OK, firstly I know that this is not going to be read by more than five people or so and that's just fine. I'm a coward anyway.
Go directly to A Megamentous Megamorphosis
I reckon a lotta folk who made their transition into our beloved 'underground' scene of the Doomed, the Blackened or the Deathened Metal went through the transition of the whole Metallica, Megadeth worship thing on their way down the fiery staircase. As I did. In all honesty, Megadeth made more of an impression on me. I'm not saying that their classics are more classic than the classics of classic Metallica..., you know, before they tried that classic(al) thing. Time and a place I suppose.
I kinda lost Megadeth with "Countdown To Extinction". Good album and all but there was a lot of soul gone... However, Dave Mustaine has always remained a bit of an icon to me, due in no small part to his being a troublemaker and all that sorta thing. I suppose what I am trying to say is that he was a personality. He had balls.
So, it's usual for people to mellow with age isn't it? Mustaine turns 49 this year, so he would be more than excused if he were to trade the bullet belt for the pipe and slippers. Well, ol' D-boy hasn't exactly chosen that path, he's...well...he's...ehhhh...I suppose I'm trying to ask if Dave Mustaine's lost his fucking marbles? I think he has. Judging by the 'way outta sanity's playing field' rubbish he has been posting online the last while, I believe the lad has indeed lost the marbles he had left. The final piece to this puzzle of insanity is the return of Mr. David 'Junior' Ellefson. What in the name of born again Christian soup is going on?
James LoMenzo, poor lad, is set onto his White Lion to ride off into the sunset.
What is going on with Mustaine? He's bonkers I tell thee....bonkers.
According to Mustaine they met for dinner around Christmas 2005 and smoothed things over. He then said that he has zero interest in seeing Ellefson again because Ellefson filed a suit and attempted to sue him for $18,5 million in earnings he never received. Fair enough. Then Musitaine said that he forgives Ellefson for attempting to fleece him (although with Megadeth's earnings reputed to be in the $200 million field since 1984 I think Mustaine could take it on the chin) but THEN wonders what Ellefson woulda done had he won the case. Well, mmm, sounds like the Mustaine antennae were well and truly set to kill rather than stun....good ol' Dave (Mustaine) ain't no walk over muthafukka....you gotta get up early to get one over on him....you gotta....
*****HOLD THE GUCKING NEWS KIDS*****
"This shows the power of brotherly love and forgiveness”
Hahaha. What the fuck? This is too much......or is it?
Megadeth will perform a tour to mark the 20th anniversary for "Rust In Peace", I have to wonder if Mustaine saw the holy show that Ellefson was making of himself in his role as Metal's Doctor Phil and with the Hail! covers band project thus deciding that now would be the time to pounce and secure at least one member who performed on that seminal album - the end result, of course, adding a welcome dose of credibility to the trek.
First things first: I still think Musitaine is a fucking legend. Musically, Megadeth did have a big role in my formative days. I am not talking in that sorta Robb Flynn way of calling everyone a legend just to be sure you'll be welcome in all the cool clubs -
"Man, without Dave Mustaine there'd be no Machine Head"
"Ahhh dude, what band's he in again`"
"Uhhhhh, Machine Head?....uhhh, no wait...Black Fuckin' Sabbath dude"
I mean more because he has always pushed so many people's buttons over the years, not to get magazine space either, he was just a bastard. Let us not forget that he has numerous classics under his belt as well.
Yes, Mustaine has quite the legacy.
However, a more pressing question for me is whether or not he is still a resident on this planet some would call Earth?
As many others have, I'm sure, I was taken by Megadeth upon my entry into the world of Thrash Metal. Truly, this was a band (as it was once) that had an edge, an edge missing from the other members of the 'Big Four'. There was a snarl about Mustaine and that snarl was present in the music too. At least back then.
"Peace Sells..." stands up today as a classic of its kind. "So Far, So Good, So What" was a dirty affair when the likes of Metallica. Anthrax and Slayer..., who all released albums in 1988, the same year the world got "So Far....", were growing up and polishing their shoes so that they may look sharp upon entry into the world of acceptance, that world had opened it's doors to them around this time.
Whether it was intentional or not, Metallica had gone very adult with "...And Justice For All".
