Rocker Dave Mustaine, frontman for heavy metal titans Megadeth, is the subject of guitar maker Gibson's upcoming episode of their Icons YouTube series, taking a deep dive into the origin of the band and a look behind the mask of Vic Rattlehead.
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Mustaine's infamous exit in 1983 from Metallica, of which he was the original lead guitarist after auditioning shortly following its inception in 1981, is the stuff of rock legends. Some campfire stories say Mustaine was insufferable, some say there were fistfights, and others owe his ejection from the band due to excessive drug and alcohol use. Either way, just before Metallica traveled to Rochester, NY to begin recording Kill 'Em All for the newly-formed Megaforce Records, Mustaine was abruptly let go, and replaced with Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett.
Addressing his cross-country trip-of-shame home from New York City to California, Mustaine says "The ride home from New York was long. I knew it was gonna be long. The ride out was long."
"The ride out was dangerous," he adds, regarding the bus accident in Wyoming the group suffered while on their way to meet Megaforce founder Jonny Zazula in New Jersey. "The ride out was bad. Because of the crash in Wyoming, I think that that's what made me the guy that had to go. I don't know. I probably was destined to leave before that because of, you know, the word 'destiny' and the fact that there was just so much talent and so much personality between the four of us. I don't know that we could have survived. There was destined to be some kind of an explosion at some point."
Mustaine then had a stroke of genius, one that would cement his status in the Halls of Metal for a lifetime. "I did a lot of soul searching on the way home. 'Did I wanna play guitar? Did I wanna keep doing this? 'What am I gonna do? I got it. I'm gonna make a band that's more metal than Metallica.'"
Fans can catch the world premiere of Icons featuring Dave Mustaine of Megadeth Thursday, August 19 at 1PM ET / 10AM PT on Gibson TV.
The rivalry between Metallica and Mustaine injected some good ol' competition into the world of Heavy Metal in 1983 and has had fans on edge of their seats every time the two bands get in the same vicinity of each other.
Part of the "Big 4" of Metal along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer -- Megadeth is still a huge draw, and is currently gearing up to hit the road on a solo tour and select dates with Slipknot -- although without longtime bassist Dave Ellefson.
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