He may have logged 14 years of arena gigs during his days with Metallica, but bassist Jason Newsted's first public appearance since his split with the metal perennials saw him jamming alongside a 12-year-old guitarist at a small Berekley, California, club on Sunday.
Newsted, who left Metallica in January (see "Bassist Jason Newsted Leaves Metallica"), joined the Moss Brothers at the Ashkenaz club for the release party of the young pop-rock duo's second album, Electricitation. Jamming with guitarist Reuben Moss and his 15-year-old brother, drummer Evan Moss, wasn't exactly spontaneous, since Newsted contributed bass lines to all but one song on the 12-track Electricitation.
The group's manager, who's also a publicist for Oakland jazz club Yoshi's, said he gave Newsted a copy of the Moss's debut album, On the North Side of the Tree, in December 1999, when Newsted was attending the club.
Liking what he heard, Newsted invited the boys over to his house for a jam session that eventually led to the three musicians playing together a total of seven times, including a gig at San Francisco's Last Day Saloon in April 2000 and several promotional appearances in Dallas last August.
While basking in Newsted's star power has certainly helped raise the band's profile, Evan and Reuben were actually doing just fine on their own. Two songs from their 1999 debut, "Football All the Way" and "Baseball," were regularly used by sports radio shows, and at 10 years old, Reuben became the youngest guitarist endorsed by Fender Guitars, their manager said.