When it comes to Metallica fans, you don’t tend to immediately think of infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez. During a recent conversation with NME, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked, “Who’s been the most unexpected person who’s turned out to be a Metallica fan?“, and Hammett mentioned none other than Ramirez.
Hammett ends up sharing a story that involves the infamous serial killer; Ramirez was dubbed the “Walk-in Killer” and “Night Stalker.” He was responsible for a range of horrific crimes in California, which took place between June 1984 and August 1985. He was sentenced to death in 1989.
In response to NME’s question, Kirk Hammett talks about a past show where the band played at a prison and how Ramirez could hear the band performing (but was not allowed to attend the show). The Metallica guitarist eventually heard that Ramirez was “pissed” that he could not attend the show.
Per Kirk Hammett:
“Richard Ramirez [aka ‘80s serial killer the Night Stalker]. When we played San Quentin Prison [in 2003], he was on death row and could hear us. The guards who were responsible for watching him said Richard Ramirez was pissed off and pacing his cell because he wasn’t allowed to see us. He gave the guards his subscription copy of a magazine with us on the cover and on the mail-tag it said: ‘Richard Ramirez, San Quentin Prison.’ So that’s my little token from Richard Ramirez. Not to glorify the guy – he did some horrible crimes. He hung out in Richmond California, and I wonder sometimes if me and the guys from [his pre-Metallica band] Exodus were at the same parties as him back in the day.”
It must have been surreal as hell for Hammett to hear that such an infamous serial killer was a fan of his band.
In that same NME conversation, Hammett also talked about inviting Nirvana to open for Metallica (but Kurt said no), as well as why he’s afraid to listen to the band’s collaborative album with Lou Reed.