Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has said his bandmates James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich don’t remember the first time they met him.
Hammett joined the metal titans in 1983, and prior to that he played in the band Exodus.
In a lengthy new interview for Gibson’s ‘Icons’ series, Hammett remembered meeting the pair for the first time when Exodus supported Metallica, an encounter his bandmates have no memory of.
Hammett explained: “[Exodus] got booked on [a] show because we were friends with the headlining band, which was a band called Laaz Rockit, and the band in the middle was Metallica. And we were, like, ‘Oh, this is cool. We’re gonna be playing with Metallica. That’s great.’
“And I remember when we played that show, there was maybe about a hundred people in the club. And then Metallica went on, and the place was packed. I don’t know where the people came from, but all of a sudden, they just showed up.”
He added: “The next night was a benefit for Metal Mania magazine, and we got asked to play with Metallica again. And it was a better situation, because it was just us and Metallica. I met those guys for the first time in the dressing room of the Mabuhay Gardens, which wasn’t much of a dressing room at all; it was like an indoor alley.
“That was the beginning of my relationship with them. And it’s really funny, because years after that, people would ask me, ‘When was the first time you ever talked to those guys?’ And I would say, ‘I first met ’em at the Mab.’ And Lars was, like, ‘Really? I don’t remember that.’ And James was, like, ‘Huh? Really?’ They don’t even remember.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hammett remembered going to see Metallica live for the first time.
“I remember we were just sitting around one day, and 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 remembered.
“And I was, like, ‘Metallica.’ And I thought, ‘What a great name. It’s like the best name in the world.’ [Baloff] said, ‘Yeah, they’re playing The Stone tonight. We’ve gotta go check ’em out.’ And so we went down there. And literally, there was, like, 15 people there. And I remember being at the front of the stage going, ‘Wow, these guys are pretty goddamn good.'”