Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962, in San Francisco, CA) is the lead guitarist and a songwriter of the American thrash metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 5 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He is available as a playable character in Guitar Hero: Metallica. Though he apparently recorded a Guitar Battle track for the game, as Slash and Tom Morello did for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Joe Perry did for Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, it was ultimately scrapped from the game's final release.