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Hammett, Kirk
Too Much Horror Business-The Kirk Hammett Collection (Book Review)
May 2013
Released: 2012, Abrams Image
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

For the most part The Library Of Loudness is dedicated to books about Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. There are some rare exceptions when we will review a book where the subject matter is not Hard Rock or Heavy Metal but we feel may be of interest to our readers. This is one of those occasions.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica is a horror movie fan. He always has been and probably always will be. Over the years (even pre-Metallica) he has amassed to what amounts to one of the world’s largest collections of Horror memorabilia. His collection was impressive before his financial freedom afforded by his fabulous career in Metallica, but since then Hammett has switched from a merely a dedicated fan and collector to (in his words), an archivist, librarian and curator of one of the finest collections on the planet. TOO MUCH HORROR BUSINESS is essentially a testament to his passion outside of music.

The book itself is gorgeous. It is a weighty 215-page, nicely bound, hard cover book with thick glossy paper, all in full-colour. The magnificent coffee table tome is really beautiful to look at. Kirk and the publisher, Abrams, did a marvelous job. The book is anchored by three interviews with Hammett about his horror memorabilia collection and the rest are pictures of his collection. A book about a rock stars collection of some stuff could be really dull but in reality I found it fascinating, because I am a Horror movie fan.

I have a bit of a passion for collecting as well (Metal stuff) so I really enjoyed the three interviews. In the first he talks about his early years and how he came to love comics, Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror at a very early age. The middle interview he discusses how his collection evolved from hobby to a serious endeavor where he traveled the world accumulating rare pieces. I really connected with his passion for not only just ‘owning’ a bunch of stuff but preserving it, discussing it and sharing it with like-mined fans, hence the need to present his collection in book form. In the last interview he discusses how music and art combine in his two great passions.

The photos are extremely well produced. It is presented in a musuem and/or art gallery style. There a few stylized photos of Kirk thrown in, posing as a vampire and so forth. It must have been a fun photo shoot! The book is divided into three main sections. Posters, Toys And Masks, and lastly artwork. I found it very interesting to look at all the old collectibles, puzzles, games, posters, masks and so on. Kirk himself wrote the captions for each photo a quick description of each often injecting a personal note of why this item was important to him for various reasons.

TOO MUCH HORROR BUSINESS was really a labour of love. It’s not really about Kirk, the Metallica guy, nor just a book about documenting some old junk, but it is a testament to the art of the chase, the thrill of collecting, the appreciation and preservation of an art-form. For the simple joy of having a passion and the rare chance to share that with the world, Well, I think that’s pretty cool.

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