Lead Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett opened up about his friendship with Kurt Cobain in a recent Q&A with Rolling Stone‘s Greg Prato.
Is it true that the album cut “Whiplash” was Kurt Cobain’s favorite Metallica song?
Absolutely. He told me that himself. He came to one of our shows in Seattle, on the Black Album tour. I remember at one point, we were playing “Whiplash,” and he looked at me and kept punching the air with his fist, and gave me a big thumbs-up sign.I was like, “Cool. Kurt, I know you love this song. This one’s for you!” I knew Kurt kind of well, and I hung out with him quite a bit.
He was a pretty big Metallica fan – I was surprised at how much of a Metallica fan he was. He loved Ride the Lightning. He loved that album.
Of course this isn’t the first time Hammett has talked about Nirvana’s legendary frontman. In the 2008 metal documentary Get Thrashed he told the same story about Kurt’s love for “Whiplash” (from 1983’s Kill ‘Em All), and Ride The Lightning with only slightly different wording.
“He said that one of his favorite albums was Ride The Lightning and that one of his favorite Metallica songs was ‘Whiplash.’ Right after we finished recording the Black Album, Kurt put out an album called Nevermind. All of a sudden grunge was everywhere. Kurt was a big Metallica fan.”