Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Metallica: The pinball machine

12I’ve spent a lot of time in bowling alleys. Bowling alleys have arcades. So I’ve spent my time playing (but mostly watching other people play) pinball. I’m no wizard, but …

This week Pinball News announced metal band Metallica is getting its own pinball game. For fans (of pinball and the band), it looks (and sounds) like a freakin’ awesome game.

Also awesome: the general feel and design is taken from a custom machine the band had made by artist Dirty Donny and Wade Krause.

Krause is a local guy who plays drums in Sparklejet and Backstabbers. He also does screen printing and collects and restores old arcade machines. Their Metallica machine was one of 400 shown at the Pacific Pinball Expo in 2009. He and Donny also collaborated on a custom machine for the Swedish rock band The Hellacopters, which they talk about in this video:

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Announced: Newsted, April 24 @the Starline

jason_gal_pic6UPDATE: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday (March 30). You can get them online at American Made Concerts or in physical form at A U-Neek Boo-Teek (4561 N Blackstone Ave,) Valentino’s (814 E Olive Ave) and The Starline Box Office (convenience fee may apply.)

Original post: Metal fans have been waiting for this one since news got out that ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has two Fresnans playing in his new band. And here it is: According to his website (and verified by the guys at American Made Concerts) Newsted will be in town April 24 playing at the Starline.

Tickets haven’t gone on sale yet. When they do, we’ll let you know.

Ex Metallica bassist and two Fresnans combine to make a little ‘metal’

Jason Newsted, best known as Metallica’s bassist from 1986-2001, has a new band and a new EP — which is in stores today, with a little help from two local musicians.

Newsted is the name of the band and the title of its four-song EP is just as simple: “Metal.” For the project, Newsted — whose credits also include stints in Flotsam and Jetsam and playing with Ozzy Osbourne — tapped two guys with Fresno ties, Jesus Mendez (drums) and Jesse Farnsworth (guitar), to be part of his band.

Mendez used to play in The Napoleon Blownaparts and you might recall that a song he co-wrote was recorded by Ace Frehley (of KISS fame) not too long ago. Farnsworth, I’m not familiar with, but David Lee Rock from local concert promoter American Made Concerts says there’s a Fresno tie.

The EP is on iTunes now. It was as high as No. 4 on the album charts at one point. As I type this, it’s No. 15. Get a taste below.

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Did you make it into Metallica’s new music video?

Were you at the recent Metallica concert at Save Mart Center? Have you checked to see if you’re in the band’s new “Broken, Beat, and Scared” music video? You might be.

Explains the band on

We’re having so much fun out on the road that we thought, hey, why not film it for the video of our next single? So we invited our good friend Wayne Isham and his crew to join us for a few shows in California in December of 2008 . . . Ontario and Fresno to be exact. We go way back with Wayne (several vids from the “Black” album up through “Frantic” and the “Cunning Stunts” DVD) and as always, Wayne rocked it!

[Props to Metallica fan/Fresnan Sean for the tip]