammett 2017.jpg
Kirk Hammett performing live with Metallica at San Antonio, Texas in 2017

Hammett wanted to have guitar solos on Metallica's 2003 album, St. Anger , but drummer Lars Ulrich and producer Bob Rock thought that the solos did not sound right in the songs. He later admitted himself, "We tried to put in solos but they sounded like an afterthought so we left them out". [18] Recording for St. Anger was halted in 2001; so that Metallica front-man James Hetfield could enter rehab for alcohol abuse. [19] Due to tensions within the band (which were well-documented in the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster) at the time, Hammett expressed interest in working on a solo album. [20] According to Hammett, if he ever worked on a solo album, it wouldn't be "super-duty" heavy metal, [21] and may include some classical guitarists. [21] When he was asked about his experiences of recording St. Anger, Hammett said:

Honestly, I was ready to start working on a solo album. I had a bunch of music I was sitting on. I was going to ask Lars [Metallica's drummer] to play drums on it. [20]

On April 4, 2009, Hammett, along with Metallica bandmates Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Robert Trujillo and former Metallica bandmates Jason Newsted and the deceased Cliff Burton, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, Hammett provided the foreword to British author Joel McIver's book To Live Is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton. [22]

In April, 2015, Hammett admitted to losing his phone - which contained 250 new "ideas" for Metallica's upcoming studio release. [23] [24] The incident happened about six months prior to the admission (around November 2014). [24] The phone wasn't backed up and Hammett can only remember eight out of the 250 "ideas" he had. [24] On the subject, Hammett said:

For me, music comes at all times of the day. When I get a riff, sometimes it's a complete riff and I can just play it and there it is, sometimes it's half a riff and I have to tweak it. Sometimes it's just a rhythm or a note selection. Or sometimes it's just something that I hum in my head. But it can come from anywhere, and I put it on my phone, and I make sure the phone is fucking backed up. [24]

Other appearances

He also appeared on the Kichigai E.P. by punk band Septic Death. He played additional lead guitar on the title track.

Hammett can be seen in the background in Primus' "John the Fisherman" video fishing off of Les Claypool's boat. Hammett has been friends with Primus bassist and lead vocalist Les Claypool since childhood. Claypool even auditioned for Metallica after the tragic death of Cliff Burton. [25]

Hammett played guitar on the track "Satan" with Orbital for the Spawn: The Album soundtrack released in July 1997.

Hammett plays a guitar solo on Pansy Division's song Headbanger which appears on the ep "For Those About to Suck Cock" Lookout Records 1996 [26]

In 2005, Hammett was featured playing the guitar roles on the Carlos Santana track "Trinity" alongside steel-pedal guitarist, Robert Randolph. Santana personally asked Hammett to contribute to his then-upcoming album All That I Am. [27] Hammett previously worked with Santana in 2001 at a live show benefit in San Francisco. [27] Metallica had also invited Santana into the studio while recording St. Anger. [27]

In 2006, Hammett voiced himself on The Simpsons ("The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer"). He also provided various voices on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse , including a two fingered fan ("The Curse of Dethklok"), The Queen of Denmark ("Happy Dethday"), and a Finnish barkeep ("Dethtroll").

Hammett also appeared as a guest in an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast titled "Jacksonville", alongside fellow Metallica member James Hetfield.

He appeared as a guest guitarist on K'Naan's 2006 song "If Rap Gets Jealous" off of the Troubadour album. [28]

After performing a set with Metallica at Bonnaroo in June 2008, Hammett played one song with My Morning Jacket and a couple songs with the annual Superjam collaboration, which also included Les Claypool and members of Gogol Bordello playing primarily Tom Waits songs.

Hammett is one of the main characters in Guitar Hero: Metallica , along with the rest of the current line-up of Metallica.

In 2010, Hammett played with Nicolas Abou Chedid on Chedid's solo album.

In 2011, Hammett appeared in an episode of Jon Benjamin Has a Van as an actor and guitarist.


On October 1, 2012, Abrams Image published Hammett's first book, Too Much Horror Business (a collection of photos detailing Hammett's lifelong love of monster movies and horror memorabilia). [29] Hammett has said that the book is "basically" all of the horror memorabilia he has managed to amass over the last 30 years. In an interview with Guitar World , Hammett said that he has such a huge horror collection and thought it was the right time to share it with everyone. [30] The 228 page hardcover features more than 300 images of Hammett's horror collection. Among these images are the costumes from the Bela Lugosi movies White Zombie and The Black Cat (which also starred Boris Karloff), original movie posters (ranging from Nosferatu to Hellraiser ), rare horror-themed toys (including the 'Great Garloo' and 'Frankenstein Tricky Walkers'), movie props (including the 'Dr. Tongue' zombie from George Romero's Day of the Dead , original Basil Gogos 'Famous Monsters', and fantasy paintings by the late Frank Frazetta. [30] In addition to the images from Hammett's horror collection, Too Much Horror Business contains three conversations with the guitarist about his childhood, the nature of his horror collection, and the connection between Metallica's music and horror movies. [7] On the book, Hammett has been quoted saying:

