Jason Newsted discussed getting addicted to pain pills during his time in Metallica as he was suffering from shoulder problems.
The former Metallica bassist told Louder Sound, “Yeah, my first surgery was 2004, and I had to find some place to put my energy, and I only had one arm. It was quite a fucked-up period of my life, actually; I was highly addicted to the pain medicine. I had three shoulder surgeries and a knee surgery, and just kinda broke down.
The way that I played and lived my life finally took its toll on me. So I had quite a few tests and things over the years in my brain, and had little strokes and stuff. People don’t realise the physicality of it.
I was trying to say to the guys in Metallica, ‘I need a minute, please, I need a minute, I’m on these pills…’ and they weren’t going to give me that minute. So I said very simply, ‘If you guys can’t give me that time then I need to stepaway.’ And the rest is history. Why would you keep giving yourself strokes?”
Newsted had a tumultuous run in Metallica, with his bass being totally turned down on an album, and being part of the infamous Load/ReLoad ‘short hair’ era in the late 90’s. Newsted did play on the iconic Black album, later exiting in the early 2000’s.