Dave Mustaine formed Megadeth after he was fired from Metallica in 1983. Metallica abruptly let Mustaine go after recording their debut album in New York City, so he was forced to take a Greyhound bus home to Los Angeles. In the terminal, Mustaine found a political pamphlet from California Senator Alan Cranston that said, "The arsenal of megadeath can't be rid," and thought "Megadeth" would make a great song title. That song turned into "Set The World Afire
" from the 1988 album So Far, So Good… So What!
, but Megadeth became the name of his new band.
There was a lot of animosity when Mustaine left Metallica, and although he told them not to use any of his work, Metallica did anyway, since he was still with the band when he recorded it. You can hear his playing on four songs from the Kill 'Em All
album and two more from Ride the Lightning
. He also claims that Metallica's 1986 track "Leper Messiah
" contains his playing.
In the early stages of Megadeth, Kerry King was actually the band's guitarist for a very short time. King joined Megadeth for a few live shows and was the band's official guitarist for about a week, but he soon quit to continue focusing on his own band, Slayer.
In 1998, Megadeth singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine made a cameo on the popular sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Mustaine appeared as a guitarist auditioning for a band Drew was putting together with his friends. After playing a lightning fast guitar solo, Mustaine was denied the job because the group thought his speed was due to nervousness.
Megadeth own a recording studio in San Diego, California that has housed various pieces of band equipment over the years. In 2009, lead singer Dave Mustaine announced that he wanted to "make better use of the studio" by turning it into a music learning center for underprivileged kids. Mustaine also expressed interest in teaching kids how to play their instruments.
Combat Records gave Megadeth $8,000 to record their debut album, but the band quickly burned through the cash. The label gave the band another $4,000, but most of that money was spent on food, drugs, and alcohol, forcing Megadeth to fire their producer and produce the album themselves. Despite the lack of production value, Megadeth's debut album Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! was well-received and even re-issued in 2002.
In 2002, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine suffered a freak injury that almost forced him to end the band. While being treated for addiction to prescription medication, Mustaine fell asleep with his left arm over the back of a chair. He suffered from compression of a radial nerve and was unable to make a fist or even feel much of his left arm. Mustaine thought he'd never be able to play guitar again, but after weeks of physical therapy and rigorous practice, he taught himself how to play again. The Deftones named their 2006 album Saturday Night Wrist after this condition, which is also called Saturday Night Palsy.
They never had a #1 album, but Countdown to Extinction
went to #2. It was a great source of frustration for the band when they couldn't unseat Billy Ray Cyrus from the top spot, as no amount of speed metal could overcome "Achy Breaky Heart
Megadeth singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine isn't just a musician, he's a music trivia buff. In the late '90s, Mustaine appeared on Rock 'N' Roll Jeopardy, competing against fellow rock stars Moon Zappa and George Clinton. Mustaine won the game by a landslide.
Dave Mustaine holds black belts in Taekwondo WTF and Ukidokan Karate. In 2007, he was appointed the World Taekwondo Federation's Goodwill Ambassador of the World.
Shawn Drover quit Megadeth in November 2014 after ten years, wanting to pursue his own musical interests. He was quickly followed by guitarist Chris Broderick, who departed due to artistic and musical differences.
Kiko Loureiro, the co-founder of Brazilian power metal band Angra, was announced on April 2, 2015 as the replacement of Chris Broderick.
MTV used the bassline from the Megadeth song "Peace Sells
" as the intro tune for its "MTV News" segment. This intro ran for about a decade, making that song snippet one of the most ubiquitous bass grooves of the era. In our interview with Dave Ellefson
, he said, "It was something that was almost subliminally piped into everybody's house for 10 years, and it's amazing what an effect it has on people."