This is my gift to all the other horror nerds out there who are just like me. It's (the book) been made with great love for all the many characters and movies which guided me through childhood, into adulthood and which still keep me on track today. [30]

Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil

Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil is an annual horror convention created by Kirk Hammett. The first annual Fear FestEvil took place at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco - over a three-day period (from February 6–8, 2014). Hammett was inspired to create his own horror convention after experiencing the enjoyment of making his "crypt" at the Orion Music + More" festival. [31] The convention features live music, signings, interactive displays, vending, live talks, and guest appearances. [32] At the 2014 event, guests included Sara Karloff (daughter of actor Boris Karloff), Bela G. Lugosi (son of actor Bela Lugosi), [33] make-up artist Gregory Nicotero (who worked on George A. Romero's Day of the Dead), actor Tom Savini (who portrayed Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn and worked on many of George A. Romero's movies), [32] Heather Langenkamp (who portrayed Nancy in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street), [34] Kane Hodder (who portrayed Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th film series), and Haruo Nakajima (of Godzilla fame). [35] Other guests in attendance included Hammett's former band Exodus, Death Angel, Orchid, [31] Metallica band member Robert Trujillo, Richard Christy, Stephen Perkins, [36] Slash, and Scott Ian. [32] Exodus played on-stage with Carcass on the Friday, whilst Death Division and Orchid played before Death Angel on the Saturday. [35] Hammett joined Exodus and Death Angel on-stage for their encores. [35]

The second annual Fear FestEvil took place between April 10–12, 2015, at the Rockbar Theater in San Jose, California. [37] Meshuggah headlined the event, whilst High on Fire, Blues Pills, Agnostic Front, and Asada Messiah also made appearances. Orchid also made a second appearance at the Fear FestEvil. [37] On April 10, VIP's were able to attend the Dinner and Murder Mystery - along with Hammett - at the Winchester Mystery House. [37]

Personal life

Hammett has been married twice. His first marriage to Rebecca lasted three years, having ended in 1990, during the recording of The Black Album. Hammett has been married to his second wife Lani since 1998. They have two sons, Angel (b. September 29, 2006), and Vincenzo (b. June 28, 2008). He and his family reside in his hometown of San Francisco. [38]

In addition to playing guitar and collecting horror memorabilia, Hammett's hobbies include reading comic books and surfing. [39]

Substance abuse

At one point in his life, Hammett spent a "lot of money" on drugs. [40] [41] Hammett has said that he used drugs because he thought they would be fun. During the Damaged Justice tour, he had a cocaine addiction. Hammett eventually pulled out of the addiction because cocaine made him feel depressed, [42] but relapsed during the Load era. [43] One of the reasons that Hammett spends a lot of money on comic books, is because he finds them to be a more enjoyable (and healthier) alternative to drugs. [40] Hammett has also smoked heroin a few times, but "didn't like it". [43]

Environmentalism and Trump

Even though Metallica chooses to stay away from politics, Hammett expressed his disagreement with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's public pronouncements. In an interview with Billboard magazine, he said, "I'm just waiting to get into a personal Twitter war with him." He stressed the importance of the fight against global warming, which Donald Trump claimed a hoax. [44]

Equipment and techniques

Hammett is known for always having his picking hand taped to protect his skin due to his habit of palm muting and fast picking during lengthy tours. [45]

Hammett's use of the wah-pedal hadn't been featured in recent Metallica solos, but has seen a resurgence in his solos on the 2008 album Death Magnetic , in songs like "The Unforgiven III."


Kirk Hammett in 2010 Kirk Hammett Sao Paulo.JPG
Kirk Hammett in 2010

Kirk Hammett's tour guitars as of 2015:

On the 25th anniversary of Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All , Hammett appears on the cover of Feb. 2008's Guitar World sporting his new custom ESP. This model is the KH20, the 20th anniversary model from ESP. [62]

In 2014, Hammett purchased the 1959 Les Paul formerly used by Gary Moore and Peter Green; using it on tour as of 2015 when playing the Thin Lizzy cover: "Whiskey in the Jar". [63]

Amplifiers and cabinets

Throughout Metallica's career, Hammett has used a range of different amplifiers. For the first two albums, he used Marshall amplifiers and cabinets, with occasional effects. For the recording of Metallica's third album, Master of Puppets (1986), he and James Hetfield bought a Mesa/Boogie MarkIIC+ amplifier, and used Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier heads. Even when he made his move to Randall Amplifiers in 2007, he still used Mesa/Boogie amplifiers in his setup, and still does to this day. He currently uses two rackmounted Dual Rectifier 2-channel heads in tandem with his Randalls.

In September 2007, Randall Amplifiers announced a partnership with Hammett to design a line of signature amplifiers, heads, combos and preamp modules. [64]

In December 2011, it was announced by Fortin Amps that they would team up with Randall to start a new line of tube amplifiers based on the Fortin Meathead amplifier. Hammett is currently using a prototype of the amplifier that he used for the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium and for all of the shows in India and Asia, and was recently sent a second prototype. [65]


To avoid problems with pedals being damaged during live performances, Hammett keeps his effect pedals in a rack along with his amplifiers and his guitar technician controls them through a pedalboard sidestage. The pedal controller allows him to change between different effect pedals and amplifiers.

