Kirk Hammett’s Other Stage: Horror

From the spotlight with Metallica to his private sanctuary of horror memorabilia, Kirk Hammett shows a different kind of stage presence.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica, with long curly hair, standing confidently in a black t-shirt and jeans amidst classic horror film memorabilia. To his left, a gruesome head in a glass box. Behind him, lifelike figures of iconic movie monsters, including Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, and a jubilant ghoul in a pinstripe suit, surrounded by vintage horror film posters.
Kirk Hammett and his horror collection
Key Takeaways
  • Kirk Hammett, Metallica’s guitarist, has a 30-year-old collection of horror memorabilia, including posters, props, and costumes.
  • His love for horror began at age five, watching “The Day of the Triffids”, and now serves as an emotional and intellectual escape for him.
  • Hammett has showcased his collection in exhibitions like “It’s Alive!” at prestigious venues and also appears at major horror conventions.

Kirk Hammett’s 30-Year Horror Collecting Journey

Kirk Hammett, Metallica’s guitar wizard, is also a maestro of horror. He owns a collection that would make Dracula himself envious. Posters, props, costumes—you name it, he’s got it. This trove has been 30 years in the making.

At just five years old, Hammett got hooked watching “The Day of the Triffids”, a 1962 sci-fi thriller.

The love affair with horror started young. At just five years old, Hammett got hooked watching “The Day of the Triffids”, a 1962 sci-fi thriller. That early spark set the stage for the monster collection he owns today.

For Hammett, horror was more than just popcorn and screams; it was an escape. As a kid, these films took him places reality didn’t. And now, as an adult, Hammett sees them as more than mere entertainment. They mirror society’s fears and anxieties, acting as a dark mirror to the world.

It’s not just a casual interest, either. Hammett has a deep emotional connection to his collection. Picture this: Hammett jamming on his guitar, surrounded by his favorite horror movie posters. Some of these pieces aren’t just cherished; they’re also investment gold. Rarity equals value in the world of memorabilia.

But among all these treasures, one stands out. A 1932 poster of “The Mummy” isn’t just part of the collection; it’s a piece of Hammett himself. He loves it so much, he even emblazoned his guitar with the poster’s imagery back in ’95.

Inside Kirk Hammett’s Horror Vault

So what does Kirk Hammett’s eerie collection actually contain? Let’s break it down, shall we?

First off, he’s got vintage horror movie posters that scream old-school—think “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”. But it’s not just about paper on walls. Hammett also owns original props. Yep, like the creature suit from “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”.

Costumes and masks? Oh, he’s got those too. Imagine being in the same room as the masks of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Shivers, right? And it doesn’t stop there. Hammett’s shelves are also adorned with action figures. These range from classic Universal Monsters to the modern-day ghouls you’d find in a 21st-century scarefest.

Literature fan? Hammett’s got you covered with first editions of iconic works like “Dracula” by Bram Stoker and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. There’s also unique artwork in there, pulled straight from horror films and comics.

You thought his guitars were cool? Hammett even has custom guitars that scream horror, featuring his favorite film characters. Autographs from legends of the horror world add a personal element to his collection. Limited edition pieces? Yep, he’s got those too, making his collection even more coveted.

Some items have a more personal touch. These include gifts from fellow musicians and fans. And if you think watching a classic horror movie on your flat screen is the real deal, Hammett has the original film reels for a truly vintage experience.

The Museum Life of Kirk Hammett’s Horror Collection

So, what happens when you’ve got a collection this massive? You share it with the world. That’s what Kirk Hammett did with his “It’s Alive!” exhibition. This wasn’t some backyard show. We’re talking prestigious venues like the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.

But “It’s Alive!” was more than just eye candy. It dug deep into the history and impact of horror. This was an educational show, people. Curated in partnership with museum pros, the exhibit fused visual art with sound and interactive elements.

And if you wanted a piece of “It’s Alive!” to take home, there was a limited edition catalog. This was no dime-store brochure. It featured high-res poster reproductions and a foreword from the man himself—Kirk Hammett.

Hammett wasn’t a stranger during the exhibition run either. He graced attendees with public talks and Q&As, delving into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of his collection.

The exhibit didn’t just focus on the art; it aimed to paint the historical backdrop of the times when these pieces were created. Whether it was the Cold War or the Great Depression, context was king. And for that extra dash of nostalgia, many of the posters in the show were printed using lithography—a real vintage move.

