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Not just Lars

Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke to Metal Mayhem ROC podcast and professed his love for Deep Purple:

Lars and I love Deep Purple. I’ve always loved it; Ritchie Blackmore is one of my favorite guitar players. Ritchie Blackmore is also Lars’ favorite guitar player of all time. When I was 15 years old, and I heard ‘Highway Star’, I thought [it was] mindblowing. It spoke to me — obviously [laughs]. Between Lars and I, we know a lot of Purple material, and yes, we jam occasionally on that stuff.

Deep Purple is really hard to cover. It’s actually easier to cover [Ritchie Blackmore’s] Rainbow than it is to cover Deep Purple. The guitar parts are always kind of difficult, but Ian Paice’s drum parts? Crazy. And then you have the whole contents of John Lord’s keyboards… Keyboards were such a heavy part of Deep Purple; if you cover Purple, you’ve got to have the keys!

Hammett quoted several bars of Speed King on Metallica’s latest album 72 Seasons.

The complete conversation, well over an hour long is available on YouTube.

Thanks to Ultimate Guitar for the info and transcription.

30 Comments to “Not just Lars”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    That was nice, short & sweet too !

    Always good to hear UFO getting a mention, along with Michael Schenker too.

    It’s also good how these guys realize how important every person is in DP.

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    Guy asked about Gettin’ Tighter. That’s a long shot, IMO

  3. 3
    sidroman says:

    It’s cool that Metallica loves Purple. But other than One, I can’t stand them personally, and Hetfield’s voice is awful.

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    Good ole Kirk, I suppose he is getting on a bit these days so we can probably get away with the ‘old’ bit. Seriously though he is getting into the progressive rock lately, I have read a few interviews with him about that, good to see. I always thought years ago when the metal lickers do finally calm down after getting their knickers in a twist over the heavy metal flute winning ‘their’ Grammy, that they or more to the point the guitarists would not be able to resist the more sophisticated musical journey that the ‘progressive’ bands can lead you on. At least one out of four ain’t too bad & lets’ face it, I could never see Ulrich going that way & Hetfield I still hold some hope for. I shouldn’t be so harsh on Trujillo at all as he wasn’t there when Tull ‘upstaged’ them all those eons ago. Good comedy still to this day. In regards to Purple & dare I say Rainbow & why do I get a sense of ‘here we go again’ following Kirk’s comments. I await with bated breath. Cheers.

  5. 5
    hassan nikfarjam says:

    The first song of deep purple that blew my mind was blind from April because of the amazing drums. This song took me to the world of Deep purple .The keyboards were magnificent and the guitar sounded different.Deep purple changed the direction of music and my life.

  6. 6
    Ivica says:

    Yes ,Deep Purple has a high level … and David … and his guys finally succeeded,very good job…..


  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “In regards to Purple & dare I say Rainbow & why do I get a sense of ‘here we go again’ following Kirk’s comments …”

    Alas!, why should I, Herr MacGregor? Hasn’t history long settled the matter? Deep Purple is one of the undisputed pillars of British heavy rock and Rainbow a thoroughly failed vanity project of marginal importance. (More of DP style music, yet less.) And there the figure of the wizard must rest, flattened in the blood-drenched sands of time.

    Kirk H has always been the Metallica person I liked most. For a lead guitarist whose band rose to prominence in the 80ies, he’s very much an old school bluesy player, not a shredder at all. I always appreciated that, in an age of EvH, George Lynch, Yngwie J Malmsteen etc, Kirk was almost rootsy in his approach. Henceforth I shall forgive him that he mistook WABMC with SoF (which Metallica never covered) in the interview (and the interviewers let him get away with it), the songs aren’t entirely dissimilar in chord structure and have a mutual feel. Metallica’s version(s) of WABMC I always found very tasteful.



    That said, the Rainbow covers weren’t bad either, metallicalized, but not beyond recognition.


    I’m no Metallica fan, but I respect their achievements and longevity. They took a niche music such as Thrash Metal out of the trailer park and made it mass-compatible, people go to see them who I am sure do not own a single heavy metal record, much less a Metallica one. They’ve become an institution like the Rolling Stones or U2. No mean feat.