Slayer did "South Of Heaven", an album that was darker than "Reign In Blood" yet seemed to be far more acceptable to your average Paddy on the street simply because the Germans didn't do a "Don't mention the war" freak out over the lyrical content. Anthrax? Sure they wouldn't hurt a fly. They even had cartoon caricatures of themselves on their album. They were the PC lads of the bunch.
Basically, the other three of 'The Big Four' would have been safe for introduction to Grandma - OK, Slayer's table manners might still have needed some touching up but nothing like the work Mustaine woulda needed.
Megadeth though? "So Far, So Good, So What" was rough n' ready by comparison. Musitaine was droogged out...., sorry, make that drugged out and still causing trouble.
See, Megadeth were always the bad boys of the bunch. Now people will say Slayer were but that's based more on the fact that the PC Brigade took offence to their having songs like "Angel Of Death" rather than their antics being the source of the reputation.
As Rockers and Rollers, we are sorta drawn towards the bad boys aren't we? We like the F-word in songs, we like the fact that our Grandmothers would shake their heads at us when we gushed "You know where South of Heaven is? That's HELL"
"Oh that's nice dear, but couldn't it be Earth?"
Anyway, Megadeth were like The Fonz without manners.
I must make special mention here, so that it doesn't seem I'm forgetting about David Ellefson. He was truly the white to Mustsaine's black, however I think there is no real argument to his polite demeanour negating the bad boy aspect if the Mega-Machine. Rather, I believe it was a devious plot by Mustaine to take the 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' route and thus highlighted his dastardly tendencies even further. Truly B-A-D. Very cool Dave. Hats off.
However, as cool as Mustaine was, he always had that fucking chip on his shoulder regards Metallica. Dave just could NOT let it go, could he?
So they booted him out of the band but come on..., regardless, his is a story of rags to rags to riches that most people would sell their Mothers for..., depending on the street price for a Mother at any given time.
Megadeth are estimated to have sold in the region of twenty five to thirty million albums worldwide. Metallica have sold, as far as most reports, over one hundred and twenty million albums worldwide. Add into this that their self titled or "Black Album" from 1991 is currently the biggest selling album in the US since the soundscan system was introduced that same year (latest report was 15,500,000 US sales). Which makes it not only platinum, double platinum and multiplatinum many times over. It also means that the album is diamond (ten million units shipped) and heading towards twice that amount.
This obviously really stings Mustaine. It shouldn't.
At a show in Glasgow in 1997, Mustaine introduced a song from "Countdown..." as coming from "Our multiplatinum album...". Now this was painful to read. Sure, the album has received certification from the RIAA for shipments in excess of two million. The usual terminology here would be 'double platinum', now multi platinum isn't wrong per se but you don't tell your mates that your girlfriend is a model just because she was entered in one of those 'Pretty Baby' competitions when she was 18 months old...see what I mean?
Either way, it is an awesome achievement but my reading of this was this - so torn was the man at his former bandmates success....multiple multi platinum albums...that he was just desperate for any of his releases to crawl to that point where he could streeeeetch the truth and mention it in the same breath - "Well, yeah...I mean we are both multi platinum bands".
Poor old Dave, he knows the truth just as we do.
Anyway, Mustaine was Rock and Roll. No doubt. He was also full of shit..., but in an awesome way, in a very entertaining way. Always the man with the knack for making fun of ex-members. Poor old Jeff Young got some roasting in the press courtesy of good ol' D-Boy. Tunnel vision ended up being an unlikely ally for Mustaine though. Jeff Young did NOT look like a Thrasher and for us young headbangers back then..., well, we didn't appreciate people straying from the path. How I shook my young bemulleted head seeing Young in the video for "In My Darkest Hour" (ignoring the fact that Mustaine's leather jacket could have been standard issue Warrant attire). When you're a wee one that can be quite damning, talking about Jeff Young here by the way, a sixteen year old Thrash fan back then was not particularly open to such things as a member of a Thrash band breaking dress protocol whether it was intentional or not. I remember seeing a picture of Charlie Benante wearing a Sinead O'Connor shirt - "What the fuck? In public even?".
Point is, back then Young didn't really look like a Thrasher so I was more than happy to have Mustaine talk shit about him in the press. Little did I realise that this was my introduction to Dave's public relations approach in general.
