“My go-to guitar in the studio”: This Fender Telecaster lived in Metallica’s HQ and became Kirk Hammett’s writing workhorse – now it’s going under the hammer

Kirk Hammett 1967 Fender Telecaster
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

An unassuming Fender Telecaster that became a key player in the inner workings of Metallica’s studio sessions is set to go up for auction.

Though the pristinely conditioned ‘67 Candy Apple Red single-cut might look like it’s spent much of its life unplayed, don’t be fooled: the electric guitar in fact became integral to ‘Tallica’s writing process, and was Kirk Hammett’s self-prescribed “go-to guitar” when working out his parts.

As per Hammett’s handwritten letter of authenticity from 2021, “This guitar lived in the control room of our HQ for about 3 yrs., it was my go-to guitar in the studio for working music parts out.”

According to Julien’s Auctions (the company hosting the auction, which is scheduled for November 16), the Tele was used behind the scenes for 2003’s St. Anger and 2008’s Death Magnetic.

The lot is also accompanied by photographic evidence to back up Hammett’s letter, with various snaps showing the single-cut in the arms of both Hammett and James Hetfield while the two metal maestros presumably piece together their parts.

Metallica aren’t especially known for auctioning off their gear, and so this Tele joins a very exclusive crop of the band’s equipment to have gone under the hammer.

That list includes Hammett’s Black Album, Load and Reload Ouija Board ESP Custom Shop model (which sold for $225,00), and his ESP 400 series S-Type that can be seen in Metallica’s One music video.

Because of the role the Tele played during Metallica’s studio sessions, the auction house has slapped on a sizable estimate, predicting it to sell anywhere between $60,000 and $80,000. 

While that’s not enough to see it join the prestigious list of the most expensive guitars ever sold at auction, it’s still a significant sum of money.

Kirk Hammett 1967 Fender Telecaster

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Hammett’s Tele is only one of many guitars set to be sold during Julien’s box office auction next month. 

Joining the Fender is Eric Clapton’s iconic ‘Fool’ Gibson SG – which was the key to his trademark ‘woman tone’ – and the Fender ‘Sky Stang’ that Kurt Cobain played during Nirvana’s last show.

To find out more about each guitar, head over to Julien’s Auctions.

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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.