Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) is the lead guitarist and a songwriter in the band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003 Hammett was ranked 11th in Rolling Stone's list - The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Born on November 18, 1962 in San Francisco to a Filipina mother (Chefela) and an Irish Merchant Marine father. He grew up in El Sobrante near Richmond, California. He has a younger sister named Tawny. Kirk Hammett attended De Anza High School in Richmond, California.
As a child and teenager, Hammett showed great interest in his older brother Rick's extensive collection of records. One of his biggest musical influences was Jimi Hendrix, and Hammett was quoted as saying he wanted to be Hendrix. Hammett has also been known to perform parts of Hendrix's songs during his guitar solos.