Then there was also the whole thing with Ulrich joining them onstage at Donnington '88. Dave and Lars kiss and make buds again? eh, lads...you didn't have to do it in front of 100,000 plus drunken Metal folk. I just hope those poor souls that took a bite of the big cherry that day (two fans died by being crushed) said goodbye to their living days before they were subjected to that Metrosexual train wreck.
And on...and on...and on.
Still, despite all we can say, Mustaine was the fucking coolest of those high profile Thrash Metal stars. No doubt.
Then at some point, he went got himself sorted out. Well, sort of. Maybe ol' D-Boy was out in a position where he had to choose between the heroin or the trash talk? Whatever the circumstances, the heroin got the heave ho. Apparently, it was around the time of "Rust In Peace". I'm not quite convinced though. Firstly, he was still being a bad boy - Kerry King was pissed at his 'blah, blah, blah' antics during the Clash Of The Titans tour and, most importantly, "Rust In Peace" was a fucking cracking record (a side effect of his drug dalliance maybe?).
Sadly, I am childishly pointing out that once Dave had 'banished his demons' to find the straight and narrow in his personal life, his music seemed to follow suit in a similarly pedestrian fashion.
Whenever the time was, the time did come when Dave went a bit calculated. Gone were the spur of the moment outbursts like the one in a VERY politically and religiously divided Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1988. Allow me to go slightly off track again.....
Metal gigs were considered to be one of the 'safe(ish) havens' at the time where Headbangers from the Catholic and the Protestant sides of the fence could intermingle without too much bloodshed. Mustaine, further from sobriety that he was from the US, shouted out some pro-IRA rhetoric from the stage whilst understanding neither the weight of his words nor why he was saying it exactly. Chaos ensued and Mustaine was apparently sped away in a bullet proof car (depending on which version of events he chooses to tell). In 1991, marking their return to the Emerald Isle, Musitaine offered a reason for his outburst three years (and one successful rehab stint) previously. With one word: Guinness. I'm serious. He puts down his words almost beginning a Thrash Metal sectarian civil war to.....a few pints of the black stuff.
Sure Dave....a bloke who was drinking the equivalent of the EC wine lake in alcohol daily and injecting rivers of heroin into himself was pushed over the edge by a few pints of stout, the kind favoured by most Irish 80 year old grandfathers. I'm sorry but I think his resistance to toxins was so high at the point that there was not enough Guinness in the entire country to knock Mustaine on his back at that point.
You know, maybe someone kicked his dog? After all, that was apparently the final straw in his Metallica days, perhaps that was the real reason?
Fast forward to present day and Mustaine has entered a whole new world of "What the fuck?". Namely, his internet postings that have been finding their way to Blabbermouth.
I am sure that most have seen this? If you haven't been lucky enough just go to Blabbermouth and type 'Dave Mustaine' in the box marked 'Search News'.
Frankly, it is a stunning collection of insane and inane ramblings.
As a keen follower of Blabbermouth these many years, I had considered Peter Dolving of The Haunted to be number one bullshit king. This is a specific kind of bullshit by the way, the kind that serves no purpose at all, basically telling us stuff about themselves forgetting any artistic or band related relevance - self indulgence. Mr. Dolving has been eclipsed many, many times over by Mustaine.
The main subject through all of this shite has to be Mustaine's personal vendetta against Metallica.
Why Dave, why?
"Some Kind Of Monster"? I have never managed to watch this. I just thought that the self obsessed nature of the whole project was sickening, a band that wrote their own rules suddenly desperately trying to remain current by jumping on the Reality TV train that had already reduced Ozzy Osbourne to the status of class clown. Then Mustaine agrees to take part and, by all accounts, joins in a tearfest with Lars Ulrich. I don't need to see it to understand that this is playing for the cameras.
The whole thing, the documentary, is, in my opinion, completely fake or it shows a group of people so far from their real selves or so far from reality that you have to wonder how they can't see it.
Ol' Davey's postings have really made me wonder if he has finally snapped and his mind has passed over to join the cast of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".
