TMZ reports that Metallica has issued a cease and desist notice to Fernandes Guitars to stop them using Metallica bass player Rob Trujillo in their advertisements, and while the news has brought about near Napster-era levels of anti-Metallica sentiment across the internet, none of the reports seem to mention that Trujillo has had a signature Zon bass since 2004 and is now playing a series of custom Yamaha basses.

The TMZ report states: Nothing in life is free — unless you’re famous — but this time freebees have put Metallica’s bass player in the middle of a serious legal battle. Their new bassist, Robert Trujillo, had an existing promotional deal with Fernades Guitars in North Hollywood. For being able to use his likeness in advertising, Fernandes was giving Robert a pile of custom basses. But Metallica has its own promo deal with ESP Guitars — and now that Trujillo is an asset of Metallicorp, their lawyers have slapped Fernandes with a cease and desist letter demanding they no longer use Robert or Metallica’s name or likeness. Rock and roll used to be much cooler than this.

Yamaha reports that Yamaha Artist Services Hollywood master luthier John Gaudesi made three basses for Trijullo, which he is using on Metallica’s current tour. Yamaha Artist Relations manager Mike Tempesta says “The result of the custom basses we created for Robert is a totally unique looking bass. We were honored to be involved in the creative process of providing Robert with instruments exclusive for him based on his wants and desires. It’s a very satisfying process for all involved, and we can’t wait to hear the reaction from the fans that see him perform with these instruments on stage.”

Yamaha says, “The basses are modeled after the TRB5PII. They are made of 2-piece maple core, with maple wings, Indian rosewood fingerboard, a 34″ scale, and the electronics system was custom designed based on Trujillo’s specifications.”

The Yamaha bass is not available to the public yet, but we’ll see what happens come NAMM time in January 2009.