Dave Mustaine recently attended an interview on Gibson’s YouTube channel and talked about his struggles after he left Metallica and founded Megadeth.
Dave Mustaine is the co-founder, vocalist, and guitarist of Megadeth, but before he was as successful and famous as he is today, he went through many struggles with his bandmates. Before Megadeth, Mustaine was the lead guitarist of Metallica from 1981 until 1983 but was fired from the band because of his conflicts with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
After Metallica, he founded Megadeth but struggled with finding a vocalist until he decided to step in and do the job himself. According to Mustaine, during their first years, their fans would give them something to eat or money for food. However, when on tour wouldn’t have enough to even pay for gas or a motel.
Here is how he talked about their financial struggles:
“Usually, we would meet some fans there that were kind enough to give us a little bit of some food money, because those beginning years were really mean. There was one point where we pulled over in Texas, and I had to call the record label and tell them we’ve run out of gas.
We’re stuck in the hotel, and we can’t check in because we don’t have any money, and the guy tells me over the phone, ‘You better get a day job’ and I thought, ‘You know we’re on tour, and you know my temper, so why are you doing this to me of all people right now because you’re gonna get it at some point…'”
In the interview, he even mentioned that the band’s state had inspired him to write ‘Peace Sells,’ which became a star track in their 1986 album ‘Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?.’ He also admitted that he was inspired by Patti Smith’s book which stated that ‘peace sells, but nobody’s buying.’
Here is how Mustaine said that he was inspired because of their poverty:
“‘Peace Sells’ lyrics were actually written with a very fat felt pen on the wall in the rehearsal studios in Vernon, California. I had been living there because we were all homeless, and I was living at the rehearsal building, which was dreadful. There was no fridge, no food, no nothing, no showers, and one day there was a magazine on the coffee table in the front room, and it was Reader’s Digest, and it had a story from Patti Smith – Patti Smith’s cool, right? So, she was talking about how ‘peace sells, but nobody’s buying it,’ and I went, ‘Wow, that’s a really cool statement. Peace Sells, but nobody’s buying…’ and then I changed it to ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?'”
You can watch the full interview below.