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October, 1986
The band auditions a number of bass players (about 40), referred to them by friends including Les Claypool of Primus(Kirk Hammett's friend from algebra class) and Troy Gregory of Prong. Jason Newstead, in Flotsam and Jetsam at the time, learns Metallica's entire set list for the first audition. The guys take him out to Tommy's Joint in San Francisco for drinks after the audition. Kirk, James and Lars have a quick conference in the bathroom and decided at the urinals that Jason will be the new bassist
"Right after the accident happened, we individually decided that, the best way to get rid of all our frustrations, would be to hit the road and get all the anxiety and frustrations out on stage, where they should go. They should go toward a positive thing like that. We were very traumatized, and felt a lot of emotional distraught over the situation."

"The worst thing we could do is just sit in our room and sulk over the matter and wallow in our pity. The more you think about it, the deeper you sink. We each thought individually, we have to keep on going, we have to work because it wouldn't be fair to Cliff to just stop. Also if he were alive for some reason or another and like y'know he couldn't play bass, he wouldn't tell us to stop. That's the way he would've felt. He would've wanted us to go on."

--Kirk Hammett, interview from February 8, 1987


November 8, 1986
Jason Newsted performs his first show with Metallica at the Country Club in Reseda, Calif. and then travels with the band to Japan for five sold-out gigs. The guys take it upon themselves to 'initiate' Jason, tricking him into eating a ball of wasabi, and other pranks. The "hazing" continues...


March, 1987
James breaks his arm skateboarding in an empty pool in Oakland, Calif. forcing him to miss a scheduled Saturday Night Live appearance.
"John Marshall has been our savior quite a few times. It pays if you're a roadie to learn the bands songs, you could end up on stage."

--James Hetfield (VH1 Behind the Music)



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