During an appearance on ‘No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn’ podcast, Megadeath bassist David Ellefson revealed how Dave Mustaine reacted when he listened to Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ album for the first time, which was released soon after he was fired from the band.
The tumultuous relationship between Dave Mustaine and Metallica is probably one of the most famous dramas in the rock world. As you know, in 1981, Dave joined Metallica as the band’s lead guitarist and was given the job without even auditioning because his warm-ups were enough for James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
The band started recording their debut album ‘Kill ‘Em All‘ in 1983 but Dave Mustaine was fired from the band before they released the album. During an interview, Brian Slagel, the owner of Metal Blade Records had said that even though Mustaine is a very talented guitarist, he had big alcohol and drug problems that upset the band members.
All metal-heads recall the infamous incident in which Dave Mustaine brought his dog to a rehearsal, which jumped on Ron McGovney’s car and scratched the paint. After James Hetfield allegedly shouted at Mustaine’s dog and kicked it, Mustaine physically attacked Hetfield and McGovney while verbally assaulting Ulrich. And that was the end of it.
In a recent interview, David Ellefson revealed what happened on the day when Mustaine first listened to ‘Kill ‘Em All.’ Ellefson said that they put on the record with other Megadeth members and then there were 38 minutes of silence. Mustaine was just sitting there, staring at the speakers and studying the music.
The first thing that Mustaine said was about Kirk Hammett, who had played his solos. Even though they were not identical, Mustaine said ‘he f-cking ripped off my solos.’ Ellefson went on to explain the importance of solos for Mustaine and said that for him, solos are a part of the composition and not just improvisations.
Mustaine felt even angrier when he found out that the credits of the songs he had brought in were not given to him but were rather divided, just like they would in a divorce. Ellefson didn’t understand why Mustaine was so upset and kept telling him that he shouldn’t care as he has got his own band and he’s doing his own thing.
In the interview, he said that back then, not a lot of people knew Metallica and not a lot of people foresaw the fame they would achieve. However, it seems like Mustaine did and that was probably one of the reasons why Metallica’s debut album hurt him on a personal level.
Here’s what David Ellefson said in the interview:
“The record got sent out to us by mail. I remember Greg Handevidt — he remembers in detail sitting there for like an hour of silence, or 38 minutes of silence, opening the box, looking at the record, opening the shrink wrap, and putting it on the turntable. It was obviously a weird moment, ’cause I and Greg are there going, ‘Oh my God. This is the moment.’
It’s like that moment you probably see your ex with somebody else. The pictures are there, and we were sitting there listening to it. Dave was listening to it, just staring at the speakers in complete silence, studying the songs. And I remember me and Greg sitting around him, just kind of nervously going, ‘Oh my God. What’s the reaction gonna be to this?’
And I remember one of the first things he said, he goes, ‘He fucking ripped off my solos.’ That was Dave’s first reaction — that Kirk had played his solos. They’re not entirely the same but to some degree.”
He continued by saying:
“I remember that was a very personal thing to Dave — the solos. At that point, those Metallica songs at least were well known in the Bay Area, and people knew of those songs, and that ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’ demo had been traded around, so people knew. Dave definitely put the stamp and the die had been cast on that demo, the ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’ demo. And you know how Dave plays — what he plays he plays night after night after night.
It’s a written part of the song. It’s not some ad-libby, groovy jam solo. What’s been recorded, that’s there forever — that’s exactly the way it’s played night after night. So to Dave, the solo was as much a part of the composition — it wasn’t a blues jam. And then, obviously, seeing the way the credits were on the record — songs Dave had written and brought it, and now the credits were divided up. So probably a lot like a divorce. He was pissed.
And that was that moment that I think was, like, ‘Oh, God. Here’s the reality of it.’ And, of course, for me, I’m, like, ‘What’s the big deal? We’ve got our own band. We’re doing our own thing.’ But at the same time, we had to be respectful. Obviously, this was Dave coming out of this big group that we had not heard of yet, Metallica.”
Click here for the source and you can listen to the podcast below.