Originally owned by Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green, then sold to Gary Moore in 1970 for a modest 300 bucks, Greeny was bought by Hammett in 2014 from vintage guitar dealer Richard Henry.
There was some speculation afoot about a 'new' Greeny after Gibson's director of brand experience, Mark Agnesi, posted an Instagram story of what looked suspiciously like Greeny, albeit with some different patterns of wear on the hardware and top.
Greeny is not a pristine museum piece. It has seen a lot of action, and is bearing some scars. But that's very much part of its charm, and Hammett has always been of the opinion that it should be played.
He has been as good as his word. Greeny has become a fixture in Metallica's set, typically making an appearance during Fade To Black.
In a recent interview with Total Guitar, Hammett pays tribute to the late Fleetwood Mac guitarist, who died on 25 July, and says that owning Greeny that had helped him reconnect with his blues playing.
”Having a guitar like Greeny, you just wanna be playing it,” he said. “Truthfully, I have reconnected with my blues playing. When I first started playing guitar, I thought, ‘All right! I’ll play the blues. I’ll play the blues like Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy or BB King.’ For the first couple of years, I played blues just as much as I played rock.“
Hammett played Greeny as he jammed The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons the Peter Green Tribute Concert, held back in February at London's Palladium.
The question is: will Gibson produce a run of Greeny Les Pauls? After all, there are many unofficial replicas, and reversing the polarity of the neck pickup for that middle position Greeny tone is one of the most popular LP mods. There has scarcely been a time when there has been more interest in the guitar.
Or at the very least, this occasion calls for Agnesi to pay Hammett a visit for Gibson TV's The Collection and explore the Metallica guitarist's awesome trove of gear.