The worlds of heavy metal and horror have always gone together perfectly. Whether it was the original metal band Black Sabbath taking their name from the 1963 film starring Vincent Price, the devilish artwork that graced an Iron Maiden album cover, or the ominous chords of Metallica intoning “the Call of Ktulu”, metal fans are by nature horror fans.
And of course, none are bigger than Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett. In 2012, Hammett shared his love of horror and his extensive memorabilia collection with the world through his book entitled Too Much Horror Business and he is about to share his collection in a much more personal way.
In conjunction with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, Hammett will display numerous pieces of artwork, vintage posters, masks, and other prized possessions from his personal collection through an exhibit entitled “It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection”.
According to the Peabody Essex Museum, “This exhibition features 90 works that provide insight into the evolution of horror and sci-fi films and how they have played upon contemporary societal fears.”
Hammett described the origins of his love of horror in a Horror News Network interview with Christine and Rob Caprilozzi in 2012 and revealed that “When I first started watching these horror movies in the late 60’s early 70’s, a lot of times it was just what was on television, “Creature Features.” I would just watch whatever the programming was. Every Saturday night they would run two horror movies, and a lot of the times it was just the old classic Universal stuff, Frankenstein, Dracula, Island of Lost Souls, and The Raven. That just shaped my whole aesthetic. I found myself gravitating and embracing that stuff. At that time, a lot of the horror movies coming out were the Hammer films. The problem was you had to go to the movie theater, and a lot of times I just didn’t have the resources to go. I just relied on whatever was on the television. I can remember waiting for the new TV Guide to come. The first thing I would do was go through every single page searching for horror movies to check out and I would make a list of horror movies I wanted to check out. I was always into the horror genre as a whole, but the classic Universal films just resonated with me.”
The exhibit will run up to November 26th, 2017, so fans will have plenty of time to view Hammett’s treasures through most of the fall season.
Hammett will be appearing in person for a special “In Conversation” program on August 19th to discuss his love of horror, art, and music. This is a specially ticketed event, so if you are interested, you might want to grab your tickets fast.
Contact the Peabody Essex Museum for more information and regular visiting hours.