Hammett was quizzed on which band had turned down the offer to open for Guns N’ Roses and Metallica at those shows, and he correctly answered with Nirvana.
“I had to make the phone call to Kurt [Cobain] to talk to him about the possibility of joining our tour,” Hammett remembered, “and he just went on and on about how he just didn’t like what Guns N’ Roses stood for and I said to him: ‘Just go out there and represent Nirvana – just play the show and then that’s it’.
“I pleaded with him, but he just wasn’t having it. So there you have it. It would have been great if Nirvana was part of that tour – but you know [the actual opening act] Faith No More were great as well.”
Hammett went on to recall inviting Cobain to Metallica’s show in Seattle as part of ‘The Black Album’ tour. “And he said to me: ‘Are you guys going to play ‘Whiplash’?  That’s my favourite Metallica song!’.
“When he came to the show, he was in the snakepit [an area onstage] with Courtney Love and every time he walked by, he tried to get my attention but my head was somewhere else.”
Hammett continued: “He was great. I became friends with him right when the first Nirvana album [1989’s ‘Bleach’] came out before people were even calling it grunge, and it’s so sad when I think back to all the guy wanted to do was play guitar and write songs and sing and somehow that all got destroyed for him.”
Kirk Hammett released a four-track solo EP, ‘Portals’, in April. “This music was created with what I describe as an audio-cinematic approach,” he explained of the project. “They’re soundtracks to the movies in your mind.”
Metallica, meanwhile, are currently out on a European headline tour. They’re also set to appear at various festivals this summer, including Mad Cool in Madrid, NOS Alive in Lisbon and Rock Werchter in Belgium.