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Ex-Ramones Bassist CJ Ramone Turned Down Offers To Join Metallica

CJ Ramone / Kirk Hammett
Neilson Barnard / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

CJ Ramone, former bassist for punk icons the Ramones, claims he was approached — twice! — by Metallica in the early ’00s to replace outgoing bassist Jason Newsted, but turned down the offers due to his son’s medical needs.

When Jason Newstead parted ways with Metallica in 2001 to focus on his Echobrain side project, the metal mavens went on an extensive search for a replacement that ultimately resulted in Robert Trujillo landing the gig. CJ Ramone says Metallica’s Kirk Hammett lined up an audition for him, but he had to decline because his son Liam had recently been diagnosed with autism and the demanding Metallica schedule would’ve interfered with treatment for the disorder.

“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,” Ramone tells the Great Southern Brainfart music blog. “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 … I was honored that they asked me but there was just no way I could do it.”

Ramone admits turning down such a lucrative gig was disappointing, but the decision was an easy one and paid off in the end. “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,” he continues. “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.”

On Sunday at Jones Beach on Long Island, N.Y., CJ Ramone took part in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks with Liam and the rest of his family to raise money for the charity. Donate here to help the noble cause.

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