This Popular Metallica Album Was Actually Inspired By Stephen King

Stephen King: Pinguino Kolb, CC BY 2.0, Wikipedia / Kirk Hammett: Metallica Facebook
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Did you know that horror author Stephen King actually played a significant role in inspiring a very popular Metallica album? That is right! Confirming this is none other than band guitarist Kirk Hammet.

Per a recent feature from Far Out, a specific line from a Stephen King novel actually inspired the album title and cover design for one of the most popular Metallica albums. That novel is The Stand, a dark fantasy post-apocalyptic story revolving around a deadly pandemic.

So what Metallica album did The Stand inspire? Well, Kirk Hammett can share that himself. Speaking about his relationship to Stephen King’s writing, the Metallica guitarist says, “One huge thing about my personal connection with Stephen King occurred when I was reading a chapter in The Stand.”

Hammett then goes on to share the line from that novel that really had an impact on him.“The chapter had a guy in prison who was waiting to Ride The Lightning, and I just thought: ‘Oh my God, what a cool collection of adjectives and nouns that is.'” Hammett then adds, “I told [the band’s singer] James [Hetfield], and he thought the same, and the rest is Metallica history!”

So there you have it, folks – the iconic Metallica album Ride the Lightning got its title and design from that of Stephen King’s The Stand! We are huge fans of Stephen’s writing and love to know that he has had an impact on the thrash legends.

Elsewhere in this feature, Hammett shares that “over the years, I’ve been aware that Stephen King is a fan of Metallica, he was a fan club member I know.” He then goes on to say, “As a token of my appreciation I ended up giving him a piece of art, a Famous Monsters cover painting.”

Towards the end of the feature, the Metallica guitarist says, “I wish we knew each other better. Because I think we’re two peas in a pod except he writes words and I write music.”

What do you make of Stephen King’s writing influencing a portion of the Metallica album Ride the Lighting?

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