The bassists of Metallica, my thoughts and opinions

A conversation arose today at work about Metallica. This lead to talking about the various bassists that have been in the band. This conversation got me thinking and has led me to write my thoughts and opinions down.

Ron McGovney – 1982: Ron was the original bassist for Metallica. There are very few recordings of Ron with the band. It is said he left the band due to conflicts with band members. You can hear Ron if you are lucky enough to have Metal Massacre Volume 1. This, by the way, is a great record.  Ron left the band and closed his chapter with Metallica.




Cliff Burton – 1982 to 1986: Cliff Burton will always be my favorite Metallica bassist. It is my opinion that Cliff brought a sense of heaviness to the band. He was that “cool guy” that everyone wanted to be or that guy that we all wanted to hang out with, and the one that your parents wouldn’t approve of. The records Cliff made with Metallica remain my favorites. Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, are Metallica at its finest. Cliff had such a presence and skill about him. He inspired a lot of musicians in his time. Unfortunately the world lost Cliff on 09/27/86 (my 22nd birthday by the way). Thank you Cliff for the music you left with us.


Jason Newsted – 1986 to 2001:  Jason had some pretty big shoes to fill, and grieving band members to contend with.   The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, …And Justice For All, Metallica, Load, and Reload are the studio albums Jason made with the band. In my opinion after …And Justice For All the band headed in a direction that began to alienate their hardcore fans. I feel Jason was grossly under appreciated during his time with Metallica. I was familiar with Jason from his previous band  Flotsam And Jetsam and was impressed with his playing. Unfortunately things didn’t work out with Jason and Metallica and they parted ways. Jason is currently killing it with his new band Newsted which showcases his talents.


Robert Trujillo – 2003 to present: Robert has always been one of my favorite bassists. However, not for Metallica (I know, I know, a bold statement.) Rob has only recorded one studio album, Death Magnetic. Rob is a seasoned bassist, I first heard of him with Suicidal Tendencies. Wow! I was hooked instantly by his style and stage presence. Infectious Grooves, Jerry Cantrell, Black Label Society,Glenn Tipton, Mass Mental? Ozzy, Robert got around. I was, however, disappointed when I heard of his joining Metallica. I just feel that his style and presence does not lend anything to Metallica (again, this is just my opinion).


Well, there you have it. My opinions on the bassists of Metallica. Not dragging anyone through the mud just voicing my thoughts. I think that Metallica has evolved as the members have grown and experienced life changes. While there is nothing wrong with this, they have grown into a band that no longer interests me. Their new music does not attract me in the least.

I am interested in your thoughts, please chime in and leave some feedback!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!

– the Hellion

Team HellBangs correspondent Gabe Gambino gives his perspective of Revolt On The Rio Grande Day 2/Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013

   The Hellion here,  We tried something different this with our coverage of the Revolt On The Rio Grande Day 2/Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013. We asked a local New Mexico musician to be a guest correspondent and give us his perspective of covering the show, we even gave a camera to him.  We are proud to announce Gabe Gambino as a member of Team HellBangs. What is Team HellBangs you ask? Well, as you know, I co-host an internet radio show called Bleach Bangs Radio with Charlie Owens and Randy Norris. There are times when Charlie and I (who live near each other) have the opportunity to cover shows and do on camera interviews with artists. We do this a joint venture between the Hellion Rocks and Bleach Bangs. This team was dubbed HellBangs by Mr. Charlie “MF” Owens and it has stuck. Now here is his perspective along with some shots from the “Gambino-cam”: 

Ryan Johnson - Lead Vocals, Guitar: The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show - photo "Gambino-cam"

Ryan Johnson – Lead Vocals, Guitar: The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show – photo “Gambino-cam”

