Kirk Hammett Has ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez Memento From ‘St. Anger’ Shoot
Back in 2003, Metallica visited San Quentin Prison to shoot their video for the title track of their St. Anger album. And in a new interview with Kerrang, guitarist Kirk Hammett revealed he left the shoot with an odd memento from one of the prison's most well-known inmates - Richard Ramirez, often labeled The Night Stalker during his '80s home invasion killing spree.
Ramirez was found guilty in 1989 of 43 crimes including 13 counts of murder and five attempted murders. The inmate was placed on Death Row for his actions and he died in 2013 from complications secondary to B-cell lymphoma. His story was revisited in Netflix's 2021 documentary, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer.
As Hammett learned during the visit, Ramirez was a Metallica fan. The guitarist recalled, “I got a really cool thing from one of the correctional officers. It was a magazine with us on the cover and the subscription tag said ‘Richard Ramirez’– the ‘Night Stalker’ killer who was at San Quentin while we were playing. He was a Metallica fan, but he was on death row and he could only hear us. I still have the magazine. It’s a nice little novelty item.”
The video shoot itself had the band playing their song inside the prison for the inmates. Hammett recalled of that shoot, “At one point, one of the inmates screamed over to me and said, ‘Hey, Kirk, I know your mom!’ and I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, I used to mow her lawn!’ He added that he knew so-and-so from the neighborhood, too. I was like, ‘I might know more people here than I thought!’ But it was cool, it was really mellow. All the inmates were really appreciative of the fact that we were there and it was a distraction for them.”
Revisit Metallica's "St. Anger" video below.
Metallica, "St. Anger"