    Hetfield couldn’t sing for shit on those early albums, but he’s learned to effectively use his voice over the decades, mindful of its inherent limits. On a good day his voice reminds me a lot of Eric Bloom’s (BÖC) voice (on a bad one!).


    Back to Kirk, I think he’s sincere in his appreciation of DP (and is even acquainted with Tommy Bolin’s solo and session work!), but I don’t think his uttered wish at 54:24 for a one-off reunion tour of DP with their first guitarist (who now does folk music I believe) will materialize

    PS: Ivica, the new mix of WS doing You Fool No One is indeed quite pleasant (if one ignores Aldridge’s rigid drumming for a moment, that’s just his drum machine style). Reb Beach’s guitar playing owes quite a bit to Ritchie and you could tell that on the Purple Tour he greatly enjoyed playing the DP chestnuts (and was also the chief arranger/musical director of the WS versions in the studio). With Doug Aldrich gone and Joel Hoekstra still the new boy then, Reb really came into his own for the first time with WS.

  8. 8
    Gregster says:


    Uwe said qt.”Rainbow (was) a thoroughly failed vanity project of marginal importance”.

    ROTFLMAO !!! Though quite true in the big scheme-of-things…But the band does set the example of discipline, & playing well together, to a highish standard, even if they fail to get yo-ass-shakin’-a-little-to-the-left or right…( Your head may bang however )…

    It’s all show-biz remember…

    As for Metallica, anyone want a free copy of “Death Magnet” ???

    Peace !

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    Yes it was Kirk Hammett that I was initially thinking of decades ago when pondering the progressive & other musical genre leanings & definitely not Hetfield & Ulrich. Hammett does have that old school style is varying ways & he has never appeared to me at least as to taking the Metallica thing all that seriously. Well he has in certain aspects of course but he always seems to have his eyes on other interests musically. As for that other comment, you couldn’t resist, I knew it, he he he! Cheers.

  10. 10
    Dave says:

    I remember when we considered Purple as the “underground” and it was cool that pop types had no knowledge of them. Today, I was listening to a 1970 boot with Jon and Ritchie tearing it up on WTN and MR, and I was thinking. Wow! There was no-one playing like that at the time! And this was JUST post Hendrix! Brian May said it YEARSlater how much of a trailblazer Blackmore was, yet the Page/Plant followers rarely mentioned him. Ritchie HUGELY overshadowed most guitarists of those days. It’s no wonder that Lars speaks as he does about Deep Purple,,,, when Purple Was Purple. 1969-1973.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    There was something about that early Blackmore, Lord, Paice, Evans & Simper combination that set it up nicely for when Gillan & Glover stepped into the cauldron. And as we know so many artists are usually much more productive earlier on before other influences or lack of influences & the proverbial personality & musical differences set in. The difference in early MKII Purple & the 1984 reunion Purple is quite astonishing really. They had picked up the inevitable 1980’s Rainbow & Gillan band influences especially & whilst still very good as MKII were post reunion, it was unadulterated in the early years. As for Hendrix, yes indeed he was blown sideways by so many of those ‘new’ guitarists popping up in the late 1960’s & for good reason. It was a astonishing thing that happened & so many of the other musicians in certain bands were remarkable players along with the arrangements & compositions etc. Everything certainly went up much more than one notch. Hendrix opened the door a little & the others then kicked it down. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Gregster says:


    No one played like Jimi Hendrix, or has done since. He is King of modern guitar playing period…Everyone has followed in his wake.

    Jon Lord is quoted & on film in saying that Jimi had a massive influence on RB, as that’s why RB saw him dozens of times.

    Pete Townshend is on record saying that though he can’t come to terms with Jimi’s death, he was glad he died, since that allowed him & others to shine.

    Leslie West & Jimi used to hang-out together in NYC, where they’d jam together with Jimi often playing bass. Leslie couldn’t believe his good fortune.

    Johnny Winter & John McLaughlin even hung-out with Jimi & jammed. There’s a dodgy recording of the session available.

    Never ever underestimate the sheer magic of Jimi, & the profound musical influence he’s had on every guitarist since his time, even if they ( the guitarist in the music shop picking-up his first electric ) don’t know it yet.

