Being Jason Newsted during the final days of trying out for Metallica must’ve been nothing short of pants-shittingly terrifying. Newsted recalls in an interview with Metal Hammer that on the third night of his audition, the band brought in their crew and a handful of family members – including the then-recently deceased bassist Cliff Burton‘s mother Jan.
Newsted said Jan gave him a hug after hearing him perform and told him he did a great job, and of course told him to be safe.
“That evening, it was the third day that I played with the boys, I think I stayed overnight in San Francisco for the first time. That third night, they had ‘the elders’ come in for their blessing. So Torben Ulrich, the Burtons, a couple of the crew guys, people that had been there from the get-go… We got through about six tunes: [‘Master Of Puppets,’ ‘Fade To Black,’ and ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’] the masterpieces!
“So I am just composing myself for a second, putting my bass down, turning off Cliff‘s amp – I’m playing fucking Cliff‘s amp dude! Jan comes walking in the room by herself, and she grabs me, and gets my attention. She says, ‘Great job, son’ and I’m like, ‘Oh fuck!’ She embraced me, and it seemed like it was quite a while, and she said, ‘You’re the one, you must be the one. Please be safe, we love you,’ and she gave me a kiss. That was 35 years ago, and I’ll never, ever forget it.”
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