Posts Tagged …and justice for all

Great Moments In Metal History: Jason Newsted Invents The No-String Bass

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In 1988, Metallica released their seminal album “…And Justice For All”. Beyond being one of the top selling metal albums of all-time it featured the debut of their new bassist Jason Newsted. Newsted took over for the late Cliff Burton who was considered one of the finest metal bass players on the planet.

The band selected Newsted out of a pool of thousands of candidates including jazz legend Victor Wooten, Primus front man Les Claypool and Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak. Newsted, who was never really considered much of musician, was selected for his very metal looking hair and menacing scowl.   Following Cliff Burton was a challenge for a guy who only recently had learned to use both hands when playing the instrument. How would Jason replace this legendary metal figure?

Instead of running away from this daunting task, Newsted devised a strategy before the “…And Justice” sessions that would forever change metal bass playing. He simply removed the strings from the instrument. “We knew he had no idea what to do with the bass,” said noted producer Bob Rock. “He’s right-handed and would pick the thing up like he was a lefty. We were really nervous. Then, Jason showed up with the bass with no strings and Lars was like ‘Hell yeah, man!’ The rest is history.”

The invisible playing that Newsted performed on “…And Justice” is some of the most memorable non-playing in the history of the genre. Who could forget the fabulous non-bassline in Dyers’ Eve? Or the complex non-bass solo before the fade up at the beginning of Eye of The Beholder? By simply standing there pantomiming what an actual bass player would do, Jason helped create one of the most important albums in the last 30 years.

Newsted abandoned the no-string bass on later albums. This proved to be a career-destroying mistake. James and Lars called a closed door meeting with Jason and broke the news to him. “I told him ‘Jason, we simply can’t grow as a band if you continue to insist on playing actual basslines. It’s just not your strength. Maybe it’s time for you to move on.’ Besides the “little Danish friend” talk with Dave Mustaine in the movie “Some Kind of Monster”, it was the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had,” said a teary-eyed Lars Ulrich as he casually glanced at his watch.

Jason-newsted

Newsted tried to bring back the “no string” style on a solo album called “The Sound of No Noise”. He was accompanied by two no string guitarists, a drummer with no sticks and a mute vocalist. The album sold less than 300 copies. Newsted picked up studio work with several well-known bands, playing several times in the silent space between the last song on the album and the hidden track.

Today, Jason is a manager at a Herman’s Sporting Goods store in Bayonne, New Jersey. He doesn’t talk often talk about the time he spent in Metallica. Recently, he’s toyed with the concept of doing a ragtime album using a piano with no keys, but his musician days are probably behind him. He has no regrets about his life on the road with the band, but he is clear that his getting paid a lot of money for looking like he belonged in Metallica days are behind him. “There just isn’t much of a market for a bass player who doesn’t know how to play bass,” said Newsted as he calmly stacked boxes of Reebok sneakers on top of one another. “Honestly, in heavy metal, untalented, tone-deaf bass players are a dime a dozen.”

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God: “I Did What I Had To In Order To Prevent ‘Lulu Two’”

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About "Lulugate"

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About “Lulugate”

In a press conference outside his home in Valdosta, Georgia, God today admitted responsibility for committing “several crimes against humanity” including “ravaging Lou Reed’s body with disease” in order to stop Metallica from collaborating on a second album.

“Look, I know I created a world where many horrible things happen.  War, famine, earthquakes, tornados, babies born without heads, I can live with all that.  However, James Hetfield again declaring himself to be a piece of furniture is where I draw the line,” pronounced God moments before he ascended into the clouds for an afternoon meeting with rap legend Eazy-E.

God is no stranger to controversy.  While he has been responsible for many of the greatest miracles ever to take place, he has also gained a reputation as a vengeful, jealous God and, by some estimates, has been responsible for the deaths of over 107 billion people throughout the course of human history.  Some critics have gone as far as accusing God of the manufacture and use of several biological weapons including the bubonic plague, cancer and the Ebola virus.

Some of God’s critics claim his treatment of humans is excessive and even bizarre.  Lot Markowitz, a traveling salesman from Gomorrah, Pennsylvania, remembers God’s behavior as being extremely erratic.

“He destroys two cities completely, kills everyone, but lets my family go, right? Then, all of a sudden, my wife turns around and she’s a pillar of salt.  What sort of weird, sick creature would do that?!?!”

God also has been known to play the occasional inappropriate practical joke.  He once told his faithful servant Abraham to climb up to the top of Mount Moriah and kill his beloved son Isaac.  Only moments before the murder of this small child, God, hardly able to keep a straight face, stopped Abraham and boomed out “Just Kidding!!!”

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In spite of his recent indiscretions, many believed God’s ending of the Cold War and introduction of additional cable television channels had signaled a “kinder, gentler God”.

However, according to several confirmed sources, God not only smote Lou Reed but also threatened to cover each member of Metallica from head to toe in boils and send a flood to destroy the city of Cleveland, Ohio if they released anything else they had written in tandem with the rock legend.

Many bloggers had speculated that God took retribution on Metallica skinsman Lars Ulrich by robbing him of his ability to play drums as punishment for his work on the first “Lulu” album.  However, those charges have been brushed aside by many in the metal community who have listened to Ulrich’s drumming since “…And Justice For All” and are well aware that he was stripped of those powers back in 1988, well before the dreaded 2011 release.

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