One of the most interesting footnotes in metal history is that Metallica’s Kirk Hammett received guitar lessons from shredded virtuoso Joe Satriani in the ’80s. In a new interview, “Satch” has recalled what type of student Hammett was and that the last lesson he gave the thrash icon was in early 1988.
Satriani, who released his latest album, The Elephants of Marchlast week (April 8), Kylie Olsson of YouTube channel Life in Six Strings (transcript via Blabbermouth) told Kylie Olsson, “What a great result. [Kirk] was such a motivated young student. I mean, he could play really well before I first met him. He was already playing lead guitar in the band Exodus when he started taking lessons. And then during that time he got the gig with Metallica, and he started taking two classes a week.”
Continuing to praise Hammett, who is almost six and a half years younger than Satriani, the chipper continued, “He was so driven; he was such a good student. He knew exactly what he wanted and he was really hungry. So that was great. And he was actually my very last student; the very last lesson I gave in early January 1988 was to Kirk, and then the next day I left as a solo artist for the first time in my life. So it was very exciting for both of us.”
This means that Hammett’s final lesson from Satriani came just weeks before Metallica entered the One on One recording studio in Los Angeles to begin work on what would become their fourth album, …And justice for allwhich was a progressive, technical record that followed the band’s major label debut, Puppeteer.
At this point in his career, many would have argued that Hammett was quite proficient on his instrument, but it proves that no matter what level of success you achieve, a willingness to keep learning is paramount.
Although one-on-one sessions between Satriani and Hammett ended over three decades ago, the kinship between the guitarists remains as Satriani added, “We actually did a show together in front of a hundred and twenty thousand people. in Quebec a number of years ago – Metallica was kind enough to let us open right in front of them – and it was awesome. There’s something special when you get to hang out with someone where you both know where you’re from and you’re amazed at where you hurt up top. [Laughs] And this is a good thing.”
While Satriani has just released a new record, Hammett is looking at his own rather special version – the Portals EP, his very first solo release. The four-track instrumental offering is slated for an April 23 release and more details can be found here. Meanwhile, Satriani has a massive 44-date North American tour booked for later this year and you can see all of those upcoming dates here.
Joe Satriani on The Six String Life
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