WATCH: James Hetfield discusses guitar built from the wood of Metallica’s old garage

Meet Carl

Metallica guitarist James Hetfield is doing his part to document the band’s history, commissioning a guitar made from the wood of the garage that acted as Metallica’s practice room from 1983 to 1986.

In a recent video uploaded to Metallica TV, Hetfield explained how he contacted luthier Ken Lawrence to construct the guitar after plans to take the wood from Metallica’s old garage and repurpose it in their new practice space never eventuated. Instead, Hetfield is now the proud owner of “Carl”, named for the band’s residence during the ‘80s at 3132 Carlson.



A friend saved pieces of wood from the Carlson garage where Metallica wrote both Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, and Lawrence was able to transform them into Hetfield’s new guitar, which might be the best thing we've heard since Sir Lars received a knighthood. “Carl” even has bent nails in its body to ensure the history of the wood is maintained.


Metallica’s history is further encapsulated in the guitar with a fretboard story depicting each member of the band across the neck inlays. Hetfield also points out that the figures on the fretboard – himself, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, and Cliff Burton – appear in groups correlating with the Carlson address of 3132 for an extra touch of nostalgia.


Take a tour of Metallica's live rig here.