Michael Schenker and Kirk Hammett Jam on ‘That Metal Show’
This weekend's upcoming episode of That Metal Show features a guitar summit that's been an entire career in the making.
For the April 18 show, which taped yesterday, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett showed up to jam with Michael Schenker — a pairing that allowed Hammett to prove in person how much Schenker's music has always meant to him. As Metallica fans are no doubt aware, Hammett has never been shy about crediting Schenker as a huge influence on his early pursuit of the guitar, and the meeting left him in what he later referred to as "fanboy/hero worship mode."
As Hammett told Guitar World in 2013, he was never the same after hearing UFO's Force It at 15. Listening to the song "Mother Mary," Hammett recalled thinking, "Wow, these guys are just as heavy as Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Montrose and all the other hard rock stuff that I was listening to before I got into heavy metal. When it got to the guitar solo, I was just blown away by Michael Schenker's tone, phrasing and technique. By the time the second solo came on with the fastest descending lick I'd ever heard, I was totally hooked."
Hammett walked away with a new understanding of "solo structure, phasing and melody, as well as playing for the song," not to mention a burning desire to own a Gibson Flying V, and as he later told Gibson, he soon got his wish. "I was looking for a fuller sound, a sound that I could achieve ‘heavy metal’ with," he laughed. "So I bought myself the Gibson Flying V and that was my guitar."
That influence continued to stick after Hammett joined Metallica — in fact, he told Guitar World that he used UFO's Obsession album as a reference point for producer Bob Rock when the band was preparing to track its Black Album. And in 2013, he told Noisecreep that he was still looking for his opportunity to jam with Schenker.
"He’s one of my favorite guitarists for sure," said Hammett. "I’ve met him a few times socially but we’ve never had the chance to play together. If we ever got together to jam, it would be a dream come true for me." See more photos from the taping here, and watch Hammett's dream come true on April 18 at 9PM ET on VH1 Classic.
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