Newsted Quits Metallica

Bassist Jason Newsted ends fourteen-year tenure in Metallica

January 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Jason Newsted has quit Metallica. The bassist cites "private and personal reasons, and the physical damage that I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love" as his motivation for leaving in a post on the band's official Web site, www.metallica.com.

Word of Newsted's departure first hit yesterday via a fan who called San Francisco radio station KLLC, and it was initially denied by the band's management and label.

Both Newsted and the band insist that there are no ill feelings between them. "This is the most difficult decision of my life, made in the best interest of my family, myself, and the continued growth of Metallica," continues Newsted. "I extend my love, thanks, and best wishes to my brothers: James, Lars and Kirk, and the rest of the Metallica family, friends and fans whom have made these years so unforgettable."

Newsted, a rampant Metallica fan, joined the band in 1986 following the death of original bassist Cliff Burton in a tour bus accident in Sweden. He was with the band for the last six Metallica albums, beginning with ...And Justice for All, right the through the band's collaboration with Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Symphony on the Grammy-nominated S&M.

So far there are no candidates for a replacement. Singer/guitarist James Hetfield would only throw accolades towards Newsted: "Playing with someone who has such unbridled passion for music will forever be a huge inspiration. On stage every night, he was a driving force to us all, fans and band alike. His connection will never be broken."

Drummer Lars Ulrich made it clear that the band will forge ahead: "James, Kirk and I look forward to embracing the next chapter of Metallica with both a huge amount of appreciation for the last fourteen years with Jason and the excitement of rising to the challenges that lay ahead to make Metallica shine brighter than ever."

Metallica plan to reenter the studio this upcoming spring and beginning work on their next studio album, set for release in late 2001 or early 2002.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »