March 31, 2009

Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has told Reuters/Billboard that he had modest expectations for his role in the group's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on Saturday (April 4) in Cleveland. "I just planned on going, looking good in my suit, hanging out with my family, going up and getting the award, making a nice speech...," he said.

Then, last Thursday, he got a call from drummer Lars Ulrich that changed things.

"He said, 'We want you to rock with us,'" Newsted said. Ulrich told him that Robert Trujillo, METALLICA's current bassist "'is not gonna play at all. We want you to play.' And my first question was, 'How's Robert with that? How does he feel about that? I don't want to create any kind of negative anything. I want this all to be proper.'

"(Ulrich) said, 'No, he's with it, man. He wants to be there as a fan, too, and wants to see the 'black' album (1991's 'Metallica') band'...It's all good. Everybody's agreed to it. Let's rock!' 'OK. Let's rock.'"

Prior to Ulrich's call, however, Newsted says he had no qualms with the current version of METALLICA playing at the ceremony.

"I felt strongly they should go as that band and represent METALLICA," Newsted said, "because they're strong right now, together. Those four guys in METALLICA are out there knocking the s--- down, standing tall, able, prowess, chops are in order ... There aren't many times the Hall of Fame can induct a band that's fully capable like that."

Read more from Reuters/Billboard.

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