He loves Metallica. He hates Metallica. His son is awesome. He's SMS buddies with Kerry King. He wants to play pony with James Hetfield. Everyone loves him. Roadrunner Records suck. Roadrunner Records are great. Their new album is a maaaaasssive success. Their new album is not a massive success. Ohhhh maaaan, my head....dizzy.
He says everything is brilliant and that Chris Broderick is the best guitarist he has ever played with...when even a talentless oaf like me knows that Marty Friedman's work on "Rust In Peace" probably pisses on anything any Megadeth lead guitarist has done or will ever do.
He says that he 'sang' solos for most songs to their old guitarists. Do we believe him? I think humans are many millions years of evolution away from anyone being able to manage to hum a Marty Friedman solo to him...before or after he has composed it.
The list goes on and on and on.
To the point where we really have to wonder....has Mustaine lost it? Is Dave Mustaine now a fully confirmed Space Cadet (a term for a loony in Ireland...maybe it's a global term, I don't know).
As a tribute to this momentous metamorphosis that the man has undertaken, I have prepared a scenario below.
I give you - M ustaine: A Megamentous Megamorphosis
A brief background explanation.
The year is 2666. Earth is a long distant memory. Human reproduction has ceased due to humans attaining immortality. It is still possible to take a life but neither age nor disease will introduce ya to the big sleep.
Different ethnicities have established themselves in different galaxies, although not exclusively, sorta like Earth is nowadays. Those who can afford it have put themselves in spaceships, like for exampe, the current line up of Megadeth are aboard the SS Megadeth which is a luxury ship that you would expect a band of their standing to have.
The SS Metallica, however, is a far superior vessel. No surprise when considering that the Metallica, when on Earth, were a far more successful bunch than Megadeth and, indeed, most standings in 2666 are representative of standings on Earth from around...well...GOLLY...would ya believe....2010. That very year when science came to the point of 'freezing' us to remain in our current physical form for ALLLLL ETERNITY.
Anyway, in the celebrity galaxy where the likes of the SS Megadeth, SS Metallica, SS Oasis, SS Rolling Stone etc all hang. Mustaine, in the absence of the old Earth law and under the much harder to implement intergalactic law, has decided to fuck it all and go after the SS Metallica with the sole intention of destroying it and its inhabitants.
The residents of the SS Megadeth know that none can never acknowledge the fact that their vessel is...well...sorta shitty in comparison to the Metallica. Their captain (the much rumoured DM) has rage for such things, is the stuff of legend.
He has also passed over his human shell to become "...not organic or metallica...not a cyborg...call him Psychtron". He truly is a terror in the galaxy to those aware of him.
Note must be made that those on the SS Metallica don't really regard him as a threat. Being that the SS Megadeth is considered a second division vessel, they are not allowed entry to the Milky Way parties that premier league vessels such as the Metallica are. Nevertheless...Mustaine's hatred and his lust for the vendetta to be fulfilled have never subsided.
He has sworn on his Rattlehead....on his Captive Honour.....on his one and only Mary Jane....that those upon the SS Metallica will pay!
Here is a scene from the SS Megadeth in the year 2666.
- This scene will appear in an Oscar nominated film due to hit the screens in forty years or so - Space: The Final Frontier.
Mustaine: A Megamentous Megamorphosis
(please note for the purposes of continuity and 'artistic bulshitting' that some things make less sense than others etc etc...now, that's a disclaimer:-)
Chris Broderick is relatively new aboard the SS Megadeth and is still in awe at the inner workings of the ship. He does notice that there seems to be extra caution amongst the longer serving members when it comes to the ship's leader, the mysterious DM. He decides one day to finally risk asking Shawn Drover some things that have, thus far, been unclear to him.
Broderick: Come on man...you gotta tell me. I told the kids back on SS Jag Panzer I'd come back with something cool. Stories man, people got no stories no more.
Drover: I dunno man, if DM heard me he'd go fuckin' nuts....
Broderick: Ehhh....Go nuts?....
(Both laugh at the mere suggestion that DM has the slightest grip on reality left)
Drover: OK man. OK. Now, you can't say shit...right?
Broderick: Sure man, sure.....
Drover: I'm fuckin' serious dude....
Broderick: I know dude. I know.