In 2008, Jim Dunlop started working in partnership with Hammett to create a signature Wah-wah pedal, the KH95. It is now available to buy in stores.



Death Angel




See also

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"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released in 1992 as the third single from their self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, number 6 on the UK Singles Chart as well as top-ten on many other European charts. "Nothing Else Matters" was featured as a playable track in the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica. Recognized as one of Metallica's best known and most popular songs, it has become a staple in live performances. The song has been covered nearly 100 times.

One (Metallica song) 1989 single by Metallica

"One" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third and final single from their fourth studio album, ...And Justice for All (1988). Written by band members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, "One" is an anti-war song that portrays a World War I soldier who is severely wounded  —  arms and legs blown off by a landmine, blind and unable to speak or move  —  begging God to take his life as he feels constant pain. His only hope is to devise a way to communicate with the hospital staff. In the music video, he jolts in the hospital bed, spelling "Kill me" in Morse code. Production of the song was done by the band alongside Flemming Rasmussen. The song was the band's first top 40 hit single in the U.S., reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a number one hit in Finland.

<i>Cliff Em All</i> 1987 video by Metallica

Cliff 'Em All is a compilation of video footage by the American thrash metal band Metallica. It was released in 1987 as a tribute to Metallica's bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus accident on September 27, 1986, at the age of 24, near Ljungby, Sweden during the European leg of their Damage, Inc. Tour. Its title is derived from Metallica's debut album, Kill 'Em All. The home video also features a performance with former guitarist Dave Mustaine on March 19, 1983, shortly before his ousting from the band for heavy drug and alcohol abuse.

Fade to Black (song) 1984 single by Metallica

"Fade to Black" is a song and the first power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica, released as the first promotional single from its second studio album, Ride the Lightning. The song was ranked as having the 24th best guitar solo ever by Guitar World readers.

Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Along with South Florida, the scene was widely regarded as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal.

The Unforgiven (song) power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica

"The Unforgiven" is a power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the second single from their eponymous fifth album Metallica. Though one of the slower tracks on the album, its chord progression is distinctly one of the heaviest. The song deals with the theme of the struggle of the individual against the efforts of those who would subjugate him.

Spastik Children was a punk rock supergroup founded by Fred Cotton, James McDaniel and Rich "Jumbo" Sielert. Sielert, the drummer, was later replaced by Metallica's James Hetfield and Metallica's Cliff Burton joined on bass. After Burton's passing, he was replaced by Jason Newsted, also of Metallica. Spastik Children allowed the members of Metallica to have fun and explore a less serious side of their musical talents. The band performed only in clubs and bars in Northern California. Their music was a raw punk style, occasionally performed with little or no rehearsal. James McDaniel and Fred Cotton's influences for Spastik were bands such as Fang, Flipper, Pillage Sunday and the Mentors. Jim Martin later joined the band as a second bass player. The music was, according to friends of the band, amazing at times but mostly hilariously atrocious.

"The God That Failed" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, from their 1991 self-titled album. The song was never released as a single, but was the first of the album's songs to be heard by the public. It is one of Metallica's first original releases to be tuned half a step down.

The Damage, Inc. Tour was a concert tour by American thrash metal band Metallica in support of the band's third studio album, Master of Puppets. The name of the tour is taken from the last song on the album. It began on March 27, 1986 and ended on February 13, 1987. Metallica supported Ozzy Osbourne from March to August, headlined a string of U.S. dates between May 23 and June 7 with Armored Saint, and were the main act throughout the fall and winter with support from Anthrax and Metal Church. Roadie John Marshall, who later played guitar in Metal Church, filled in for James Hetfield on rhythm guitar between July 27 and September 25 following a mid-tour skateboarding accident resulting in a broken arm. Hetfield, Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett had discussed firing Lars Ulrich upon completion of the tour, but plans were set aside upon the death of Burton on September 27, 1986 in a tour bus accident near Ljungby, Sweden while en route from Stockholm to Copenhagen, Denmark. Performances that were scheduled for October were postponed and the band hired a new bassist, Jason Newsted to complete the rest of the tour. Metallica also became the first band of the Big Four to cross the Iron Curtain, with two concerts in Katowice, Poland on February 10 and 11, 1987.

The Kill 'Em All Tour was the first major concert tour by American thrash metal band Metallica. The tour, which was sponsored by their record label, Megaforce Records, was in support of their debut album, Kill 'Em All, released two days before the start of the tour. Metallica supported Raven, Venom and Twisted Sister while supporting acts for Metallica included Anthrax and Armored Saint. Tour setlists consisted of songs off their debut album, cover songs including Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" and Blitzkrieg's self-titled song, and songs that would be released on Ride the Lightning.


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Exodus lead guitarist
Succeeded by
Rick Hunolt
Preceded by
Dave Mustaine
Metallica lead guitarist