Former Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted Blasts Journalist Who Reported On Van Halen Comments

Former Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted Blasts Journalist Who Reported On Van Halen Comments
Original Photo Credit : Achim Raschka, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted said that he came close to joining Van Halen late last year. According to The Palm Beach Post, drummer Alex Van Halen had already tapped Joe Satriani to replace the late, great Eddie Van Halen, and the two were searching for a bass player for a possible Van Halen tour. Newsted apparently agreed to go to California to jam with the pair, but he thought it would be impossible to do justice to Van Halen’s legacy. “How could you?” he said. “There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled.” Satriani confirmed that he, Roth and Alex Van Halen have been in talks about doing a tour tribute to Eddie and all eras of the Van Halen legacy. “I’ve been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was gonna be a true tribute to Eddie and the Van Halen legacy.”

Now in a new interview with 98.7 The Gater in West Palm Beach, Florida, Newsted said he was upset that the article didn’t focus enough on the upcoming charity concert it was intended to promote. Newsted’s current group, The Chophouse Band, will perform April 23 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter Florida to benefit the Golden Conservatory. “That was bad, dude,” Newsted said of the article which served as a retrospective of his career in addition to the brief Van Halen mention. “I’m not happy about that. I’m really, really not happy about that.”I don’t do very many interviews anymore, and I agreed to do that to promote the show for the kids. We do benefit shows to put paintbrushes and guitars in kids’ hands. That’s what I’m doing now. The Metallica ‘Black Album’ did so well and it still does to this moment, [and] because of that I’m able to do what I want with whatever projects I have going. The Chophouse Band is the longest-running project. The things that we do five to six times a year — we do benefits, period, for art programs for kids. That’s it — music classes and art programs. That’s why I agreed to do that interview, was to forward the information about the Goldner Conservatory at the Maltz [Jupiter] Theatre that’s gonna have classes for kids and do exactly what I said.”

Newsted said he only made a passing mention about calls he received over the years from notable peers that didn’t amount to anything. “So if I go to talk about that, and I mentioned two little things over here about the calls that I’ve received in the past 20 years from whoever it is — Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, whatever; man, whatever — I was just listing a list of the calls that I received over time that never went anywhere. I only said yes to a couple of the 30 that I received, and I mentioned a couple of them that impressed me. People that if I wouldn’t have had their records, I wouldn’t play the way I do, they called me on my home phone and said, ‘You wanna come and jam with us?’ Dude, I’m off the ground; I’m levitating. I’m, like, ‘Why would Aerosmith call me?’ That’s a big frickin’ deal to a kid. Just a kid from a farm in Michigan, dude, and a guy from Aerosmith calls and asks me to play bass? However many years later when you stole that album from your brother’s collection. It’s frickin’ huge. That’s all I was doing. I talked about two seconds about that, and that’s what they chose to go for. They didn’t talk about the Conservatory, the kids’ classes, the things that we’re doing, The Chophouse Band, why we do that we do. Nobody makes any money in The Chophouse Band,” he continued. “Everybody volunteers their time — the camera guy, the guitar tech. We just do it to try to help out and give back — that’s it. We try to make some community thing. So when the press runs with it that way… And also I think just the straight-up lack of awareness, lack of study about what my past story is that’s already been told 700 times. You know, those kind of things that are already very, very obvious news that you can get that information, why are you asking me that question again? It doesn’t make any sense. Let’s get on to what we’re getting on with. There’s a future here. Everybody knows about my past. Let’s please talk about what’s coming, not what has already happened.”

Newsted said the writer was uninvited to the charity show. “That really rubbed me wrong,” Newsted said. “I don’t know what interviews I’ll do again. I’m not sure if I’ll say yes to anything. She got disinvited to the show.” Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth commented about the potential reunion telling the Van Halen News Desk ( “IN MY MIND, “VAN HALEN 4K”, IN THE AGE OF COVID IS GOING TO REQUIRE TWO OF US FOR EVERY POSITION. SATRIANI AND LUKATHER, ANTHONY AND NEWSTED, AL OR TOMMY LEE. PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO MY JOB TODAY WOULD BE PINK.” 

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