Metallica’s Kirk Hammett on Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Kirk Hammett on David Gilmour
(Image credit: Didier Messens / Getty)

“I love Shine On You Crazy Diamond because there is a riff in that song, but it’s so sideways and so around the back. When you listen, it’s actually blues. 

“It’s a freaking blues progression but it doesn’t sound like it, and that in itself is a real accomplishment. So I really think that song is just amazing. With the opening to it, that weird ringing opening chord, Shine On You Crazy Diamond is just epic, and there’s so much that I love about that.

“Everyone goes on about Comfortably Numb and that guitar solo, and yes, the guitar solo is absolutely amazing with the delay and the chorus. But my favorite part is when he flubs a note and then turns it into an open G during the solo. I know everyone knows what I’m talking about! But I love that David left it in. I love that.

“David’s sound is amazing. During the Peter Green tribute show [at London’s Palladium theatre in 2020], David came down and played Oh Well Part 2, and when he started playing and soloing with the band that Mick Fleetwood had put together for that event, all of a sudden Pink Floyd was in the room. 

It’s a blues song, but it doesn’t sound like it

“Or, it felt like Pink Floyd was in the room. It was insane! Everyone in the room was transported and we were all looking at each other like, ‘Wow, this is amazing and a real moment!’

“I love how understated Gilmour’s playing is because it is understated. If anything, I could be more understated, but sometimes I just regurgitate a ton of notes. I can’t help it – it’s just how I am! But David is very, very understated and that, in itself, is a real, real beauty to behold.”

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.