METALLICA‘s Kirk Hammett has paid tribute to David Bowie, who died on January 10, two days after his 69th birthday. During an appearance on a recent edition of the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast (Facebook page), the guitarist said: “[Bowie‘s] influence on me was huge. ‘Changesonebowie’ was one of the… part of a handful of albums that I bought when I was a young kid. I had decided to make a point of going out to the record store and buying albums from artists that I heard on the radio. It was Elton John, it was David Bowie, it was KISS, it was THIN LIZZY and it was LED ZEPPELIN. And that was my first batch of albums that I bought. And the Bowie album was ‘Changesonebowie’, and I bought it because I loved the song ‘Fame’ and I loved the song ‘Golden Years’. And they were just so completely different from anything else that was playing on the radio back then. And I really got into it.”
He continued: “David Bowie has been a pretty huge influence on me and on other people in [METALLICA] as well. I know that… [Late METALLICA bassist] Cliff Burton and I, we used to listen to the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album a lot on the ‘Ride The Lightning’ tour. The title [of the METALLICA song] ‘Leper Messiah’ is actually in the song ‘Ziggy Stardust’. And if you wanna dig any further into how much of an influence he was, all you have to do is listen to the [Bowie] song ‘Andy Warhol’, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. That song was a heavy influence on Cliff Burton and that album, ‘Hunky Dory’, was a big influence on Cliff Burton as well. If you listen to ‘Andy Warhol’, you’ll hear something in that song that totally… You’ll hear something in that song that will make you say, ‘Ah! Okay. Bowie‘s music was an influence on METALLICA.’ I’m not gonna say where or what or how or whatever; I’m just gonna leave it up to you [to figure it out].”
According to reports from insiders in the David Bowie camp, the British singer, songwriter, actor and fashion icon died from liver cancer, after suffering from a handful heart attacks in recent years.
Bowie died following a private 18-month battle against the disease. Stage director Ivo van Hove, who had been working with Bowie on his musical “Lazurus” revealed to The Independent that he knew Bowie was ill for “about a year.”
Bowie biographer Wendy Leigh went on to tell the BBC that musician’s recent health woes were actually quite extensive. “He didn’t just battle cancer,” she said. “He had six heart attacks in recent years. I got this from somebody very close to him.”