Metallica played a surprise show at a small club in their hometown of San Francisco last night, much to the obvious delight of all 150 patrons. Producer Bob Rock played bass for the performance -- the band's first in two years -- filling the vacancy created by the departure of Jason Newsted last year.
According to a spokesperson for Rock, the producer himself called up the club, Kimo's, to ask to take advantage of the room's seventy-five-dollar pay-to-play policy. When the club's owner asked the name of the band, Rock, off the top of his head, said "Spun."
According to a post on Metallica's Web site, when the group, billed as an opening act, began loading its equipment, the bartender was heard to say, "Damn, I have not seen that much gear being loaded in to this place before." At the end of the night, he still seemed unaware of the band's true identity.
The group -- Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett -- hit the stage at 11 p.m., introducing themselves as "Bob's band." They kicked off the set with four Ramones songs -- "Commando," "Today Your Love Tomorrow the World," "53rd and 3rd" and "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue." The band has recorded these songs for possible inclusion on a Ramones tribute album being organized by Johnny Ramone and Rob Zombie.
The forty-minute-set also included older Metallica songs "Hit the Lights," "Leper Messiah," "No Remorse," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "I Disappear" as well as the gig-ending cover of the Misfits' "Die, Die My Darling." The band also debuted one new song, which they described on their site as "heavy."
According to Rock's spokesperson, at the end of the night, the club manager did hit the band up for the seventy-five dollars.
Although Rock has been playing all the bass parts on Metallica's in-progress new album, he is not interested in touring, and thus the hunt for a Newsted replacement will begin in earnest once recording is done.
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