Born in San Francisco, and raised in the East Bay town of El Sobrante,he gained an interest in music from his brother Rick's extensive record collection,Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and UFO. After picking up a 1978 Fender Stratocaster, Kirk experimented by mixing andmatching guitar parts to find his perfect sound before falling for a 1974 GibsonFlying V. In a determined (and successful) effort to upgrade his equipment, Kirkeven took a shift at Burger King to get the cash together for his first Marshallamp. Around that time, Kirk also co-founded Exodus with Paul Baloff, and the EastBay thrashers crossed paths with Metallica twice, in late '82 and early '83, as asupport act.In April 1983, Kirk received a phone call from Metallica in New York. They were inthe process of firing guitarist Dave Mustaine and wanted Kirk to fly out andaudition. Kirk got the money together for the flight, left California for the firsttime and arrived in the late afternoon to find three guys who were still waking up.Immediately he, and they, knew the fit was right despite the fact nobody everformally invited him to join. A keen student of his instrument even today, Hammett followed his first 'Kill 'EmAll' tour by taking lessons from Joe Satriani, and embarked upon a passage of guitarself-education that took in jazz, blues and classical styles. Indeed, education hasalways been Kirk's answer to potential burnout. After the marathon 'Black' albumtour ended in 1993, he immediately went to the City College of San Francisco wherehe took classes, something he credits as the reason behind his reinvention as aguitarist on the 'Load' and 'Re-load' albums. Kirk continues to bring not only a dazzling array of lead guitar parts toMetallica's music but also some savage rifferey, having started sharing 6-stringduties with James during the 'Load' era. He is happily married to Lani, and lives inSan Francisco along with a large collection of old Hollywood movie memorabilia, histwo dogs Darla and Hoku, plus cats.......Kirk plays hisguitar at least 361 days a year.