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Kirk Hammett is afraid to listen to Lulu again, but not for the usual reason

Metallica and Lou Reed in 2011
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

It’s probably fair to say most Metallica fans don’t get Lulu, the 2011 album they made with Lou Reed, and that many who bought it won’t listen to it again.

But Kirk Hammett has a different reason for not wanting to play it back – it’s too important to him.

The guitarist told NME that one of the greatest compliments he’s ever received was when David Bowie wrote to Reed, saying Lulu was his best-ever record.

“It was an incredible honour working with Lou Reed and I loved the Lulu album,” he asserted. “I remember Lou sharing with me that letter David Bowie sent. It was written on paper and it was such a glowing, gruelling appraisal of the Lulu album.

“When Lou showed it to me, it brought me to tears, bro! ‘Cause I might be some heavy metal guy but Lou Reed and David Bowie made tons of great music that has been a huge inspiration to me over the course of my life.

“It’s hard for me to listen back to Lulu because it brings me back to that time – thinking about working with Lou and soaking up his vibe. It became a very emotional album for myself, and I’m afraid to listen to it!”

Hammett also recalled his failed attempt to have Nirvana join Metallica’s 1992 tour with Guns N’ Roses, and being the person nominated to call Kurt Cobain.

“He just went on and on about how he just didn’t like what Guns N’ Roses stood for, and I said to him: ‘Just go out there and represent Nirvana – just play the show and then that’s it’. 

“I pleaded with him, but he just wasn’t having it. So there you have it. It would have been great if Nirvana was part of that tour – but you know, Faith No More were great as well.”

Metallica are currently touring the European festival circuit.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.