Uli Jon Roth “The Sails of Charon” vs. Kirk Hammett “Battery”
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Kirk Hammett's love for Scorpions' "The Sails of Charon" is well-known. He quotes the riff in his live unaccompanied solos (see YouTube), he named it one of the five guitar solos that changed his life, and in this interview with BW&BK, he said:
I've been obsessed with that song ever since I was 14 or 15 years old - the riff, the guitar solo, the song itself. Sooner or later, it's just going to bubble up to the surface and manifest itself somewhere over the course of my playing career.
Indeed, "The Sails of Charon" bubbled up to the surface and manifested itself in a way that surprisingly no one has caught before. I discovered classic Scorpions years after I heard Metallica. So when I heard Uli Jon Roth's solo in "The Sails of Charon", the tasty descending lick around 0:53 had me thinking, "Where have I heard that before???"
It didn't take long before I figured out where - around 3:45 into Metallica's "Battery". Hammett plays a descending lick that, if not the same as Roth's, is very much in his spirit. (Hear comparison above.) I bet that's "Sails of Charon" coming through Hammett's fingers. It's just a flash in time, but sometimes that's how the past stamps the present.
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