Broderick puts his hand on Dover's shoulder in a touching moment of implied homosexuality disguised under a mask of alpha male bonding. Truly, all this time alone on the SS Megadeth and the lack of female company was beginning to take its toll. That the lack of women is strikingly similar on the SS Megadeth to the Metal scene back on their old home planet of Earth seems lost on the two Megadudes.
Drover: Story goes that Junior...
Broderick: You mean Ellefson? You know we can't call him Junior anymore?
Drover: Yeah dude. They were....well, he and DM were close man. Real close...
Broderick: Don't you mean really close?
Broderick: You said 'real close' but it should be 'really close'.
Drover: Dude, what are you English? I'm American and I speak American. You can go back to the Tea and Biscuits Galaxy if you wanna speak that shit. AnywayS. DM and Junior had been together on this ol' ship for twenty years or something and, like I said, they were close...REALLY close. They'd been searching for the SS Metallica ever since DM was discharged. One day, after having no contact for years they found the Metallica. They tailed it for weeks, the whole time they had the invisibility shield up...but the Metallica dude...they had their comms on 50% to save energy 'cos Ulrich had some big shots visiting and he had the floodlights on full blast in the wing where they had all the gold and platinum records mounted.
Anyway, then apparently...some tea drinking limeys from the SS Oasis were stopping by and so Ulrich had 'em put on more floodlights in the wing where he kept all his paintings and shit cos he wanted to show off more to those dudes. And this meant that their comms went down to fucking 30% dude. Know what that fucking means?
Broderick: No dude. What's it mean?
Drover: Dude, it means...that we could hack in and get fuckin' audio from that muthafucker.
Broderick: Doooooode....the SS Metallica is a monster, it's like fifty times bigger. Man, that's....
At this point Broderick is interrupted by Drover. His eyes glaze over, in almost robotic fashion, he repeats one of the many mantras that DM has instilled into the minds of his Droogies.
Drover: DM says the SS Megadeth is 30% the size of the SS Metallica...he says that he helped build the first four wings or something. That the success of the hull is mainly down to him.
Broderick, being newer to the SS Megadeth, has not yet reached the final stage....that point where the Droogies are whisked off in the dead of the night to taste The Five Magics. Legend has long spoken of a ritual where a potion ingested by the Droogie is of such potency, only he of the most ginger of hair can come through unscathed. DM has been heard muttering to himself in the dead of night of this ritual and how there is almost no antidote....apart from the deadliest of poisons. Upon his escape from the Megadeth and his subsequent crash landing on the Planet J-Pop in the Tokyo Galaxy, Marty Friedman in a fevered cry was said to have mouthed the words 'Poison Was The Cure'. Serious doubt regarding the validity of this has arisen. For one, Friedman has taken to speaking only the heavily encrypted language of technology that is common on J-Pop. Also, there have long been tales of one time SS Megadeth inhabitant Al Pitrelli attempting escape by hacking the ship's PA, wherein he fed Poison's old world classic 'Unskinny Bop' on repeat. Witnesses reported DM screaming words similar to 'CC...you think you got me? CC....where are ya now'. Pitrelli was apparently recaptured shortly afterwards whilst searching for the SS Savatage, never realising it has been retired in Jon Olivia's Pain Galaxy. He was never seen again.
Broderick: Dude, bullshit....no way the SS Megadeth is 30% the size of the SS Metallica. Come on dude.....DM had credit for the first wing...bit on the second. Everyone knows that.
Drover: Dude...shhhh...you don't want him to hear you, you'll be intergalactic toast for sure...
Broderick: (whispering) Sorry Dude...go on....
Drover: Anyway, they got audio. It was unclear at first and then...they heard something....Junior recognised it....turned to the rest of the crew and said 'Haha...hey, it's "The Four Horsemen" but he realised it too late...he had said the wrong thing. DM was in another wing, of course he was pissed cos it was smaller than any wing on the SS Metallica...even smaller than their guest toilet wing but he had video to Junior and the rest of the crew. When he heard Junior, he just growled 'Dude, you just called The Mechanix The fuckin' Four Horsemen'....
So, DM...he does this telepathy magic shit from the wing....the "Countdown To Extinction" wing, you know the one he calls the Multi Platinum wing....
Broderick: Yeah, but isn't it JUST barely made from Double Platinum?