    If people are honest & thoughtful about history, Jimi remains King, & always will be King of the modern guitar style & its possibilities. The only people who doubt this, simply haven’t explored his live performances…Check this out Yo !!!


    Peace !

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    To me the two most influential rock guitarists are Jimi and Eddie, nuff said. Zu

    And Jimi‘s influence on Ritchie is so large, I always wondered how much it fell under the radar. I guess Hendrix and Purple audiences didn‘t mix that much, but if Hendrix was a Jedi on guitar, then Ritchie was Darth Vader. He copped a lot off Jimi and went with it to the dark side. Not so much stealing licks or a sound, but Hendrix‘ use of dynamics and drama as well as aspects of his live presentation. In effect, Hendrix liberated Ritchie‘s already very good technical playing, there would have been no In Rock without him.

  14. 14
    Gregster says:

    @13 said…

    qt.”In effect, Hendrix liberated Ritchie‘s already very good technical playing, there would have been no In Rock without him”.

    Well said meister Uwe, & it’s also quite possible that the sound of a Stratocaster when cranked-up via Jimi, also encouraged the swap in RB’s arsenal from Gibson to Fender, like many other people, though perhaps it was also the expanded dynamics & sound made possible via the use of the “whammy-bar” that RB liked & wanted to incorporate into the stage-act…

    Another interesting point that people don’t realize, is that before Jimi was recognized with using a Fender Stratocaster almost exclusively, the company was considering dropping the instrument all-together from the production line, due to lack-of-sales & interest…And now-days, the Stratocaster is the foundation on which the Fender company rebuilt itself after the CBS sale in 1984-5…

    Long live the original / genuine Fender Stratocasters !… Thanks Jimi !!!

    Peace !

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Before Jimi, the Stratocaster – and actually Fender guitars as a whole – had an uncool image in the UK because they were perceived as Hank Marvin & the Shadows equipment, the goody-goodies of guitar pop.


    Session musos would play expensive Fender instruments, “real rockers” would play Gibson or Epiphone or Gretsch or Rickenbacker (if they could afford – tariffs! – US instruments at all and did not have to revert to the cheaper German ones such as Höfner, Hoyer, Framus and Klira).

    Hendrix made Strat-playing sexy and turned the guitar model into an icon of revolt.

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Re Ritchie without a Strat … it just doesn’t look the part …


  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    That is a good image of Blackmore with a Les Paul & yes it doesn’t look quite right dose it. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Gregster says:


    Great photo ! And I tend to disagree, as he got the colour right…But could he find the sound ???

    Certainly a “Flying-V”, or “Modern Flying-V”, “Firebird” or “Explorer” would be fine-by me if RB decided to use any of these, though its an “Ibanez” I can’t see him using for reasons unknown…


    Simply stunning guitars the “Modern Flying-V” are, but they only made 33-guitars in each colour…I did try to get one however, but they were all sold-out before they were released.

    Peace !

  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I believe Ritchie would have (had) an issue with most Gibson guitars because of their shorter scale in comparison to Fenders, the string tension isn’t the same and he needs a higher tension for his style to work with the scalloped neck vibrato and all. He also needs that Fender snappiness from the bolt-on neck (though he in addition also had them glued to the guitar body back in the day – if more for stability and rigidness than anything else), Gibson set-necks and neck-thrus (= Firebird) can’t provide that. His style is really very much wedded to the Strat.

    I love the Flying V shape myself too. But I don’t think a Gibson Flying V would have offered Ritchie enough authority and oomph in DP and Rainbow days. What many people don’t realize is that a Flying V with much of the overall body mass tucked away in those elongated wings far away from bridge and pups is not really a massive-, but a lean-sounding guitar (just strum one unplugged), it’s actually the closest thing to a Telecaster sound Gibson has on offer in its guitar repertoire.

    And the Flying V’s popularity in heavy metal circles is not just based on its stylish looks (which I love, I have several Flying V basses though it’s not really a good shape for an authoritative bass sound … those – cue in Noddy Holder – far far away wings again …)


    or the Jimi Hendrix image connection (the one guitar shape he is known for AFTER the Strat one),


    but on its ability to still sound tidy and distinct even with a lot of distortion and especially in a twin-guitar set-up for heavier music.

