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Ex-Metallica Bassist Brings Michigan To Rock Hall Of Fame

Of the Oakland Press

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Michigan’s latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entry says he plans to “stand tall and proud, be very handsome ... my normal” at Saturday’s (April 4) induction ceremony in Cleveland.

Battle Creek-born Jason Newsted will go into the Hall by virtue of his tenure as Metallica’s bassist from 1986-2001. He’ll be accompanied by most of his family — “All my brothers, sisters, cousins — everybody who ever came to a show”— most of whom still reside in Michigan. And he’s looking forward to “just an unbelievable family reunion” with past band, business and media associates who Metallica are flying in for the event.

“It’s just a major celebration for us,” says Newsted, who now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and, since leaving Metallica, has worked with groups such as Gov’t Mule, Papa Wheelie, Rock Star Supernova, Sepultura, Echobrain and Voivod.

“I’m freakin’ over the moon, man. It’s another ... well, the biggest feather in the cap so far, I guess. The Grammys are feathers all around the cap, but this one will be a little bigger, I have a feeling.”

The weekend’s big surprise is that Newsted will play again with Metallica for the first time in eight years, which wasn’t in the offing until he received a call last week from drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich.

“I just planned on going, looking good in my suit, hanging out with my family, going up and getting the award, making a nice speech ...” says Newsted, who had no qualms about Metallica playing the ceremony with his replacement, Robert Trujillo.

“(Ulrich) called and said, ‘We want you to rock with us,’ ” recalls Newsted, a Michigan State Spartans fan who, along with his father, will be sneaking peaks at

Saturday’s basketball game during the ceremony. “I

said, ‘How’s Robert with that?’ and (Ulrich) said, ‘He’s

with it, man. He wants to be there as a fan, too, and

wants to see the ‘black’ album (1991’s ‘Metallica’) band

... It’s all good. Everybody’s agreed to it. Let’s rock.’

“So I said, ‘OK, let’s rock...’ ”

Metallica will be joined by Run-DMC (who will be inducted by Detroit rapper Eminem), Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials and Bobby Womack in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Wanda Jackson is being inducted as an Early Influence, while Sidemen inductees include Bill Black, DJ Fontana and Spooner Oldham. The ceremony will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. Saturday on FUSE

Television Network.

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