Is this our first look at a Gibson Kirk Hammett Flying V?

Kirk Hammett
(Image credit: Jeff Yeager/Instagram)

It’s been six months since Gibson announced its new partnership with Kirk Hammett, and while many of us are starting to get restless as we wait for the resulting electric guitar collection, it looks as though our patience is about to finally pay off.

Because, if our hypothesis is correct, the Metallica maestro may have just given us a first glimpse at his upcoming Gibson Flying V signature guitar in all its purple glory.

Hammett had taken the axe for a test drive during a gig on December 19 at Chase Center in San Francisco – the second night of Metallica's 40th anniversary shows – and was snapped wielding the six-string by photographer Jeff Yeager.

Owing to the clarity of the picture, we can see exactly what Gibson and Hammett might have in store for us. At first glance, that satin-looking purple finish is unsurprising – Hammett's old ESP LTD KH-602 flashed a Purple Sparkle colorway, as did his ESP LTD KH Ouija signature guitar.

Other aesthetic appointments include a white pickguard and black uncovered humbuckers, as well as a color-matched purple headstock.

Naturally, we aren’t the only ones to have deduced the Flying V shown may have been lifted from the Kirk Hammett collection. 

Some were quick to point out Hammett was also recently spotted playing a Greeny prototype alongside Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian, and that he may be taking to social media to tease his upcoming collection.

Snaps of the six-string can be seen in Hammett's post above, or on slide six of Yeager's post below.

A Kirk Hammett Flying V was always on the cards. After all, the original teaser clip Gibson put out used archival footage of him playing his Black 1979 Flying V. Likewise, in 2012, the brand released a Custom Shop version of that very same ‘79 axe.

It looks as though the moral of the story is this: keep your eyes peeled on Kirk Hammett’s Instagram page, because if this trend of prototype playing continues, we’re going to be in for a treat these coming weeks.

Gibson’s partnership with Hammett was announced in July 2021, with the pair promising a new collection of Gibson and Epiphone guitars. The move, however, will not affect Hammett’s ongoing relationship with ESP.

Elsewhere in Kirk Hammett guitar lore, it was recently revealed that the Greeny Les Paul has a sibling, which is owned by Gueikian.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.