How do you summarize a day as amazing as Day 2 of the Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival? I ask because I’ve been asked to do so. It’s hard because the good times seem to scream out at me all at once. Either way, as the local music ambassador to Team HellBangs, I’m proud to say I got to experience this day with my buds Charlie “MF” Owens and The Hellion and see a different side of things.
I’ve played a few music festivals personally, but I never understood or was part of anything like the Rockstar. This time, I was behind a camera and asking some of these musicians the questions that help get my fellow musicians names out there.
The day started out with the late-August heat attributed to this arid desert we live in. As we navigated through the venue in the hot sun, we headed backstage to meet up with the guys from Chuck Shaffer Picture Show. The guys led us through the back and got us into the catering room, where I shared a beer compliments of Pabst Blue Ribbon with drummer Adam Gilbert. We entered the room and the gravity of the day hit me. A table over, my music hero, Jerry Cantrell, was enjoying some lunch with Duff McKagan and some members of Jane’s Addiction. Big and small bands alike were enjoying food and each other’s company here in this tour and a feeling of camaraderie was spread throughout the back.
Chuck Shaffer Picture Show are a three-piece band with a huge sound. The vocalist/guitarist used some great effects to make their sound really big. As a three-piece, they sound bigger. The rhythm section (bass and drums for the unfamiliar) really held it down and helped give them the big sound they had. They had a very powerful heavy pop-rock sound.

Jon Stevens - Vocals :The Dead Daisies - photo by "Gambino-cam"

Jon Stevens – Vocals :The Dead Daisies – photo  “Gambino-cam”


One band we got to interview as well was The Dead Daisies. What a band! The singer rocked out despite an injured hand and a broken leg due to a crocodile-related fishing accident that occurred right before the Uproar Tour. The guy was a class act and had one of the best voices I’ve heard in a live setting.
Honestly, there wasn’t a bad band all day on the supporting stages. My local friends in Port Alice took the stage and put on a great sounding show on the Coldcock Whiskey stage. This festival kicked ass.

     The Hellion here, We were not fortunate enough to have obtained photo access to the main stage so there are no pictures.

As far as the main stage, I was very impressed with Circa Survive and Coheed and Cambria. I hadn’t been that into Coheed and Cambria before but I feel I left a fan of their music. They put on a great show and sounded amazing.
Enter Jane’s Addiction. I honestly felt the most disappointed by Jane’s Addiction. I found the fact that they suspended a couple of models up pretty interesting as well as their dancing, but Perry Farrell just doesn’t sing like he used to. You can hear that they had to use lower tunings and Farrell still struggled with many of the notes. The rest of the band was kind of the saving grace for Jane’s Addiction, they were tight but Perry Farrell’s tone-deaf performance really left a lot to be desired. I don’t feel that the direct supporting band should’ve been out-shined by the band before it, and Coheed really put on a better show with less special effects or performance aspect than Jane’s did.
The main event of the night was Alice in Chains. I’m by far biased to Alice in Chains as Jerry Cantrell is my favorite musician and the man I look up to most when it comes to songwriting. I’ve heard complaints of their live show but they far surpassed my wildest expectations. Everything about it, from the songs they played to the cool video effects that correspond to the songs was really cool.
Very impressive was William DuVall, the oft-complained-about vocalist that took the spot of Layne Staley. He truly did every song justice, from the old stuff to the new stuff. He passionately sang “Nutshell” in tribute to fallen Alice in Chains members Layne Staley and Mike Starr, during which the letters “LSMS” were lit up on Sean Kinney’s kick drum. I really enjoyed their set list, they played new headbangers “Stone” and “Hollow” while reaching far back into the band’s storied history and played classics like “Man in the Box”, “Down in a Hole” and “We Die Young”. The band played these songs with perfection and really set a mood in the venue. One of the biggest moments was the band closing with “Rooster”, before which Jerry Cantrell, Sr., the focus of the classic song, took to the stage and was applauded by the thousands in the venue. Prior to AiC’s set, he accepted a guitar signed by all of the bands and came out again before they played “Rooster” to give the band members a hug. It was an extremely emotional moment, When Jerry, Sr. left the stage, they went right into Rooster and rocked it out. After they finished, there were no encores or anything, but the entire audience left satisfied with Alice’s very solid performance. Again, I’m biased, but I felt as if there was a religious experience personally. I truly enjoyed that show and I’d easily put it on top as far as concerts I’ve been lucky enough to go to.
I’d like to thank Charlie and the Hellion for dragging me along and getting a local musician’s perspective on the show. I really took in a lot of the sights and sounds of the show and really felt like a kid again, before that point in a musician’s life when they become jaded and take the things at a big concert for granted. It was a great experience. – Gabe Gambino

