Kirk Hammett Reveals Which Guitar He Saved From Wildfires First

By Andrew Magnotta

March 21, 2018

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett had some stressful weeks last year as wildfires in California burned thousands of acres near his home.

Hammett recalled how the Nuns Fire, which burned for mile between Santa Rosa and Napa, California, threatened his house and all the priceless gear within.

While Hammett's house and his guitars were spared by the flames, he revealed in a new interview with Guitar Interactive the instruments he and his wife made sure to save while evacuating. 

"I did have one of my favorite '59 Les Paul Standards up there—a guitar I call Thor's Hammer," Hammett said. "I'm very, very glad I was able to grab that, along with my '63 sea-foam green Strat that I play in the 'I Disappear' video. I kind of played it throughout [my career]."

Hammett says the guitars in the house include instruments he's used on Metallica albums and during live shows for decades. 

"My wife and I had literally like 10 minutes to go in and just grab whatever out of our house and evacuate," Hammett recalled. "So we went in there—okay, she went in there and grabbed a bunch of stuff. I gave her a list of my guitars and she grabbed all of them."

"We snuck back up a second time when it looked like there was a break in the fire and I grabbed a couple more guitars, and as I was leaving I looked down and I saw these shoes, so I grabbed these shoes (laughs)."

Hammett's most-prized guitar "Greeny," which was previously owned by Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and Thin Lizzy's Gary Moore, was safe in London, he noted.

"The thought of losing those guitar, it's like losing a family member or a pet or something."

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"I'm weird, I feel like I have a personal relationship with my instruments. Over the course of my career, you will see guitarist in my hands that have been in my hands for the past 30 years. Just because I have a real solid relationship with them. They sound good, they do what I want. I get the best performance out of them consistently. I feel like with certain guitars I can reach deeper inside my soul to bring out whatever." 

Hammett isn't the only famous heavy metal guitarist who was affected by the wildfires. Zakk Wylde cut short a press tour in New York due to wildfires creeping towards his home.


Photo: Getty Images

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