Former RAMONES bassist C.J Ramone says that he was invited to audition for METALLICA on two separate occasions but turned down the opportunity to join the San Francisco Bay Area-based metal giants.
The bassist, whose real name is Christopher Ward, said he was "honored" to be asked to try out for METALLICA but he could not join as his son had just been diagnosed with autism. He told The Great Southern Brainfart, "I was approached about joining METALLICA not once but twice. When Jason [Newsted] 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. At the time my son had been diagnosed with autism and there was just no way I could leave him."
He continued, "Johnny [Ramone] was actually the one who hooked me up with the audition because he was friends with [METALLICA guitarist] Kirk Hammett. 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."
He added, "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. The change in him from when he was a kid is amazing. I'm not taking credit for it all. There were a lot of people who helped him along the way. 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]."
C.J Ramone joined the seminal punk band RAMONES in 1989 to replace longtime player Dee Dee Ramone before leaving again in 1996.
Photo below courtesy of The Great Southern Brainfart