Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine
Dave Mustaine

Mustaine performing with Megadeth in 2009.
Background information
Birth name David Scott Mustaine
Born September 13, 1961 (1961-09-13) (age 50)
La Mesa, California, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal, thrash metal, speed metal, hard rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, producer, actor, author, manager
Instruments Guitar, vocals, piano
Years active 1978–present
Labels Loud, Combat, Capitol, Sanctuary, Roadrunner
Associated acts Megadeth, Metallica, MD.45, Panic, Red Lamb
Website www.megadeth.com
Notable instruments
Jackson King V Signature model
ESP DV8 Signature model
Various Dean VMNT Signature model

David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is the founder, main songwriter, guitarist, and lead vocalist for the American heavy metal band Megadeth. Prior to Megadeth, Mustaine was the first lead guitarist and a co-songwriter of the heavy metal band Metallica until he was fired from the band in 1983. In 2009, he was ranked No. 1 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.[1] Mustaine was ranked 89th by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.[2] He is also the manager for the Canadian band Baptized in Blood.



Dave Mustaine was born in La Mesa, California, to Emily and John Mustaine. His mother was Roman Catholic but Dave was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness. When his parents divorced, he spent much of his youth with his mother and sisters moving constantly to avoid contact with his father. By the age of 15, Mustaine had rented his own apartment and was surviving financially by dealing drugs.[3] One of his clients, Willow[citation needed], was often short of cash, but worked in a record store, so in return for drugs, she offered albums by artists such as Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Motörhead and Judas Priest in trade,[3] which helped form his taste in hard rock and heavy metal. In the late 1970s, Mustaine started to play electric guitar, most notably a B.C. Rich and joined a band known as Panic for a short time.

The 1980s

Metallica (1981-1983)

In 1981, Mustaine left Panic to join Metallica as the lead guitarist. Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich had posted an ad in a local newspaper, The Recycler, looking for a lead guitarist. In his own words, Mustaine remembers his first meeting with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich: "I was in the room warming up and I walked out and asked, 'Well, are you gonna audition?', and they said, 'no, you've got the job.' I couldn't believe how easy it had been and suggested that we get some beer to celebrate."[4]

Mustaine's membership in Metallica would last less than two years. Brian Slagel, owner of Metal Blade Records, recalls in an interview: "Dave was an incredibly talented guy but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He'd get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn't deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more...much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time."[5]

On one occasion, Mustaine brought his dog to rehearsal; the dog jumped onto the car of Metallica bassist Ron McGovney and scratched the paint. Hetfield allegedly proceeded to yell at Mustaine's dog and kicked it in anger, to which Mustaine responded by physically attacking Hetfield and McGovney and verbally abusing Ulrich. Mustaine was fired following the altercation, but the next day, Mustaine asked to be allowed back in the band and was granted his request. Another incident occurred when Mustaine, who had been drinking, poured a full can of beer down the neck and into the pick-ups of Ron McGovney's bass. When McGovney tried playing it, he received an electrical shock which he claims 'blew him across the room and shocked the hell out of him'. McGovney then told Mustaine and Hetfield to leave his house and left the band shortly after.[6]

On April 11, 1983, after Metallica had driven to New York to record their debut album, Mustaine was officially fired from the band because of his alcoholism, drug abuse, overly aggressive behavior, and personality clashes with founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, an incident Mustaine refers to as "no warning, no second chance". The band packed up Dave's gear, drove him to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and put him on a Greyhound bus bound for Los Angeles.[4] It was on this bus ride that Mustaine scribbled some lyrical ideas on the back of a muffin wrapper, which would later become the song "Set The World Afire" from the 1988 Megadeth album So Far, So Good... So What!

During his time in Metallica, Dave Mustaine toured with the band, co-wrote four songs which appeared on Kill Em All, and co-wrote two songs which would eventually appear on Ride the Lightning. Mustaine has also made unverified claims to have written parts of "Leper Messiah" from Master of Puppets.[4] He also recorded several songs with the band including the No Life 'Til Leather demo tape. A few of the songs he wrote with Hetfield and Ulrich went on to be re-recorded by Metallica. The most well-known of these is "The Four Horsemen" from Kill 'Em All, which Mustaine wrote as "The Mechanix" and later released on Megadeth's debut album with the original lyrics as "Mechanix".[citation needed]

Megadeth (1983-present)

