Metallica’s lead guitarist Kirk Hammett shared the memory of his very first encounter with Jimi Hendrix‘s music while he was only 5 years old in a chapter of Greg Prato’s new book dedicated to the legendary guitarist.
Music journalist Greg Prato released his latest book, named ‘Avatar of the Electric Guitar: The Genius of Jimi Hendrix,’ which depicted the personal life and music career of Jimi Hendrix. The book consisted of various interviews with renowned guitarists, including Kirk Hammett, Alex Lifeson, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci.
In the chapter dedicated to the Metallica icon Kirk Hammett‘s interview, he talked about his childhood memories of listening to Jimi Hendrix. Hammett mentioned the very first time he heard one of his songs and revealed how Jimi’s music influenced his future career.
Apparently, the first time he encountered the music of Jimi Hendrix, Kirk Hammett was around 5 years old and he was impressed by the album covers and the outlook of Jimi.
Here’s how Kirk Hammett described his memory of listening to Jimi Hendrix for the first time:
“The first time I heard Jimi Hendrix, I was too young to figure out how old I was! Because my older brother – who’s 11 years older than me – had the first three albums.
I distinctly remember ‘Are You Experienced and ‘Axis‘ – because of the album covers. And being a kid, I was trying to figure out the album covers – because of the imagery. I would sit there and stare at them while the music was going on.
I think I was maybe five or six years old. I remember looking at ‘Are You Experienced’ and looking at Jimi’s jacket, and thinking, ‘This is really exotic-looking.’ And then looking at the ‘Axis’ cover, and seeing all the multiple faces, and seeing those exotic creatures, as well – it actually is a Hindu image.”
Furthermore, Hammett mentioned the time he saw Led Zeppelin live when he was only around 8 years old. Apparently, he had to wait 90 minutes since the band’s drummer John Bonham got into a fight and Kirk added:
“Fast-forward maybe seven or eight years, I remember sitting with my friends and I was at the third concert I’d ever been to – Led Zeppelin at Day on the Green in 1977. Judas Priest opened the show and Rick Derringer played… and then there was a long wait before Led Zeppelin came on.
And the reason for that wait was because John Bonham got in a huge fight with Bill Graham’s security guards backstage and the cops came. There was a huge issue – and there was some contention on whether Led Zeppelin should go on or not. It was literally, like, 90 minutes… which is not cool – for any band.”
The talented guitarist of Metallica continued to describe the moment he had the chance to listen ‘Purple Haze‘ by Jimi Hendrix and stated:
“But in that 90 minutes, I remember sitting there, and they were playing songs over the PA. And this one song came on, and I was like, ‘I know that song!‘ I was looking around to see if anyone else knew it.
I said to my friend’s older brother – who was responsible for taking me and my friend to see Led Zeppelin in the first place, because he was 18 or 19 years old – ‘Who is this?’ And he said, ”Purple Haze‘ by Jimi Hendrix, man.’ The last time I’d heard that song I was five or six years old.”
Click here to read the entire interview with Kirk Hammett.