Adam 12

11am - 4pm

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Let’s crack open a Kirk Hammett Birthday six-pack to celebrate the Metallica guitarist on his very special day.

 

I’d be lying if I claimed to be the world’s biggest Metallica fan. The truth is, I came to appreciate and love Metallica later in life. As I’ve mentioned countless times before (and will mention countless times to come), I turned the magical age of 14 in the magical year of 1991.

 

As grunge was exploding out of Seattle and Nirvana was redefining the rock landscape, I was moving from middle school to high school. And those bands were my soundtrack. Cassette tapes of Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Soundgarden‘s Badmotorfinger and Pearl Jam‘s Ten spent countless hours wedged in my Sony Walkman.

 

That same year, Metallica dropped their self-titled Black Album. That was the first I’d heard of the band; I never had an aged and wizened metalhead in my pre-teen years to expose me to the beauty of albums like Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. I just had a weird classmate in middle school who, one morning, tried to turn me on to Iron Maiden and I wasn’t having it. I wasn’t ready. Yet.

 

My first Metallica memory was seeing the video for “Enter Sandman” on MTV. It was on constantly. It was fine, I thought at the time. The grunge bands were much more my speed. But before long, my kid brother Nate got wise to Metallica. And he got an Ibanez guitar. So pretty soon, the house was full of Kirk Hammett’s riffs, courtesy of Nate. That’s when it started to click for me.

 

A Kirk Hammett Birthday Six-Pack

So in honor of Mr. Hammett’s Birthday, a six-pack of songs that my brother Nate turned me on to. Hey Nate: how many of these riffs can you still rip?

 

  • "Hit The Lights"

  • "For Whom The Bell Tolls"

  • "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"

  • "Orion"

  • "Harvester Of Sorrow"

  • "St. Anger"

    lol