From Museums to Conventions

If you’re thinking that Kirk Hammett only showcases his horror collection in museums, think again. The man is a staple at some of the biggest horror conventions like Monsterpalooza and San Diego Comic-Con. At these events, he’s not just an attendee; he’s often a featured guest.

The man is a staple at some of the biggest horror conventions like Monsterpalooza and San Diego Comic-Con.

Hammett’s appearances aren’t just for show. He takes part in panel discussions, offering fans a deep dive into the world of horror. Ever wondered about the impact of horror on his life and music? These are the events where Hammett spills the beans.

But that’s not all. Sometimes he brings along exclusive items from his collection, giving fans a sneak peek into his horror treasure trove. You might even find him behind a booth, selling unique merchandise like books and limited-edition prints related to his collection.

These conventions are also Hammett’s networking hub. He meets other collectors, artists, and even filmmakers who share his passion for horror. It’s like LinkedIn, but with a horror twist.

For fans, these events are a golden ticket. You can interact with Hammett, ask questions, get autographs, and even learn something new. Hammett doesn’t just display items; he educates. He often discusses the historical and cultural significance of his collection, making each appearance a unique educational experience.

The “Too Much Horror Business” Book

So you’ve seen Kirk Hammett’s collection at exhibitions and conventions. You’ve even heard him talk about it. But did you know there’s a book about it? That’s right. Hammett penned “Too Much Horror Business”, a hardcover beauty published by Abrams Image in 2012. Over 200 pages of pure horror lore.

If you ever wondered how deep Hammett’s love for horror runs, this book has the answers. It’s not just a catalog of his collection; it’s a personal journal. Hammett himself took the photographs featured in the book, giving it an intimate touch.

The book isn’t a one-man show. It features a foreword by Robert Williams—painter, cartoonist, and the brains behind Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. There are also contributions from big names in the horror scene. They’re not just filling pages; they’re adding layers to Hammett’s story.

But wait, it gets better. Hammett doesn’t just list items in this book; he dissects his life-long passion for horror. Through exclusive interviews, he reveals how horror shaped not just his music but his entire outlook on life.

Reviews from the horror and music circles speak volumes. The book is not just another catalog; it’s an in-depth tour into the world of Kirk Hammett. If you want to understand the man behind the guitar and the collection, “Too Much Horror Business” is your guidebook.

The Action Figure Side of Kirk Hammett

Kirk Hammett extends his love for horror into the realm of action figures, partnering with giants in the field like Funko and NECA. These collaborations result in collectibles that merge artistic finesse with a dash of horror nostalgia.

In his partnership with Funko, Hammett brings to life iconic characters such as Frankenstein and Dracula through Pop! vinyl figures. These figures capture the essence of horror with a whimsical twist, in line with Funko’s signature style.

NECA collaborations offer something different. These figures are more detailed and articulated, representing iconic villains like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in their raw form. It’s not just the characters but the craftsmanship that captures attention.

What adds to the allure is the limited-edition nature of these figures. Often launched at special events or horror conventions, these editions come with unique packaging and extra accessories. This aspect makes them highly sought after, not just among horror fans but also among collectors.

Adding a unique twist, these figures sometimes roll out as part of larger collaborations, like a special album release. This layered exclusivity further elevates the figures’ value, making them even more elusive for fans and collectors alike.

Metal Strings and Monster Things

Kirk Hammett doesn’t just collect horror; he lives it, breathes it, and even strums it on his guitar. His fondness for the macabre is no mere public stunt but resonates in the very chords of Metallica’s music. Listen closely, and you might catch eerie echoes of horror themes in the band’s repertoire.

It’s not just about songs and collectibles, either. Step into Hammett’s home, and you’re in the midst of a horror utopia. The decor makes it clear that Hammett’s devotion to horror isn’t a passing phase; it’s a way of life.

Yet, Kirk Hammett is more than a collector; he’s a business-savvy fan of the grotesque. From organizing exhibitions to toy collaborations, he’s turned his love for all things horror into a profitable enterprise.

If you think that’s the end of the road, think again. Hammett has hinted at directing a horror film. So, keep your eyes peeled and ears open.

So, whether it’s striking chords or striking fear, Kirk Hammett knows how to keep it heavy. And just like a classic horror flick, he keeps us eagerly awaiting the sequel. Until then, keep rocking and keep spooking!