Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dave Mustaine makes peace with Metallica

I don’t usually believe that some of the successful musicians are actually “tortured artists”. How can anyone feel sorry for a rich rock star? To be a rich rock star means that you have fame, enough wealth to never have to work again, and enough female fans to easily find someone interested in dating you. There is one musician who truly is a tortured artist. He is Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.

A lot of people have heard of Megadeth but unless they are into Heavy Metal, they may not be able to name a single song by the group. That is, until you hear “Peace Sells” and remember the bass that was used by MTV News.

If you are into Heavy Metal, then you probably know the music of Megadeth. Technically, the music is referred to as Thrash Metal. The big four of Thrash Metal are Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. Anthrax had a changing line of lead singers. Slayer played a lot of songs about Satanism and references towards Nazis. Even though the members of Slayer are not Nazis, it kept them from gaining mainstream acceptance.

Dave Mustaine was the lead guitarist of Metallica and was later fired from the band before they released any albums. He formed Megadeth. Dave Mustaine would both play guitar and be the lead singer of the band. Megadeth became a very successful band, selling millions of albums. But… not as successful as Metallica.

It has to hurt being number two. It probably hurts more for an NFL player to lose the Super Bowl than to lose the NFC or AFC Championship game to get into the Super Bowl. But the only thing to hurt more than being number two is to have been fired by number one. For years, Dave Mustaine would try to make Megadeth the best Thrash Metal band. Had he never been in Metallica, he would be known as the leader of one of the best Thrash Metal bands of all time. Instead, he will always be compared to the band that fired him. Starting from scratch, he would form the number two band, but always be known as the man who lost his chance to be in the top band.

This feud between Megadeth and Metallica would last for years. The members of Metallica did not suffer from this feud. They were the top band. Had Metallica been outsold by Megadeth, then James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of Metallica would probably have regretted their decision to fire Dave Mustaine.

Instead, the feud would torture Dave Mustaine for years. People would mock him for being fired from Metallica. Dave Mustaine was a truly tortured artist who could not overcome the pain of being fired by Metallica.

Recently, Metallica was chosen for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Dave Mustaine was never on a single Metallica record so he was not eligible to be inducted with them. James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich decided to invite Dave Mustaine to the pre-ceremony and to the ceremony when Metallica would be inducted. Dave was truly touched by this invitation. Although he would be unable to attend the ceremony because Megadeth would be on tour, Dave decided to write an open letter to Metallica to thank them for their invitation:

“Metallica, as you know has been selected to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (on April 4th). So, it is with much respect that I say congratulations!

I also had the nice surprise of hearing that they called to invite me to the pre-ceremony party the night before, and then to the actual ceremony. Unfortunately as you all know, I will be winding down our European tour with Judas Priest so I will be unable to attend.

However, I’d like to say to Lars (Ulrich) and James (Hetfield), I am so very proud of all you have accomplished. I will continue to pray for the very best for you and your families as I always have.

Thank you for the invitation and thinking of me.

Respectfully yours,Dave Mustaine”

I really hope that this mends the rift between Dave Mustaine and Metallica. I hope this more for Dave because I believe that if he is at peace with his parting from Metallica, he will no longer have to compete with them. He will be able to work on making music with the focus on one thing: making great Megadeth albums.

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