Heavy metal musicians are proud people and Dave Mustaine would have to be pretty satisfied with his legacy. He was the original lead guitarist for Metallica, and is the co-founder, guitarist and singer for Megadeth. That’s quite a resume right there, but there’s probably one thing that still bugs ol’ Dave…
Dave Mustaine joined Metallica in 1981 after he answered an advertisement placed in the local newspaper by drummer Lars Ulrich, only to be fired in 1983 due to his problems with drugs and alcohol, as well as constant clashes with other band members. So, what do you do when you’re fired from a group on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet? Start a rival band, of course!
When Megadeth first started out, the band had trouble finding a vocalist after several unsuccessful auditions so Mustaine took on the duties himself, as well as play lead and rhythm guitar on their first release in 1984, a three-song demo. They then hired a lead guitarist and released their first full-length album, Killing is My Business… and Business is Good! in 1985 and it seems like it has been one constant struggle for the band ever since.
To date, Megadeth have released 15 albums, but they have had an almost revolving door when it comes to members, with 25 different people being able to lay claim to being a member of the band at some stage and that doesn’t even include musicians that only played with them live or as session musicians! The only constant that entire time has been Dave Mustaine.
And let’s not forget the controversies! For example, in 1988 the band caused a riot between Catholics and Protestants at a show in Northern Ireland that required them to travel in a bulletproof bus for the remainder of the tour. Add to this the contentious lyrics, banned videos, endless feuds between band member as well as a long running one with Metallica and it has been anything but smooth sailing for Megadeth, but finally there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
After 11 previous nominations, Megadeth finally won a Grammy on Sunday night in the category of “Best Metal Performance” for their 2016 album, Dystopia, a proud moment for Mustaine and the band. But in typical Megadeth style, there needed to be a problem. And there was: as they approached the stage to collect their award, the house band mistakenly played an awful version Metallica’s Master of Puppets. It’s been 34 years, but Dave Mustaine still can’t shake the whole Metallica thing, a band he was in for barely 18 months.