Kirk Hammett Horror Collection: You know the music but do you know the Horror?

Kirk Hammett Horror Collection

His sounds scared parents in the 1980s but his Horror collection is adored by them today.

Kirk Hammett Horror CollectionKirk Hammett Horror Collection; If you don’t know who Kirk Hammett is then you’re not a huge Metallica fan. The guitarist for one of the heaviest bands to hit mainstream in the 1990s with the Black Album release, turns out to be a huge horror fan. For horror fans his collection is probably more impressive than his calling to music but it’s fitting that a heavy metal band member also have an incredible collection of horror memorabilia.

In the early 1980’s when Kirk Hammett was finding his sound, the beginning of a tidal wave of horror was beginning to creepy into our psyche.  Friday the 13th, Helraiser, Mike Meyers of Halloween, Nightmare on elm Street, American Werewolf of London were all released in those days and would continue to haunt us for decades. As a horror fan, Kirk’s collection was already a work in progress well before anyone knew who Metallica was.  As Kirk himself says, he always felt like he was a bit on an outsider, it was that commonality that he connected with in Movie Monsters.  It was this sense of belonging that lead him to purchase magazines, comic books, movie posters and anything he could find related to monsters.  He says one of the places he would see horror movies growing up was on a late hour tv show called Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins that would show old monster movies.

As his music career broke out, Kirk would continue to collect monster movie memorabilia and could now afford some rare items. One of his prized items is the outfit Boris Karloff wore in the film The Black Cat. For his book project, “Too Much Horror Business” which showcases his incredible collection, Kirk wanted to really show off this costume and decided the best way to do that was to have a wax figure made. He commissioned an artist to carve the figure of Boris in a scene from the film and dress the figure in the actual clothing worn for the filming.  “It came out just like I imagined! Now this figure and another of Bela Lugosi live in my basement. I like to hangout with them and play guitar a lot.”  Producing his horror collection book was no easy task, Kirk spent hours up hours repairing many of the masks he had acquired over the years for the photo shoots. He says many nights and lots of super glue played a role in the process. All said, the “Too Much Horror Business” book consumed the better part of 3 years to complete.

“I didn’t want the book to be just pictures of horror stuff, I wanted it to be me engaged with these incredible pieces”  It’s no surprise that the project would require the talent of many designers, artists and creative people to stage the monsters in a powerful way with Kirk playing along side them.

Kirk Hammett Horror Collection
Kirk Hammett playing his custom ESP Ouija Guitar

In a interview for the book, Kirk made it be known that this part of him and his attraction to horror memorabilia came first.  While some could assume his collection was connected to his career as guitarist for Metallica, Kirk firmly feels like a horror fan first. While he probably would not have had the opportunity to collect such rare and prized items without Metallica, he most certainly would still have a massive collection of horror had Metallica never happened.

Kirk Hammett Horror CollectionBeing a guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands in history does have it’s perks though! Kirk has every horror fan guitarist dream, a series of custom Horror themed guitars made by Japanese guitar company ESP. In fact, many of the designs are available to Horror fans too, guitar skills not required to own one! Some of Kirk’s favorite monster movie artwork is the monster movie posters where they used a special stone press technology to get those unique poster prints back in the 40’s through 1960’s. Some of his favorites have found their way onto these instruments including a Ouija board design! Not all of these are for sale by ESP and they are limited but we did a quick search and the Demonology model, Nosferatu and White Zombie are still for sale.

Horror fans hungry for a glimpse into this wonderful collection, you can preview Kirk Hammet’s Too Much Horror Business here and checkout the ESP horror themed guitars here.