RAMONES Bassist Was Asked to Join METALLICA Twice in His Career
Published: October 3, 2011 - 9:55am
C.J. Ramone was invited to audition twice for the mighty Metallica after former bassist Jason Newsted left the group in 2001.
Former Ramones bass player C.J. Ramone replaced Dee Dee Ramone in 1989 and played with the punk legends until 1996. C.J. Ramone (real name Christopher Ward) had to turn down both audition opportunities because of his son's battle with a learning disability. "At the time my son had been diagnosed with autism and there was just no way I could leave him," said Ramone. "When Jason first left the band (in 2001) they approached me. A while had gone by and they were having a hard time finding someone, so they approached me again."
"I talked to my son's doctor and explained the opportunity and that I could bring my family out on the road and even hire a nurse. The doctor just told me that my son needed to wake up in the same place every day, he needs to have meals at the same time every day and he needs to go to school everyday and be around other kids. He said that anything other than that could be a detriment."
The eventual Metallica replacement ended up being bass player Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne), who joined the band during the release of 'St. Anger' in 2003. "I was honored that they asked me but there was just no way I could do it. The beautiful part about it all is that now my son is in regular classes at school. He's on the high honor roll and he's even starting his own band now with a couple of friends of his," said Ramone, "If I had not been here, I don't know that the outcome would have been as good and that totally justifies my decision."
"I have no regrets. It would've been great to play with Metallica after being in the Ramones. Jesus, that would be just like a too-perfect life (laughs)."