Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Bet His Porsche on How Many Copies the ‘Black Album’ Sold…and Lost

Kirk Hammett by Kreepin Deth, Porsche by Andrew Bone. Via Wikipedia
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Humility can screw you over. On the one hand, thinking you’re no better than anyone else and that you should be grateful for everything you have is a really good quality. On the other, not believing in yourself and falling victim to imposter syndrome can shake your much-needed confidence. Still, anyone can imagine being pretty sure of one’s musical ability and still not thinking you’d ever sell 10 million copies of an album — but that’s exactly what cost Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett his Porsche.

As reported by Loudwire, the story goes that Metallica’s longtime tour manager Toby Smith promised Hammett that the band’s 1991 self-titled album, casually known at the Black Album, would someday sell 10 million copies. Hammett, ever the humble dude, laughed at this idea, and went so far as to bet his 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 on it.

“I told our tour manager on the Black Album, ‘If it sells over 10 million copies, I will give you my Porsche,’” recalled Hammett when the car went up for auction in 2009. “He called me up when it sold 10 million and one.”

Apparently, Hammett then surprised Toby with an envelope containing the keys to his Porsche. Of course, by then, the dude could probably buy eight more of them: the Black Album celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, and to this day it hasn’t left the Billboard 200. As of 2012, the record has gone 16x platinum — or a little more than a Porche and a half-worth of records.

Meanwhile, Metallica themselves just celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band with two huge shows. Check out the setlists below:

Friday, December 17th

Intro music:

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll) (AC/DC song)
The Ecstasy Of Gold (Ennio Morricone song) (with voiceover from Jason Momoa)

1. Hit The Lights
2. Creeping Death
3. Trapped Under Ice
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
5. Orion
6. The Shortest Straw
7. One
8. Sad But True
9. Nothing Else Matters
10. King Nothing
11. Fixxxer (live debut)
12. Breadfan (Budgie cover)
13. No Leaf Clover
14. Frantic
15. The Day That Never Comes
16. Spit Out The Bone

Sunday, December 19th

Intro music:

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll) (AC/DC song)
The Ecstasy Of Gold (Ennio Morricone song) (with voiceover from Tom Morello)
Hardwired intro

1. Hardwired
2. The End Of The Line (first time live since November 18, 2010)
3. Dirty Window (first time live since December 10, 2011)
4. I Disappear (first time live since August 10, 2013)
5. Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover) (first full performance since December 5, 2011)
6. The Memory Remains
7. Fuel
8. Bleeding Me (first full performance since December 7, 2011)
9. Wasting My Hate (first time in front of a live audience since December 7, 2011)
10. The Unforgiven
11. Enter Sandman
12. Harvester Of Sorrow
13. Master Of Puppets
14. Fade To Black
15. Whiplash
16. Seek & Destroy


Words by Chris Krovatin