PLAYBOY: Do you ever miss that?
NEWSTED: I miss being grimy. I miss the hunger. I miss the excitement of taking off work early to set up the gear at the club. And seven people show up but you still play like there are 700. There was a Burger King rigt across from the main club we played - we took down a mountain of 29-cent burgers. Happy about it! "I'm going to get a Coke." "No, man, that's two more burgers! Fuck that! We'll steal beer from a back room, dude." Because otherwise it'd be boiled potatoes with ketchup stolen from Burger King.
PLAYBOY: Had you seen Metallica while Cliff was alive?
NEWSTED: Yes. In Phoenix, with Wasp, before Master Of Puppets came out. Front row. Right in front of Cliff Burton, worshiping. Drooling. Banging madly. Fourteen bucks for a shirt, which was all the money in the world at that time. We only went to see Metallica. As soon as Metallica was done, we walked out. They just crushed it, and we knew everything they did by heart.
PLAYBOY: How did you hear he'd died?
NEWSTED: A friend woke me up at six in the morning. He said, "You've got to get the paper, dude."I remember tears hitting the paper and watching them soak into the print. We wore black armbands when we played our next gigs.
PLAYBOY: After you heard Cliff was dead, how long before you started to think, Hmm, Metallica is going to need a new bass player?
NEWSTED: I daydreamed that day. Just like, What if, what if, what if?
PLAYBOY: The brought you to San Francisco for an audition. Were you nervous?
NEWSTED: That whole week, I didn't sleep. I might have lain down a couple of times. For five days I stayed up and played as long as I could. Blisters on blisters broke. When I could feel the nerve inside as I played the string, I stopped for a little while. A couple of my friends got together some money to pay for a $140 plane ticket to go do my audition.
PLAYBOY: Pretty cheap that they didn't pay your airfaire. Where they tough on the people who were auditioning?
NEWSTED: One guy comes in, he's got his bass signed by the guy from Quiet Riot or something. And James just goes, "Next!" Like that, before the guy even got to plug in. Guys were, like, crushed.
PLAYBOY: Tell me about the first year with them.
NEWSTED: Hazing. And a lot of emotional tests.
HETFIELD: We were mourning through anger. "You're here instead of Cliff, so here's what you get."It was therapy for us.
NEWSTED: One time, it's four in the morning, they're hammered and knocking on my hotel door when we were in New York. "Get up, fucker! It's time to drink Pussy!" You know? "You're in Metallica now! You better open that fucking door!" They kept pounding. Kaboom! The door frame shreds, and the door comes flying in. And they go, "You should have answered the door, bitch!" They grab the mattress and flip it over with me on it. They put the chairs, the desk, the TV stand - everything in the room - on top of the mattress. They threw my clothes, my cassette tapes, my shoes out the window. Shaving cream all over the mirrors, toothpaste everywhere. Just devastation. They go running out the door, "Welcome to the band, dude!"