If James Hetfield is the face of Metallica, Kirk Hammett is the blood that runs through its veins.
The guitarist was born in San Francisco, Calif. on Nov. 18, 1962. He developed a fascination for horror and rock 'n' roll during his youth, and eventually picked up the guitar at 15. "I learned by playing along to records hundreds of time. The first one I learned to play decently was [Jimi Hendrix's] 'Purple Haze,'" he once recalled to Rolling Stone.