Metallica Have Forgotten First Meeting With Kirk Hammett
The backstage moment in 1982 came after the guitarist’s band, Exodus, opened for Metallica for the second time. The following year, Hammett would be chosen as Dave Mustaine’s replacement in Metallica – but it seems the first time he met his future bandmates wasn’t a memorable experience for them.
In a new interview with Gibson TV, the guitarist recalled how he had first heard of Metallica in mid-1982.
“The singer of Exodus, a guy named Paul Baloff – who was an absolute maniac – he walked into the rehearsal and said, ‘Metallica. So heavy! They’re so heavy!’" Hammett said. "And I thought, ‘What a great name! It’s like the best name in the world: Metallica!’ He said, ‘Yeah, they’re playing the Stone tonight. We gotta go check ‘em out.’ And so we went down there, and there were, like, 15 people there. I remember being at the front of the stage, going, ‘Wow, these guys are pretty goddamn good.’”
In November that year, Exodus were the opening band on a three-act bill, with Metallica to follow them before the headline act, Laaz Rockit, played. “There [were] about 100 people in the club, and then Metallica came on and the place was packed,” Hammett said. “I don’t know where they came from – everybody just showed up. … Then when they went offstage, the place emptied.”
HIs first personal encounter took place the following night, when Exodus opened for Metallica on a two-band bill. “I met those guys for the first time in the dressing room … that was the beginning of my relationship with them,” he said. “And it’s really funny because, years after that, people would ask me, ‘What’s the first time you ever talked to those guys?’ And I would say … and Lars would be like, ‘Really? I don’t remember that!’ And James is like, ‘Huh? Really?’ They don’t even remember!”
You can watch the interview below.