Connect with us

Kirk Hammett recalls his friendship with Johnny Ramone

Classic Rock

Kirk Hammett recalls his friendship with Johnny Ramone

The legendary Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett had the chance to meet almost all his heroes during his career and one of them was the the praised Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone. He inspired countless guitarists because of the way he used to play the guitar and Hammett recalled he had the chance to tell him that. He recalled that in an interview with Rick Beato (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar).


Kirk Hammett recalls his friendship with Johnny Ramone

“I’ve been doing it since I was a kid (downpicking), and it’s all because of The Ramones and the Sex Pistols. I became really good friends with Johnny Ramone… He was a really, really funny guy, really a crazy, divisive character [laughs]. Again, he was a contrarian, just for his own amusement.”

“You’d say something, he would just instantly [counter it]. And he used to say to me, ‘Kirk, the only good heavy metal band out there is Black Sabbath.’ ‘Whatever you say, Johnny.’ ‘All these other guitar players. They’re crap. The best guitar player out there is Jimmy Page.’ I’m like, ‘Whatever you say, Johnny.'”

Hammett continued:

“And, you know, I would let him have his opinions. And then I’d say, ‘John, you know, you’ve been a huge influence on me’ — I’d tell him this all the time — he goes, ‘How can I be an influence on you? How can I be an influence on you? I said, ‘The way you pick! It had an influence on so many people.'”

“And I said, ‘How did you come up with that?’ And he goes, ‘I was just counting. That’s the only way I could count, [laughs] through downstrokes. It was the only way he could keep time! He was keeping time by doing just downstrokes — he practically created a whole genre of doing that,” Kirk Hammett said.

The Ramones was formed in 1974 in Queen, New York and was active until 1996. Besides the vocalist Joey Ramone, the guitarist Johnny Ramone was the only other member of the band who was part of all their albums. He passed away back in 2004 at the age of 55.


I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top