Anthrax’s iconic guitarist Scott Ian spoke in a recent interview with No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn and talked about the times when Metallica members fired Dave Mustaine from the band.
In the conversation, Scott mentioned the differences between Dave and the rest of the band members by saying that Dave is the only person who could get drunker and cause some troubles.
After the band members started to live together and hang out most of the time, they realized that they couldn’t go further with Dave due to his attitude problems. Because of that, the band members had to fire him.
Additionally, Scott stated that he didn’t believe this decision in the first place when he talked to Cliff Burton. Later on, he talked with Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield and understood the situation afterward.
Here is what Scott Ian said:
“They all drank, but Dave drank more than they did. [Laughs] And the difference with Dave was, from my memory of that time – ’cause we were there all the time, we were hanging out with them all the time…
All those other guys would get drunk and it was always fun, and Dave was kind of the not-fun guy when he would get too drunk. I mean, everybody knows one guy like that.
And I think that was basically the beginning of the end because now they were living together, and they were in close quarters all the time together.
And I think they realized, they were, like, ‘How the hell are we gonna keep doing this and move forward if we’re constantly worrying about this?'”
Scott Ian added:
“I remember walking in one day and Cliff was standing outside having a smoke. And I went, ‘Hey man, what’s up?’ He was, like, ‘Not much. We fired Mustaine; he’s on a bus, he’s on a Greyhound back to the Bay Area.’
And I was like, ‘Yeah, right…’ He was like, ‘No. I’m serious.’ And it’s Cliff, so he was that total ballbuster wise-ass, and he was just kind of smirking at me and I’m like, ‘Shut up. You’re playing a show week. Who’s gonna play guitar?’
He was like, ‘We’ve already got a guy coming.’ I said, ‘Get the fuck outta here!’ He goes, ‘Go upstairs. Ask James.’ So, I go up to the room, they’re just kind of dicking around in the room – I don’t see Dave and I’m, like, ‘What’s going on? Cliff tells me you guys fired Dave…’”
“And Lars was like, ‘We did. Early this morning, we put him on a bus. He’s already five hours on the way back to California.’ ‘What? What?!’ We had no idea. I went, ‘What are you gonna do?’ ‘We’ve got this guy coming from this band Exodus that we know. He’s getting here tomorrow…’
People don’t know that James wasn’t James yet. When I first met James, he would drink and he would change, but James, he was kind of like a shy, quiet dude. Dave was the mouthpiece. Dave was the guy. He was the frontman – 100%.
He was the attitude, he was the personality. It was everything. And I was kind of like, ‘You think this is the right idea?’ ‘We had to – we couldn’t deal with it anymore. He was getting us into trouble.’”
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