Drover: Yeah dude, but the SS Metallica had plenty of true Multi Platinum wings...like shit that's like 7 X platinum and 14 X Platinum and shit...and he was desperate call a wing his Multi Platinum wing...anyway...Junior is in the other wing...the Risk Wing...you know dude, the gay one with the pink walls and shit?
Broderick: Oh yeah, DM doesn't like to talk about it. He says it was a mistake. He says that that dude who was banished to the Tokyo Galaxy...Friedman...he said it was Friedman's influence.
Drover: Yeah...well, suddenly Junior grabs his own throat, starts choking and is then lifted off the ground...even though DM was way off in that other wing. Junior died dude.
Broderick: Dude...that's....just like 'Star Wars' dude....that's.....
Drover: Dude...it's more like fucking "Dallas" dude....like Bobby Ewing. Junior's back from the dead dude.....how the fu......
Just then, there is a mighty wooshing sound. Doors slide open. From the other side two men appear. One is Pastor Blastor otherwise known as Father Vic, the ship's priest who is never away from DM's side.
The other is something else entirely. An imposing ginger figure, standing at six feet tall. Clad in a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase 'The TRUE Metallica: 1981 - 1983' and a backprint saying 'James kicked my fucking dog'. The figure's red hair rests over his shoulders and his face has a snarl that's believed to be the result of talking about himself constantly year upon year. It is the much feared ruler of the ship. It is DM.
Both Broderick and Drover stand to attention and salute. Their voices tembling with fear. Both men shout in unison - 'Darth Mustaine, we are ready to do your bidding'.
Darth Mustaine speaks: "Drooooooogs.....Good Mourning or should I say Black Friday. Our mission is about to take a turn. I stand before you today as the Architecture Of Aggression. Reckoning Day is upon us Droogs. I must say, half organic and robotic as I am. I ain't superstitious. However, Father Vic has informed me that he reached the Forclosure Of A Dream last night. In that dream Droogs, he witnessed the little tennis loving Dane Sweating Bullets. Yes, Droogs. We draw close. I promise, he will......Wake Up Dead'.....ha hahaha hahahahahahahaha"
DM's insane laughter echoes 'Into The Lungs Of Hell', it shakes the very core of 'Devil's Island', sweeping all that is evil into a 'Tornado Of Souls' to end all life as we would know it. Something to that effect anyway...you get the drift.
Ladies, Gentlemen....DROOGS. Welcome to the SS Megadeth. a mid sized space ship (hence the SS) that has been on a seemingly endless journey to hunt and destroy the SS Metallica. The reason? Darth Mustaine's bitter ego vendetta to avenge the ruling commission of the SS Metallica who he says unjustly discharged him from the vessel.
The greatest story of revenge ever known, revealed finally.
So, wadda ya think? Bit over the top and ridiculous? You bet baby, but then so have master Dave's internet babblings.
Let's sum up here.
Mustaine = legend.
He has sold shitloads of albums, inspired shitloads of people and made music that has passed the borders of time and will remained revered and loved for many, many generations to come yet he still measures all of his achievement and success against Metallica.
Metallica are seen as a band who have stepped over recognised boundaries and taken sounds and approaches to music to previously uncharted waters.
Does Mustaine feel that, because Megadeth obviously came after Metallica, that people who are not in the know will assume that his band was born partially as a result of influence from Metallica and this he must point out at any cost that he was actually one of the figures responsible for the creation of that beast?
In so, I feel, he compromises his dignity.
Then we come to the recent Mustaine. In charge of a band that has sadly become a vehicle for him to run a totalitarian styled musical entity and this could be the reason he must constantly post online to repeat just how awesome things are. Stalin would be proud.
Then in adding insult to injury he decides to go further and further into inane land and I kinda get lost in the blabbering and struggle to find any point in what he says.
The man is almost a definition of a maddened genius.
The difference here is that the term is normally used to describe a person who has both aspects running in tandem.
Ol' Dave's kinda done it another way. His genius stage was the early half of his career and the maddened stage is now.
Regardless, the man is still a genius but will his madness eclipse his musical legacy?
Answer on a postcard to the SS Megadeth please.
Composed by Paul Kearns