Gary Holt Recalls Being Angry When Kirk Hammett Used Exodus Material for Metallica’s “Creeping Death”
Back in July, Kirk Hammett shared a funny story about how then-Exodus singer Paul Baloff poured a beer on his head when Kirk announced he was leaving Exodus for Metallica back in 1983:
“It was April 1st, April Fool’s Day, and I was sitting on the toilet. I got the call from [Metallica sound engineer] Mark Whittaker, and after I hung up, I was like, ‘I can’t believe I just got that phone call. Was that an April Fool’s Day prank?’
“A couple of days later I got this tape from them, but I already had the demo and I already knew two-thirds of the songs on there.
“I told the guys in Exodus and they were pissed. They were pissed. I remember Paul Baloff was so pissed that he poured a beer over my head. He said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this, Kirk,’ then poured his beer over my head. I just took it, ‘Yeah, yeah, I know…’”
Now Hammett’s oft-forgotten stint in Exodus has come up in the press once again, this time via Hammett’s former bandmate, Gary Holt. Speaking to Metal Hammer, the Exodus guitarist recounted how angry he was when he first heard a refrain from “Die By His Hand,” an unreleased Exodus song, pop up in Metallica’s classic “Creeping Death” with no permission given:
“I recall calling Kirk up and giving him a great deal of grief. 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.”
Holt is doing just fine, of course — Exodus have been quite successful, and he served as Jeff Hanneman’s replacement in Slayer for several years — but I can only imagine how much that stings, let alone the fact that Metallica are, obviously, fucking massive in a way Exodus will never be. Maybe Holt and Dave Mustaine should start an ex-Metallica members support group.