     There you have it! Enjoy!

     Team HellBangs

Alice In Chains Release New Song “Hollow”‏



Two weeks ago, we began posting the lyrics from our brand new song, “Hollow” to@aliceinchains on Instagram, asking you, the fans to create an image inspired by or featuring a word or phrase from the lyrics. Fans from around the world took to Instagram, sharing their photo interpretations of each lyrical phrase.

Today, our new song “Hollow” makes its world premiere on along with a lyric video that includes your Instagram photo submissions. Head to www.AliceInChains.comnow, to hear, see and become “Hollow.”



I have a good friend who truly knows the meaning of family, Ish Garcia. This man sacrifices for his family by working out of the country to earn a living in this hard economic time. When he does get the opportunity to spend time at home he makes the best of it by giving back by sharing his passion for music with his family. I truly believe in the healing power of music as does he, Ish uses the power of music to help his autistic son “Matt The Cat”. I got Ish to take some of his rare time to answer a few questions:

1. When did you first fall in love with music?

Ish: I have always loved music, since a baby , really. In love, maybe after I heard and bought a Hendrix album Axis Bold As Love, after that ,I realized I couldn’t go a day without some kind of music.

2.  What is it about music that touches you?

Ish:  Music just gets inside,- lyrics, rhythm, it just depends on the song.

3.  What do you do to support you favorite bands?

Ish: Support ?- Buy the Album-whole album , not just the one you like on the radio, buy the album that’s why they made an album,I’m pretty sure the song are strung together for a reason. Also, buy a shirt, usually bands I like /love have cool merch for sale. Buy a ticket for the show and see ’em live!!! Share that shit with all your friends. Hope fully the small bands you like will make it, like Guns N’ Roses or Alice in Chains, Pantera , they all started doing small gigs and then bang, I would like to witness it first hand.

4.  Tell us about some of your favorite bands and your passion for music.

Ish: Jimi Hendrix – Guitar god great lyrics, His cover songs are better than the originals themselves-in my opinion Black Sabbath-Ozzy and Dio for me undecided…,c’mon its Sabbath, need I say more Ozzy-its like crack for my ears Zeppelin, to me its real rock n roll to me a blue print of what rock and roll should sound like. Alice in chains-Lyrics, the sound of Layne and Jerry together , chunky riffs.What is grunge ? Black Label Society-Everything I love all rolled into one-Doom, chunky riffs-blues, melody To me music is magical or spiritual and powerful, its in the air ,it’s a time machine. even when you cant see it, you can feel it, it can make you feel strong when your weak, inspire you, calm you down. I believe music is a super natural living thing, a gift to us. I couldn’t see a world without it. My wife is the one who really introduced me to Alice in Chains, and I’m so grateful. And as far as BLS, I gotta hear at least one song a day, and I have to blow out my ear drums with it.

5. Tell us a little about “Matt The Cat”

Ish: We took him to his first big( not local) concert and meet n greet. in 07 velvet revolver he loved slash from rock band. and then liked guns and roses, they were all cool to him, he got Duffs sweat band at the end of the show. I notice a big difference with Matt when we go to Black Label shows in particular, he’s dressed like everyone, so he feels “in” and true BL family show him respect. He loves the music , he gets exited when we tell him Black Labels in town. He can act like himself without being judged. Taking him to the meet n greets and concerts and seeing him be happy is priceless.