Subsequent to his firing, in 1983, Mustaine met bass player Dave Ellefson. He then enlisted guitarist Greg Handevidt and drummer Dijon Carruthers. After a series of unsuccessful vocalist auditions, Mustaine elected to take on vocal duties himself in addition to playing lead guitar. In 1984, Megadeth cut a three-song demo with drummer Lee Raush. Kerry King joined the band for a few shows; however, he opted to leave Megadeth after less than a week so he could continue working on his own band, Slayer. Jazz-influenced drummer Gar Samuelson replaced Raush. Megadeth recorded a demo as a three-piece band which captured the attention of guitarist Chris Poland, also a jazz player and a friend of Samuelson, who subsequently joined the band.[7] In November, the band signed a deal with Combat Records and began touring.

In May 1985, Megadeth released their first album, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!, on Combat Records. That summer, the band toured the U.S. and Canada with Exciter. Guitarist Mike Albert replaced Chris Poland for a while because Poland was charged for possession of heroin. After Poland was released, he rejoined the band in October and the band then began recording their second studio album for Combat. On New Year's Eve of that year, Megadeth played in San Francisco with Exodus,and Metal Church. Metallica was on the card but did not attend due to various reasons.

A KV1, same model played by Mustaine before the Y2KV was created.

In 1986, after recording Killing Is My Business..., Mustaine approached Jackson Guitars for a custom-built guitar. Jackson modified their existing Jackson King V model for Mustaine by adding 2 more frets to the standard 22 fret King V. In the 1990s the company began mass-producing a Dave Mustaine signature series Jackson King V which continued into the early 2000s.

The following year, major label Capitol Records signed Megadeth and obtained the rights to their second album, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, from Combat. Megadeth opened a U.S. tour with King Diamond and Motörhead. This album, released in November, is regarded as a landmark metal album. It produced the notable title track (the opening bass lick of which was used by "MTV News" segments) as well as the thrash anthem "Wake Up Dead." The videos for both songs became staples on MTV's Headbanger's Ball.

In February 1987, Megadeth opened for Alice Cooper on his Constrictor tour. The band also toured with King Diamond whose previous band, Mercyful Fate, were a huge influence on Megadeth. In March, Megadeth's first world tour began in the U.K. Mustaine and Ellefson guested on the band Malice's License To Kill album. Megadeth re-recorded "These Boots" for a movie soundtrack, and that summer went on tour with Overkill and Necros. Amid drug problems and suspicions of stealing the band's equipment and pawning it for drug money, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson after their last show in Hawaii.

Chuck Behler, who had been Samuelson's drum tech, became Megadeth's new drummer with a guitarist named Jeff Young replacing Poland. Megadeth released their third album, So Far, So Good... So What!, in January 1988. The album contains the song "In My Darkest Hour", which, according to the liner notes of So Far, So Good... So What!, was composed after the death of Metallica's bass player Cliff Burton, despite the lyrics having nothing to do with Burton. "Hook in Mouth" attacked the Parents Music Resource Center with gusto, although their cover of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK", despite a guest appearance from ex-Pistol Steve Jones, was ill-advised in the eyes of Allmusic's critic.

Later that year, Megadeth opened for Dio and then Iron Maiden on tour before playing the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in the U.K. with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, David Lee Roth, and Helloween. Shortly after, Mustaine fired Behler and Young, accusing Young of having thoughts of a relationship with Mustaine's then-girlfriend. Around this period, Mustaine produced the debut album from Seattle thrash band Sanctuary, called Refuge Denied.

Nick Menza, who was Chuck Behler's drum tech, joined Megadeth in 1989, and the band recorded their only track ever as a three-piece: a cover of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" for the Wes Craven-directed horror flick, Shocker. Video director Penelope Spheeris would later recount in the Megadeth episode of Behind The Music that Mustaine showed up to the video shoot so fried on heroin and other drugs that he could not sing and play guitar at the same time; therefore, the singing and playing had to be recorded separately. Mustaine was arrested for "impaired driving" that March with seven or more drugs in his system and was forced by authorities to enter a rehabilitation program (the first of his 17 visits to rehabilitation centers).

The 1990s

In February 1990, guitarist Marty Friedman (formerly of Cacophony) was auditioned to fill in the vacant lead-guitar position. In September of that year, the band joined the "Clash of the Titans" tour overseas with Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Testament. The tour began one month before Megadeth released Rust in Peace (1990), which continued their commercial success. They then went back on the road to promote the new album, this time as support for Judas Priest.

