Metallica as a five-piece? Indeed. At this past weekend's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, Metallica welcomed former bassist Jason Newsted, who jammed with the band and shared a mic with his replacement Rob Trujillo.
Although Trujillo previously indicated he had no problem sitting out the performance and watching the 'Black Album' lineup play, Newsted - who himself said that he didn't expect to play either - insisted on the current band storming the stage (see video below).
"I felt strongly they should go as that band and represent because... they're strong right now together," Newsted said. "There was no negativity, no hubbub or jealousy or silly, childish... It was years ago, man."
Flea's mind was blown
"Whatever the intangibles elements are that make a band the best, Metallica has them," said Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who presented the induction speech.
Remembering the first time he heard Metallica on the radio, Flea said, "My mind was blown. It wasn't punk rock. It wasn't heavy metal. It just stood by itself," he said. "I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was a mighty thing."
To accept their awards, Metallica were joined by Ray Burton, father of original bassist Cliff Burton, who died in 1986 following a tragic bus accident.
"Dream big," says Hetfield
"I think rock and roll is about possibilities and about dreams," Lars Ulrich said. "The fact that the six of us can be up on the stage tonight, snot-nosed kids, outcasts, loners who grew up in very different parts of the world, in very different situations and make it here tonight, to this wonderful night in front of all these people down here.
"Rock and roll truly is about possibilities. Look at us. Metallica's in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! Can you fucking believe that?"
Accepting his award, James Hetfield encouraged young musicians, "Dream big and dare to fail...I dare you to do that. Because this is living proof that it is possible to make a dream come true."
And with that, the bottom heavy Metallica played a thunderous two-song set that began with the Burton-era classic Master Of Puppets and segued into the 'Black Album' anthem Enter Sandman.