On the Arsenal of Megadeth
DVD, which was released in 2006, Dave Mustaine says before a live performance: "This song is about how many times I tried to kill myself and couldn't get the job done."
Kyle - Toronto, Canada
The expression "by the skin of one's teeth" comes to us all the way from the Bible: King James Bible, Job 19:20: "My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth." Job is delivering one of his long-winded lamentations to his three friends, who are debating with him whether he deserves his problems or not. To escape by the skin of your teeth is to very, very narrowly make it; it's a way of saying you almost didn't survive.
However, the title itself comes from the Thornton Wilder stage play The Skin of Our Teeth. It, too, is filled with biblical references, such as each of the characters being an allegory for characters from the Bible and Hebrew legend.
Dave Mustaine is further quoted in a 1992 interview on the unofficial Megadeth fan site, "MTV flipped when they saw the lyrics to 'Skin O' My Teeth' because they thought I was promoting committing suicide. It has taken us a long enough time to get our relationship politically correct with MTV. So I don't want to go out and film a video about a song that they are going to look at and say, 'You're nuts.' and if they say, 'Hey Dave, we're going to play your song, as radical as it is, but you have to go on there and say the song is not about suicide,' I'll say it. 'Hey, this song is not about suicide.'"
Countdown to Extinction is Megadeth's most successful album, selling over two million copies and going double platinum.
If you've heard of the Live at the Cow Palace version of this album, we assure you that there really is such a place. It's in Daly City, California, formerly known as the California State Livestock Pavilion, and it's owned by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Mustaine told Artist Direct
that he came up with the idea for the song, "on the way home from a very anxious dental appointment."