|Height:||171 cm (5' 8'')|
|Birth Day:||November 18, 1962|
|Birth Place:||San Francisco, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|171 cm (5' 8'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He worked at Burger King to make enough money to buy a Marshall amplifier. He formed his first band in 1980.
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). His mother is of Filipino descent and his father was of English, German, Scottish and Irish ancestry. 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.
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, 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, and played on the band's 1982 Demo. Exodus was an influential band in the Bay Area thrash movement.
In May 1983, Metallica traveled to Rochester, New York to record its debut album, Metal Up Your Ass. 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. 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. Vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield said: "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 Hammett was instantly asked to join the band. 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. While in Exodus, Hammett had shared the stage with Metallica on more than one occasion.
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. 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."
Hammett has been married twice. His first marriage to Rebecca lasted three years, having ended in 1990, during the recording of Metallica. 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.
Hammett played guitar on the track "Satan" with Orbital for the Spawn: The Album soundtrack released in July 1997.
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". Recording for St. Anger was halted in 2001; so that Metallica front-man James Hetfield could enter rehab for alcohol abuse. 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. According to Hammett, if he ever worked on a solo album, it wouldn't be "super-duty" heavy metal, and may include some classical guitarists. When he was asked about his experiences of recording St. Anger, Hammett said:
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. Hammett previously worked with Santana in 2001 at a live show benefit in San Francisco. Metallica had also invited Santana into the studio while recording St. Anger.
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").
He appeared as a guest guitarist on K'Naan's 2006 song "If Rap Gets Jealous" off of the Troubadour album.
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.
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.
In 2008, Jim Dunlop started working in partnership with Hammett to create a signature Wah-wah pedal, the KH95. Hammett said that the Ibanez Tube Screamer has been an essential part of his sound since he was a teenager, but it was not versatile enough, which started him searching for a better pedal. In 2012, he co-founded KHDK Electronics with sound designer David Karon, hiring Antonin Salva as chief engineer, based in Prague. The company makes guitar pedals in Paducah, Kentucky. They began developing pedals and trying out prototypes. In September 2015, the company launched its first series of pedals, surprising the industry.
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.
In 2011, Hammett appeared in an episode of Jon Benjamin Has a Van as an actor and guitarist.
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.
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). 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. 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. 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. On the book, Hammett has been quoted saying:
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".
In April, 2015, Hammett admitted to losing his phone - which contained 250 new "ideas" for Metallica's upcoming studio release. The incident happened about six months prior to the admission (around November 2014). The phone wasn't backed up and Hammett can only remember eight out of the 250 "ideas" he had. On the subject, Hammett said:
In 2016, Hammett provided the foreword to author Greg Prato's book German Metal Machine: Scorpions in the '70s.
Currently, Kirk Hammett is 58 years, 11 months and 4 days old. Kirk Hammett will celebrate 59th birthday on a Thursday 18th of November 2021.
Find out about Kirk Hammett birthday activities in timeline view here.