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“I tried to get it once and got ripped off” Kirk Hammett on how Joe Bonamassa helped him acquire an ultra-rare ‘59 Les Paul

“Joe, thank you so much for alerting me, and, and on top of that, not buying it!”

Kirk Hammett and his Factory Black 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

Image: Kirk Hammett via Instagram

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This March, Kirk Hammett added to his vintage collection an ultra-rare Factory Black 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard — an acquisition he says fellow guitar aficionado Joe Bonamassa played a big part in.

In a new interview with Total Guitar, the Metallica guitarist reveals that the search for the Gibson axe took him over a decade, adding that it was Bonamassa who eventually alerted him to the guitar’s whereabouts.

“I tried to get it once and got ripped off,” Hammett says. “I tried to work out a deal where I was going to trade 30 guitars for that guitar but ended up getting 30 guitars stolen!”

Without going into details of the failed deal, Hammett adds: “I kept my eye on it for a long time. [Then] about a year-and-a-half ago, Joe Bonamassa texted me and said, ‘I know you love that black Les Paul. It’s at Carter Vintage right now. Call them ASAP!’”

“I called them up that morning and then my second call was to Joe. ‘Joe, thank you so much for alerting me, and, and on top of that, not buying it!’”

The rocker also shares that he has since named the guitar ‘Ella’, saying: “Ella is going to be the yin to Greeny’s yang.”

“I’m probably going to be using it in the studio right alongside Greeny as Greeny’s foil.”

As Hammett explains, the ‘59 Les Paul is noticeably less aggressive than Greeny in character: “For single lines, single-note stuff and leads, oh man, it’s so nice,” he says. “It sings. It is so well balanced. It is a real blues, jazz, rock guitar.”

In other news, Kirk Hammett has recently argued that aside from musicians and serious guitar aficionados — who make up a small portion of the listening world, nobody really remembers guitar solos.

Instead, “they are gonna helluva remember a great melody, and they’re really gonna remember a great song – especially a song that’s gonna bring them to a different place from where they were five minutes previously.”

Hitting back at Hammett’s claims, virtuoso Angel Vivaldi says that the Metallica rocker’s statement “couldn’t be further from the truth”, adding that Kirk himself “is a reason why guitar solos are dying!”

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