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Metallica's Kirk Hammett endorses Gibson

Kirk Hammett
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Earlier on this very day (July 29) we told you about a potential collaboration Gibson had teased with Metallica's Kirk Hammett. Now, the company has announced that – more than just a one-off collaboration – the metal guitar legend has joined the Gibson family, full-stop.

Following just five months after fellow "big four of thrash" metal guitar legend Dave Mustaine joined the Gibson team, the endorsement is – to put it mildly – a huge move from the guitar giant.

“It’s a really great and exciting time for me to be joining forces with Gibson,” Hammett said in a statement. “I look forward to achieving great things together in the future.”

Hammett said in an Instagram post that the move to Gibson does not mean he's leaving ESP Guitars, with whom he has had a decades-long relationship, saying, "With these two giants, I get the monsters… and the rock!" 

In a press release, Gibson promised that the partnership would result in new Hammett signature Gibson and Epiphone electric guitars. Now, we don't know any specifics about these future guitars quite yet, but we can make a couple of fairly informed guesses about what some of the first models might be..

The first and most obvious candidate would be, of course, a recreation of Hammett's beloved 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, "Greeny." Previously owned by blues-rock guitar royalty Gary Moore and Peter Green, this particular vintage Les Paul is legendary for its "out-of-phase" sound, which came about when Green replaced the neck pickup and accidentally put it in backwards. 

Additionally, the Gibson Custom Shop already built Hammett an exacting replica of Greeny last year, and previously offered a Gary Moore Les Paul Standard with the same reverse-mounted neck pickup.

Gibson itself also strongly implied in its earlier tease that a recreation of Hammett's Flying V (which it already replicated in an aged, Custom Shop run in 2012) was in the works, and – from the company's new interview with Hammett, which you can watch above – we have no reason to doubt it.

Kirk Hammett performs with his Gibson ’59 Les Paul Standard known as “Greeny”

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

“It’s an honor to welcome the icon, the ripper, Kirk Hammett back to the Gibson family,” Gibson Brand President Cesar Gueikian said. “Kirk has been carrying the flag for hard rock and heavy metal for decades, and his Gibson guitars have been there with him from the very beginning.

"From his first Gibson, his 1979 Flying V to ‘Greeny’ and everything in between, Gibson guitars have been an integral part of Kirk’s sound. All of us at Gibson are looking forward to this collaboration and are grateful that Kirk has trusted us to begin a new partnership.” 

Hopefully this goes without saying, but as soon as we can glean any concrete information about Hammett's signature Gibsons and Epiphones, we'll be the first to let you know.

Kirk Hammett

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.