    I remember an interview with Wolf Hoffmann of Accept where he explained that while two Flying V guitarists on stage (de rigueur with Accept) look of course great, it came about simply because they can’t really get the classic “mean but lean” Accept guitar sound live with a different guitar type configuration: “We tried Les Pauls, they sounded great on their own, but played together they are just too massive in tone, it clutters up our sound.”

    Andy Powell (the Wishbone Ash Flying V guy), Rudolf and Michael Schenker + KK Downing have all said that they prefer Flying Vs as their go-to-guitar because they like the inherent leanness of its sound – it doesn’t overpower or clutter.

    No pics of Ritchie with a Flying V I’m afraid, we’ll have to do with a (once) young Swedish fan of his:


    Though that terribly souped-up + ultra-distorted Aria Pro II XX Deluxe (I think!) he mangles on that performance doesn’t really sound anything like a real Gibson Flying V which is a lot less abrasive.

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    Slade & 50 years since the release of the Xmas song. A song that worked well for me in my debates with my friend about Deep Purple being better than Slade, he was the one who started that, typical teenage high school mentality from us both but someone had to stick up for the Purps. I had no problem nailing him to the wall with the xmas song, ‘you call that rock music’ etc etc. His comeback was Anyone’s Daughter ‘country music’ he called it & in some ways he was sort of correct, but I would never admit that. Deep Purple won & Slade lost, too easy. Cheers.

  21. 21
    Gregster says:


    Perhaps what I was leaning towards was the fact that a new guitar, often inspires new tunes to come-out all-by-themselves, & very unexpectedly…

    A great deal of my own tunes from CD’s Volume 6 through 10 were inspired simply by having acquired the SG…Nothing like a new guitar to help with new tunes !!!

    RB “could” have wrote new tunes / riffs on other guitars, & simply transferred them over to the Stratocaster like I often do. The Gibson family of guitars are easier to play & get along with. RB has stated in the past that Fenders are much-more-difficult to play & get along with.

    Peace !

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    But Herr MacGregor @20, open your heart, ‘tis the festive season, of course Slade’s seasonal classic is a rock song, augmented by British Music Hall influences, Beatlish enough to have qualified for Magical Mystery Tour.

    The comparison between DP and Slade amuses me, it is as incongruous as saying Kansas is better than Creedence Clearwater Revival. Slade were a power pop outfit, always focused on the three minute + x hit (and the singles charts), pretty much the only thing they had in common with Purple was an energetic performance designed to overwhelm. But really closer in what they did and what they wanted to do to Status Quo, Sweet and Kiss (by Kiss’ own admission btw) than to traditional heavy rock of the Purple, Heep, Sabbath + Zep ilk. And that’s coming from me as a diehard Slade fan.

    But the whole improvisational and “we’re all virtuosos”-shtick that DP flaunted so excessively meant nothing to the Wolverhamptoners, they wanted songs to be short and concise and Dave Hill would always pick up the vocal melody in his – tasteful and well-executed – solos. Though it has to be said that no Purple bassist had an as individual, raucous and melodic/harmonic a bass style as Jim Lea – he‘s an unsung British bass ace (and was once complimented by Frank Zappa for it!).


  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe it was almost 50 years ago at high school & my friend at school was the proverbial stirrer at the highest level. He was into Slade & he use to wind me up for being into Sabbath & Purple, but Purple in particular. His older brother had those records so he knew who they were & he did like some of their songs. It was all jesting etc & another guy at school was only into Bowie & Cooper, but he wasn’t into playing mind games about it all. School eh & as you have said before the girls did not like Purple, Sabbath & Heep. But they did like Slade & Bowie in particular. I guess it was the glam & the catchy songs & as we know the Purps & Sabs & Heepsters were a glum looking lot at times, with those denim jeans & long hair, ha ha ha, not very appealing to those high school girls at that time. Oh well not to worry, we all have our niche. Before we knew it we had finished school in ’75 & ventured out into the ‘real’ world & wasn’t that an eye opener at the time. I doubt that those guys (I know the Slade guy isn’t & hasn’t been since the 70’s )would be still into their favourite music from all those years ago, unlike me of course. Hence the odd comment I receive occasionally “are you still into that music’ ha ha ha, yes indeed I am. Cheers.

