Lucky Metallica Fan Will Be Bassist For A Day

Contest winner will be flown to San Francisco for sightseeing, dinner, show.

As rumors of a new bassist swirl, Metallica are looking to their fans to find a replacement for Jason Newsted ... for one night, anyway.

Metallica's Web site is hosting the Launch Party 2001 contest, in which two grand-prize winners and their guests will receive a trip to San Francisco. There, Metallica will personally give them a tour of their hometown, have dinner with them and possibly jam with them at the site's July 29 kickoff soiree.

All those who attend the bash, to be held at an undisclosed club, are welcome to try out their chops for the slot Newsted vacated in January (see "Bassist Jason Newsted Leaves Metallica"). Candidates should be warned, though, that the crowd's "Gong Show"-like voting system will determine who ultimately gets to jam with singer James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Twenty-five first-place winners will receive invitations to the party but are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations.

Winners will be chosen at random from fans who sign up for the official Metallica mailing list. Drawings are held weekly, beginning Sunday and ending July 8. The two grand-prize winners will be selected in the last two weeks of the contest.

Meanwhile, Metallica, still without a permanent bassist, continue to work on their eighth album, which they hope to have out either by the end of the year or in early 2002 (see "Shorthanded Metallica Enter Recording Studio").