Thanks Ish, you have my utmost respect and love.

the Hellion



I often wonder if Ozzy himself reflects on his history of guitarists. I know I have on several occasions. I have also wondered about other guitarists and how they would have fit in Ozzy’s band. Let’s look at the history of Ozzy’s guitarists and then we’ll imagine some other players and see what we think.

RANDY RHOADS 1979 – 1982


Blizzard of Ozz (1980), Diary of a Madman (1981), Tribute (1987)

Any fan of Ozzy knows of Randy. When the world first got their ears filled with the sounds of Randy’s guitars they knew everything had changed. It is in my opinion that Randy changed the game forever.

“Crazy Train”  -Randy version


No albums made with Ozzy

Bernie was the immediate successor to Randy following his death. Big shoes to fill as he was hired to play makeup dates,  and he was playing through Randy’s gear, AND he had to learn all of the songs in a week. Bernie only stayed on tour for three weeks before leaving to form his own band.

“Crazy Train” – Bernie version

BRAD GILLIS 1982 – 1983

Speak of the Devil (1982)

Brad came in following the departure of Bernie. He filled in and recorded a live album with Ozzy before leaving for Night Ranger.

“Crazy Train” – Brad version

JAKE E LEE 1983- 1987

Bark At The Moon (1983), The Ultimate Sin (1986)

Jake E Lee was in the running with George Lynch for the coveted spot. He obviously won out which I think was good move for Ozzy as Jake seemed suited for his band. We got some good songs from the Jake E Lee lineup as well.

“Crazy Train” – Jake E Lee version

ZAKK WYLDE 1987–1992, 1995, 1998, 2002–2004, 2006–2009

1988: No Rest For The Wicked, 1990: Just Say Ozzy (live album), 1991: No More Tears,  1993: Live & Loud (live album),  1995: Ozzmosis,  2001: Down to Earth,  2002: Live At Budokan (live album),  2007: Black Rain

Zakk Wylde (he seems to make a lot of my blog posts) was, in my opinion, Ozzy’s strongest guitarist. The successful period with Zakk cannot be ignored. The writing combination of Zakk/Ozzy made some of the most memorable in Ozzy’s career.

“Crazy Train” – Zakk Wylde version


No recordings

After one of Zakk’s departures Steve filed in temporarily for Ozzy. Vai began writing and recording with Ozzy Osbourne. One track from these sessions, “My Little Man”, was released on the Ozzmosis album. Despite Vai penning the track, he does not appear on the album.

No video found.


No recordings made

Alex had a brief stay in supporting Ozzy and not much else was done other than that.

“Crazy Train” – Alex version

JOE HOLMES 1995–1998, 1999–2001

Song “Walk on Water” From Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack (1996)

In 1995, after Ozzy Osbourne had finished recording the Ozzmosis album, a replacement for Zakk Wylde was needed for the tour. Joe got a call from Dean Castronovo (Oz’s drummer) to let him know they were seeking a guitar player. Joe went down to Audible studios in Los Angeles and played three Ozzy classics.  Holmes did not mention that he had taken lessons from Randy Rhoads as he thought it would hurt his chances at the job.

“Crazy Train” – Joe Holmes version


Under Cover (2005)

Jerry did Ozzy’s cover album for him and it was a damn fine job. If you haven’t heard it you should definitely check it out.

No video found

GUS G 2009-present

Scream (2010)

Gus was brought in when Ozzy and Zakk parted ways. Ozzy was trying to get away from what he perceived as a blurring of the lines between himself and the BLS sound. We shall see what becomes of writing future records with Gus. More power to him!

“Crazy Train” – Gus G version

Whew! What an impressive list of players! But what if Ozzy had tapped Dime, EVH, Herman Li, Buckethead, John5, or DJ Ashba? Something to think about…..thanks for playing!

P.S. thanks A.J. Greene Like this!

the Hellion