Jason Newsted Recalls Three-Hour Gig With Ozzy Osbourne
The show, in Montreal, lasted a total of three hours and one minute – though Newsted still isn’t sure why the band remained onstage for so long that night.
“I don’t know if the right combination of pills had hit, or he got off of them, or was only halfway into them, but he was in a mood that night,” Newsted told Florida Weekly in a recent interview. “We played 28 songs. In any kind of set, 20 is pushing it. To listen to the same guy sing 20 songs, you’re asking a lot. ... There’s so many songs to choose from with Ozzy. He could tap into the whole [Black] Sabbath catalog. I was playing with him in 2003, so he had already done all of the Blizzard [of Ozz] stuff, all the cool shit. He had a couple hundred songs.”
Newsted explained that, after having been Osbourne’s bassist for “a couple of months,” he’d become used to “the same 30 songs we’d push around.” That night was different: “He’d call stuff out, and expect everybody to know it. There’s 22,000 people in Montreal, and he’d go, ‘The Wizard!’ I fuckin’ never played ‘The Wizard,’ let alone with him! I played it in my bedroom when I was 14, but never even got all the way through it. We barely made it through. He called out three to five songs that night that I had never played with anybody before.”
Replying to the observation that Osbourne probably wouldn’t have noticed if he got it right, Newsted said, “That’s the thing - he didn’t. The people didn’t either!”
As a member of Metallica, Newsted said he was used to grueling concerts. “You can weigh yourself before the show, and it was at least a three-pound difference, sometimes more," he noted. "We’d rate the power and energy of the show by how many T-shirts we went through. You could wring ’em out and fill up a bottle. Four was a pretty good show. Everybody had their way of keeping fit. I took my bicycle on tour with me for years.”