Metallica’s ‘Ride The Lightning’ Was Inspired By Stephen King

One of Metallica’s earliest albums was inspired by author Stephen King.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett says the band’s sophomore album Ride The Lightning is named after a line from King’s The Stand, about a character is about to be executed by the electric chair.

“One huge thing about my personal connection with Stephen King occurred when I was reading a chapter in The Stand,” Hammett explained. “The chapter had a guy in prison who was waiting to ‘Ride The Lightning’, and I just thought ‘oh my God, what a cool collection of adjectives and nouns that is!’

“I told James [Hetfield], he thought the same, and the rest is Metallica history! Pick up a copy of The Stand if you’re obsessive enough and find the chapter about a guy on death row where King actually writes the words,” Hammett continued.

The admiration is mutual – King is a big Metallica fan and was even a fan club member back in the day.


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