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Gary Holt Recalls Being Mad At Kirk Hammett For Lifting EXODUS Parts For METALLICA's Ride The Lightning

One of metal's trivia notes is before famously joining Metallica, Kirk Hammett was a member of Bay Area thrashers Exodus. But, when Hammett transitioned from Exodus to Metallica, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing.

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As part of Metal Hammer's retrospective on Metallica's classic album, Ride the Lightning, the magazine reached out to longtime Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who explained his frustrations at the time.

Indeed, Exodus – the Bay Area bruisers from whom Kirk Hammett had been poached – instantly capitalized on what Metallica had done. They printed a T-shirt with a two-word slogan: ‘No Ballads’. But then Exodus had a bigger axe to grind. Hammett had used a riff from their song Impaler in Trapped Under Ice. Worse, the ‘Die by my hand!’ refrain from Creeping Death had originally appeared in another Exodus song, called Die By His Hand.

“I recall calling Kirk up and giving him a great deal of grief,” Exodus guitarist Gary Holt later grumbled. “He said, ‘Ah, I thought I asked you if it was OK.’ I’m like, ‘No, you didn’t.’ So I’ve had the pleasure – and I use the term loosely – of watching 60,000 people chant ‘Die by my hand!’ at Metallica shows, yet I’ve never received a penny for it.”

Hopefully, I am assuming the two parties have made amends since then. Kirk did appear as a guest soloist on Exodus' last album, and Holt credits Hammett as the person who taught him how to play guitar.

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