and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
bassist Jason Newsted
married his longtime girlfriend Nicole Leigh Smith
is] a fantastically talented guy, and I'm happy to be taking on his last name."
In his acceptance speech at METALLICA
's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
induction in April 2009, Jason
— whom he referred to as "the love of my life" — for "standing by me through the last seven years of challenges and adventures."Nicole
is an accomplished artist who encouraged Jason
in 2005 to find a new hobby after he forced to wear an arm sling, thanks to a surgery to fix his right shoulder after decades of wear-and-tear on stage.
"I said, 'Why don't you paint today?'" Nicole
told Contra Costa Times
in a 2010 interview. "And he said, 'Paint what?' So I set him up and said, 'I'm going to be gone all day — go crazy.'"Smith
came home to the Montana ranch she shares with Jason
eight hours later to find her boyfriend — and much of the room — covered in paint.
"We still haven't got all the paint off the carpet," she said. "He was like. ’Thanks, Nic
, that was awesome.' I was like, 'Oh God, what have I done?'"
According to MTV
in February 2001 for several reasons, including his desire to play more of a creative role. He also felt the band had lost its focus and was spending too much time involved in litigation and political rhetoric. And finally, he needed time off to recover from neck and back injuries he sustained banging his head every night onstage.Newsted
last performed with METALLICA
in December 2011 at all four intimate shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the band's week-long celebration of its 30th anniversary as a group for fan club members only.Jason
earlier in the month launched his new official web site at NewstedHeavyMetal.com