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Metallica Offered Gig To Ramones Bassist Twice

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When Jason Newsted left the ranks of Metallica, they set out to find a new bassist for the second time in their career. A recent interview revealed that Ramones bassist C.J. Ramone was their first choice.

Metallica found themselves without a bass player once again in 2001. The band auditioned several replacements for the voluntarily absent Newsted, including Pepper Keenan, Jeordie White, and Scott Reeder. Before all of that, the band were in agreement over a bassist who had already been a part of one well respected band.

In an interview with The Great Southern Brainfart, C.J. Ramone (bassist for legendary punk rockers the Ramones) says that things almost went a very different way for Metallica:

“I was approached about joining Metallica, not once, but twice. When Jason [Newsted] first left the band [in 2001] they approached me. A while had gone by and they were having a hard time finding someone, so they approached me again. At the time my son had been diagnosed with autism and there was just no way I could leave him.”

Ramone went on to explain that he pitched the idea to his son’s doctors about taking him on the road and they quickly explained that he would need routine and familiar surroundings at all times. C.J. also said that the decision was not easy, but it was the right decision:

“I was honored that they asked me but there was just no way I could do it. The beautiful part about it all is that now my son is in regular classes at school. He’s on the high honor roll and he’s even starting his own band now with a couple of friends of his. The change in him from when he was a kid is amazing. I’m not taking credit for it all. There were a lot of people who helped him along the way. If I had not been here, I don’t know that the outcome would have been as good and that totally justifies my decision.I have no regrets. It would’ve been great to play with Metallica after being in the Ramones. Jesus, that would be just like a too-perfect life [laughs].”

Ramone may seem like an odd fit for Metallica. Afterall, they are a metal / hard rock band and The Ramones are a punk band. It turns out that they might have gelled despite C.J.’s musical resume:

“Believe me, it would’ve been great. I would’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve always been a huge metal fan. Black Sabbath is absolutely my favorite band of all time. I loved all that really dark stuff. Playing in Metallica would have been a second dream come true but, like I said, things worked out really good for my son and I have no remorse and no regrets.”

Metallica eventually settled on former Ozzy Osbourne, Jerry Cantrell, and Suicidal Tendencies bassist — Robert Trujillo.

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