Metallica bassist Jason Newsted certainly had a different look than his bandmates. While the rest of the band was sporting long, almost stereotypical metal hair, Newsted had the sides of his head shaved with the top nice and long. In an interview with The Metal Hammer Podcast, Newsted said his haircut ended up saving him from a lot of grief when it came to travel.
Newsted also credits himself for Metallica eventually cutting their hair off, which of course pissed off fans about as much as the Load and Reload albums.
"People are so finicky. I very honestly never gave it one thought. I saw it go by, but just dude, I mean, come on… Come up with something legitimately… Something, you know?
"I couldn't really be included in that deal because I cut my hair in 1992, and so those guys didn't do it until '96. I did crazy shit from '92 to '96.
"You know what's really funny…? When we started getting to more countries, and as the borders started to get a little squirrely, and those guys all still had their shaggy hair, and I was slick, and sometimes just freaking nice – like a cop or something. I just cruised right through customs, bro, cruise right through. 'This way, mister…' And those fuckers would get [stopped] left and right.
"James would get pulled all the god damn time, Lars would get pulled a lot because he always looked so fucking tired and… I mean, when he decides to go, he'd take down a gallon, he'd be way swollen and fucking sweaty the next 30 hours, all fucked up because he goes hard. When we're going for it, we're going for it. When you have that kind of look on you, going through the airport, they're thinking maybe you swallowed something, maybe they're trying to hide something, you put something up your ass and it broke, something like that. 'Why are you so sweating and clamming and shit?' So they'd pull him, I'd walk right on through. And after a while they saw how this was easy to do, and like, I started dating models, Playboy girls, and stuff, and they were going, 'What the fuck?'
"I did my shave thing for a while, the Newsted, the sides clean, did that for a while, and then James slowly did it, and then Kirk [Hammett, guitar] slowly did it, so they both did it, all three of us had that at one point.
"So the next thing – we were going to take it all off. Years later, they take it all off, I don't know. There's something to that."
Observe the glorious Newsted cut below.