PAPA WHEELIE, the “stoner punk metal” crew consisting of former METALLICA/VOIVOD bassist Jason Newsted (a.k.a. Jaylor) on guitar/vocals, Steven Wiig (a.k.a. Swiiglor) on drums and Joe Ledesma (a.k.a. Joefus) on bass, opened for KYUSS LIVES! on November 19 at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California. Also appearing on the bill were THE SWORD and BLACK COBRA.
Fan-filmed video footage of PAPA WHEELIE‘s performance can be seen below.
According to Contra Costa Times, PAPA WHEELIE made a record in 2003 and played one show, then faded away as Newsted took on other projects, including playing with VOIVOD, a stint touring with OZZY OSBOURNE, and appearing on the reality show “Rock Star: Supernova”. He spent the last couple years painting and doing a few small projects.
Wiig‘s friendship with Newsted goes back to the ’90s when, as a young guy from Michigan, he managed to work his way into METALLICA‘s inner circle, lugging gear, filming shows, flipping lyrics for singer James Hetfield and eventually becoming drummer Lars Ulrich‘s assistant. He moved to California about a decade ago to work with Newsted and ended up playing drums for PAPA WHEELIE.
Ledesma and Newsted became friends when Newsted started coming into his Alamo, California bike shop. The two talked about old thrash bands they loved. Newsted eventually gave him a bass and told him to start learning.
When asked by BAM magazine if there are any plans for PAPA WHEELIE to do a proper tour, Jason said, “Well, there are some people calling from here and some reasonable places, like Los Angeles, and saying, ‘We’ll give you this money to come down…’ But it has to be something that makes sense. Just as strait fucking honest as I can be: We do this for nothing… I mean, we actually paid to play [last month at the Red House in Walnut Creeek] when it comes right down to it, just because of the love of it all…. And I got every penny I put into this fifty times over tonight, so I’m all good with that. But if I’m gonna go on the road and I’m not coming home to my dogs and my girl every night, stuff like that, then someone’s coming up with some fucking cash, you know what I mean?! It’s gotta make sense. I’m not talking about crazy money, but it’s gotta be enough to get me out there, take care of my boys…. [Joe‘s] got a regular good job, [Steve‘s] been acting in movies and doing different stuff, he’s got his own wage happening, so it has to be enough . . . [We’ve] got [kids] to take care of… we’ve got to make that money… So it needs to make sense if we were gonna do it. . . Actually, our thing is; it’s kind of a joke — sarcasm has some truth to it. The ‘Bar Grill Tour’… ‘Chophouse Records Presents The Delicate Sounds Of Papa Wheelie Bar Grill Tour’. [laughs] It’s an ode to ‘D’ markets and ‘E’ markets, where people are so fucking happy to see you. We would much rather do that. We could do like 30 shows in a 300-mile radius of where we are right now in all these little pockets of places to make it happen! I would much sooner do that than do ‘A’ markets on a bill with FOO FIGHTERS or whatever the fuck, you know, really.”