Happy birthday to former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted!
After growing up in Battle Creek, Michigan, Newsted he moved to Kalamazoo as a teen, a shift that would be instrumental in launching his music career.
Jason first started performing after hearing KISS’s music and was especially awe-struck by their bassist, Gene Simmons. He immediately began to play bass himself, performing with numerous local groups and as he began to hone his skills.
In 1981, Newsted and a friend left Michigan with hopes of starting a group in California. They only made it to Phoenix, Arizona where they decided to stay. Originally named Dogz, the group’s name was changed to Flotsam and Jetsam not long after. Aiming to be part of the thrash metal movement, they signed on to Metal Blade Records, and in 1986, they produced their first album, Doomsday for the Deciever.
At the time, Metallica was already one of Newsted’s biggest influences. In the mid-‘80s, when the group reconvened after Cliff Burton’s death, he went in to an audition and landed the job.
Jason picked up with Metallica in the middle of their tour and continued to play with the band until his departure in 2001.
The rocker reunited with Metallica for their 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, even performing with the group for the first time in nearly a decade.
Aside from his Rock Hall appearance, Jason took some time off after leaving Metallica, resurfacing in a major way in 2012 with his current band, Newsted.
Together Newsted has released one studio LP, Heavy Metal Music, which was well-received and peaked at no. 40 on the Billboard 200.
There are big things expected from Newsted this year, with the group dropping a new video, “…As The Crow Flies,” last month! So happy birthday to Jason Newsted! We hope you have a rockin’ day!