Jason Newsted Reflects on Metallica’s ‘And Justice for All’ 25th Anniversary
On Aug. 25, 1988, a new era began for Metallica with the release of ‘…And Justice for All.’ In the wake of Cliff Burton‘s passing, the band attempted to keep the momentum of their burgeoning career growing with new bassist Jason Newsted on board.
Earlier this year, Noisecreep had a chance to speak with Newsted while promoting his ‘Metal’ EP and the bassist took the time to also reflect on the classic Metallica album which started his career with the band. Read his reflections below.
‘And Justice for All’ is coming up on its 25th anniversary this year. Looking back on that period in time, do you have a favorite song from the album?
Are you serious? Wow! Well, ‘Blackened’ is the song for me. I’ve got a lot of pride in that and it was my first chance to be on a record with those guys and showing my stuff, so that was a pretty big deal to have that song on the record. I’d say it has to be my favorite as far as that goes.
What are some of your favorite memories from that time period?
So that record, we did a lot of touring on that and it was just really starting to bust. The Metallica thing was just starting to really rise and we’d done the groundwork to play thousand-seat, two-thousand seat [shows] with Ozzy and those things the guys did and I came in right after that. So people were just starting to pay attention and we got a lot of great opportunities like opening for Van Halen and Scorpions on the Monsters of Rock tour going around that year. That’s the memories I mostly have is playing that summer with those guys on Monsters of Rock where we just crushed.
It was so firing on all pistons and those were the days when we all dressed the same and hung out together everyday. We were a gang. There was invincible s— going on back then.
That had to be one hell of a tour.
I’ll just share one memory from that particular tour. LA Coliseum on Monsters of Rock and we’re about five songs in and it’s ‘Whiplash,’ and we’re about a third of the way into the song and the place is going ballistic. There must have been 70-80,000 people in that place and they started pulling up the chairs out of the ground and all handing them forward. Some were all connected together. And we had to stop ‘Whiplash,’ stop the song and pull ourselves back behind the amplifiers while the security guys went out and got all the chairs so people weren’t getting hurt by them.
They piled all the chairs in a pile next to the stage and I’m telling you, hundreds man, hundreds of chairs and we get back out there and the people were just wowed cause they thought we were done, that someone made us stop playing because they couldn’t hear us anymore. So we come back out and 1-2-3-4, right in the same place that we were in ‘Whiplash,’ we picked it right back up and kept going. It went twice as mental as it was when they tore up the chairs. It was just freaking crazy pits of 100 people at once. Four or five pits of 300 people each whirling across that field, that was some s—, man.