Way back in April 2015, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett went on Jamey Jasta’s podcast and revealed that he’d somehow “lost [his] iPhone with 250 musical ideas [recorded].” Hammett continued:
I was crushed. It didn’t get backed up. When it happened, I was bummed out for about two or three days… I’m still looking for it to this day… It still might turn up, I’m hoping that it will … To try to remember those riffs? I can only remember, like, eight of ‘em. So I just chalked it down to maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll just move forward with it.
In August 2015, Hammett told Chicago DJ Tim Virgin that he’d almost managed to find the phone. But no dice.
Yes, I did go to my computer and hit the button “Find My iPhone,” and it tracked it to the Copenhagen [Denmark] airport, and then the dot disappeared. So what happened was I lost it in a cab. Someone found it in a cab, kept it, and took it to Copenhagen airport and got on a plane, and that was the end of it.
Last December, in an interview with Bravewords, Hammett said there’d been “immense, traumatic consequences” for losing his phone.
I’m kind of a technological sloth. It took me losing my iPhone to figure out that I can back it up to the iCloud … I had about, I don’t know, 450 entries in there, which means there were about 250, 300 riffs, because a lot of times I’ll write different versions of the same riff. And when I lost my phone, I could only recall about four riffs. So I’ve closed the book on that [laughs]. And, you know, I’m sitting on some music — now! — that I’m happy about. I’m just waiting, waiting for an opportunity, you know, where it can grow.
Ah well. Bummer, right? Live and learn! One to grow on! Etc. At least he’s able to “close the book” on all that. You know who’s not able to close the book on all that, though? Hammett’s bandmate James Hetfield, who has continuously expressed suspicion about Hammett’s claim. Hetfield was recently a guest on the Meltdown podcast, and there again, he basically accused Hammett of lying to the world for the better part of the last two years. Ultimate Guitar found the interview and transcribed the salient bits. Here’s Hetfield on Hammett’s lost phone:
That’s what he claims. I’m sure he did [lose the phone], but it doesn’t make sense that he wouldn’t have [the music] on his computer, either. But, whatever… Yeah, Kirk had some riffs that he… I guess submitted — it’s not a very nice word to be used if you’re in a band. But you know, we all submit our tapes, and we sit there and we listen to them and we pick the best stuff. There was not much stuff from Kirk. Whether his phone was lost, or whatever…
That’s what he claims. Well that is illuminating! And very professional! Seems like all is going well in Camp Metallica. I could speculate about the origins of this beef, but instead I’ll direct you to an excellent Onion piece published this past April, whose headline alone better captured the state of Metallica than any non-satirical story I’ve read in the past decade: