Happy LOON birthday out Kirk Hammet of Metallica who turns 49 years young today (November 18th).

Kirk Lee Hammet was born this day in 1962 in San Francisco, CA.

In 1978, he purchased his first guitar, a Fender Stratocaster copy. He began tinkering with it to try and extricate various sounds eventually incorporating a 1974 Gibson Flying V.

He would form his first band, "Exodous" in 1980. It would become popular in the bay area thrash metal scene.

In 1983, upon the dismissal of original lead axe-man Dave Mustaine, Metallica would invite Kirk to come on board, and the rest is rock and roll!

Kirk has been married to his second wife, Lynn, since 1998. They have two sons and reside in San Francisco.

Metallica recently completed a (heavily criticized) project with Lou Reed entitled Lulu.