  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ian Gillan and Jon Lord did have their female fans in Germany, each of them in their own way were handsome men. That really couldn’t be said of Ritchie (my gf at the time always said: “He looks like some unsettling dark harbinger bird!”), Little Ian or Roger (who was the more maternal instincts raising type). Come Mk III, the teen gazettes were full of comments like “the new guy is not as handsome as Ian Gillan, but he has a real good voice” about DC.

    Slade wrote catchy songs, but always looked like a Birmingham rowdy street gang (the original Peaky Blinders so to say) to me,


    caught in a time loop somewhere between the Dickensian Era and Clockwork Orange. For a teen band they were appallingly unattractive, already a bit long in the tooth when they made it (with the exception of the some years younger Jim Lea they were all approaching their 30ies in the years of their fame, the band had been going since 1966) and looking much older and weathered to boot, nothing pretty boy or androgynous to them at all. Just by their visuals, it’s amazing that they got as far as they did as a singles band serving the teen market. It’s a testament to the strength of their songwriting because unlike Sweet, Mud, BCR or Suzi Quattro who all had outside songwriters, Slade’s hits were all their own material.

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    It was the Slade Alive album that my school mate use to hammer to death & I must admit that it was more appealing to me being harder & louder & the songs were a little longer etc. I did return serve with the proverbial & Made in Japan was indeed a decent live album to enamour me with plenty of confidence. Not that 20 minute versions of Space Truckin’ were most peoples favourite & Blackmore & Gillan trading licks in Strange Kind of Woman, but I really enjoyed it & that is all that mattered. T Rex were also there with the girls & The Sweet of course, those catchy 3 minute songs eh. The Slade guys were not teen idols as such on the image front but their songs seem to work & it makes me wonder how many girls dropped them once they set eyes upon them on Top Of The Pops. That does happen with the teeny bopper mentality, looks DO mean a lot at times & of course still to this day even more. Suzi Q worked for us guys for a little while, is that all we had, just one ‘idol’, sheesh no wonder we stick to the old boring rockers & their music. Cheers.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I just saw the 2019 Suzi Q documentary last night, it’s well worth a watch and really in-depth about her as a person.


    I thought she was great back then (yes, a life size poster of her in full catsuit glory adorned my room too) and only saw her live comparatively recently.

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    I tell you what though when Suzi Quatro appeared that really brought the importance of a bass guitarist to the fore. For us younger lads back then the bass didn’t even exist I don’t think. However after Suzi it was a very important instrument, in capable hands that is. Cheers.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    That female band Fanny had a Patti Quatro in them in the early 70’s, Suzi’s sister. Their documentary is worth watching as they didn’t make it to the big time for different reasons, but it wasn’t for lack of trying etc. Even Bowie supported them in a few ways to try & get them that break they desperately needed. Thanks for the heads up re Suzi Quatro doco, I will seek it out after watching that trailer. Cheers.

  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    The Chinn & Chapman songwriting was what really gave Suzi Quatro that hit factor & she was dressed to kill which was the marketing force that executives at record companies wanted. Fanny on the other hand were there at the same time in the USA as Quatro & her sister & others also battling away throughout the later 1960′. Fanny refused to submit to the gimmick that certain people wanted them to be, a novelty act. Pure rock ‘n roll & wrote their own songs I do believe. They were actually appreciated more in Britain & Europe as those audiences noticed their originality more I would say. Suzi Q was destined for England it seemed & that move there really proved positive. I have to admit that I always found Suzi Quatro a little twee if that is the word to use, all credit to her though she also has done it the hard way & coming from a strong musical family put her in good stead. She was in the right place at the right time. Same with the Sweet in regards to having songwriters of very high calibre laying it out for them. Musically Fanny impressed me & I never knew who they were until stumbling upon them a few years ago. Rock musics first original successful all girl group? Possibly so it appears & a huge influence on many of the following female artists. David Bowie thought really highly of them as did Lowell George who apparently loved jamming with them. Anyway things get in the way & personality differences etc rear there ugly heads, not to worry. Cheers.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Talking of ‘glam’ rock & Slade, Xmas wasn’t the only Slade as we know. Is this a repeated article from a past time I am not sure. Cheers.


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