The 34th Anniversary Of A Day That Would Change The Course Of Heavy Metal/Thrash History Forever.
April 11, 1983. I’m sure while the members of Metallica were driving to the “Port Authority Bus Station” in New York City on that day they had no idea they were making history that would be discussed over and over for years to come, and making a decision that would change the course of Heavy Metal Music forever. Yes, this would be the day that guitar player Dave Mustaine was officially fired from the band because of his alcoholism, drug abuse, aggressive behavior, but most importantly his personality clashes with Lars Ulrich, and James Hetfield. He was given a one way ticket on a Greyhound Bus to Los Angeles. He was given no prior warnings, and not a second chance. The band would get guitar player Kirk Hammett from the band Exodus to take Dave’s place, and begin recording their debut album “Kill ‘Em All”. The record would include four songs co-written by Dave. It’s not surprising that when Mustaine found out about it he was pretty livid. It was definitely a bitter pill for him to swallow. Even though he would eventually make a huge amount of money off the royalties, he had originally asked the band not to use the material. (Metallica would also use two more songs on their next record “Ride The Lightning” also co-written with Dave.) Six of the eighteen songs on the first two records had a Mustaine co-writing credit.
We can only imagine how terrible that long bus ride home was for Dave. No matter how upset or depressed he was at the time though he still had the wherewithal to write some song ideas during the trip. The song would eventually become “Set The World Afire”, a song that would come to life a few years later. Once he got home he lived with his mother awhile, depressed, even had to get a regular job as a telemarketer. Once he earned enough money he would move into an apartment, meet his downstairs neighbor David Ellefson (known to fans as Junior) and form Megadeth. The rest is truly history.
No matter what we think of Dave, his story is an inspiration to us all. When he got on that bus he could’ve been finished like so many others who go through the same thing not just in music, but any profession when told they are not wanted. Dave fell off the horse, but got back on and learned to ride better than ever. Today he is just as respected (if not more) than either James or Lars for his contribution to Metal/Thrash Music. It would’ve been interesting to see how they would’ve turned out had they stayed together. But in reality it worked out better for us fans. We got two great bands (for awhile anyways) instead of one.
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