Kirk Hammett Says There’s a Bad Mistake In One of His Most Iconic Metallica Solos

Kirk Hammett by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
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Like him or not, Kirk Hammett has at least carved out a special place in rock history.

Aside from the ridiculous amount of wah that he likes to incorporate into his solos, the man’s lessons from guitar gods like Joe Satriani have definitely paid off, leading to him creating some of the greatest metal solos of all time like “One” and “Battery.”

Some of them get glossed over so quickly though that a lot of people don’t hear the massive error that happened right in the middle of one of their classic songs.

When Metallica was making their masterpiece Master of Puppets, Kirk talked about screwing up the solo for the title track in the studio, saying:

“When you listen to the solo, there’s this weird sound right after the mellow part where it sounds like I’m hitting a super high note.

Well, what happened was I pulled the string off the fretboard! I accidentally pulled down on the string, and it was on the side of the fretboard.”

It’s a blink-or-you-’ll-miss kind of edit as well, happening right after the first phrase of the solo right before he goes really high on the whammy bar. 

Metallica could have easily decided to just delete it and keep going, but the rest of the guys thought it was cool, with Kirk saying: “We heard it back, and I was like ‘That’s brilliant. We gotta keep that.’ Of course I’ve never been able to reproduce it live since.”

In theory though, it really just adds to the madness of the song if you really listen for it. When you have James singing about the toll that drugs can take on you, having the guitar glitch out for a second just makes the whole thing feel like it’s breaking down that much more.

And since Metallica would get into the Bob Rock school of playing everything until it sounded perfect, this is the kind of little detail that gets lost when the band went more mainstream.