Megadeth started off 1991 by performing for 145,000 people at a festival in Brazil before starting their own world tour with Alice in Chains as their special guest. Mustaine got married in April, the same month the Rusted Pieces home video was released. That summer, the Clash of the Titans tour hit the U.S., featuring Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, with Alice in Chains taking the opening slot. Later that year, the Megadeth song "Go to Hell" was featured on the soundtrack to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.

Also in 1991, Mustaine collaborated with Sean Harris from Diamond Head on the track "Crown of Worms." (Mustaine would later appear on Diamond Head's reformation album Death and Progress.) Mustaine's wife, Pamela, gave birth to their son Justis on February 11, 1992. The band was featured on another soundtrack, this time for Super Mario Bros. with the song "Breakpoint." July saw the release of Megadeth's most commercially successful record: Countdown to Extinction. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and boasted some the band's most commercially successful songs, including "Symphony of Destruction", "Sweating Bullets" and "Skin o' My Teeth". The original version of the "Symphony of Destruction" video was edited due to its depiction of a political leader being assassinated; "Skin o' My Teeth" was aired on MTV with a disclaimer from Mustaine insisting that the song did not endorse suicide. Ellefson contributed lyrics to the family-farm ballad "Foreclosure of a Dream", and Menza wrote the lyrics about canned hunting for the title track. This album began a new, more "collaborative" Megadeth.

Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies opened for Megadeth on the Countdown to Extinction tour. MTV News invited Mustaine to cover the Democratic National Convention for them that summer. In November, the "Exposure of a Dream" home video was released. In 1993, Mustaine guested on a new album by one of the bands who had influenced his own sound: Diamond Head. Megadeth began a U.S. tour with Stone Temple Pilots as their opening act. This tour, including a planned appearance at Budokan, was ultimately canceled due to Mustaine's continuing struggles with addiction. In June, Megadeth played Milton Keynes Bowl with Diamond Head and Metallica and later opened for Metallica on a handful of European Stadium dates. Megadeth was kicked off Aerosmith's U.S. tour after just seven dates due to the comment made by Mustaine that "We don't have much time to play because Aerosmith don't have much time left to live." was deemed offensive to Aerosmith. "Angry Again" was featured on the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Last Action Hero, while "99 Ways To Die" was featured on The Beavis and Butt-head Experience compilation album.

Megadeth spent the bulk of 1994 making Youthanasia, a much more commercial album undoubtedly inspired in part by the success of Countdown to Extinction. The band covered Black Sabbath's song "Paranoid" for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath and performed on MTV's "Night of the Living Megadeth" in celebration of the Halloween release of their new album. They began a tour the next month in South America. Youthanasia became the quickest album to go gold (500,000 units) in Canadian history and sold well throughout the world. It was an album that showed a more melodic side to the band with tracks such as "À Tout le Monde." The album also included "Train of Consequences," the music video for which became one of the band's most well-known.

Another soundtrack appearance, "Diadems" on Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, kicked off 1995. Megadeth spent the first two months of the year on the "Youthanasia" tour with Corrosion of Conformity in tow. In March, the Hidden Treasures compilation hit European stores. The "Evolver: The Making of Youthanasia" home video followed in May, and Hidden Treasures made it to the U.S. and Japan in July, just in time for the start of the "Reckoning Day" tour with special guests Flotsam and Jetsam, Korn and Fear Factory. In September the band performed at the "Monsters of Rock" festival in South America.

A Grammy nomination for "Paranoid" began 1996 for Megadeth. Enlisting Fear singer Lee Ving, Mustaine released an album under the moniker "MD.45" with Suicidal Tendencies drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. In September, Megadeth returned to the studio, this time in Nashville, TN, to record Cryptic Writings.

Cryptic Writings (1997) included thrashing songs like "Vortex" and "FFF" - reminiscent of Megadeth's older material - alongside radio-friendly fare like "Trust," the song which put Megadeth on the #1 spot in the U.S. Billboard, earning them many spins at rock radio. Megadeth.com launched that year, and in June, the reformed Misfits opened for the band on tour. Chaos Comics released "The Cryptic Writings of Megadeth" comic books, and a remix of "Almost Honest" showed up on the "Mortal Kombat Annihilation" soundtrack. The first ever all-acoustic Megadeth performance in Buenos Aires, Argentina closed out the year in December.

Mustaine's daughter, Electra Mustaine, was born on January 28, 1998, the same month that "Trust" was nominated for a Grammy. Megadeth played on the Howard Stern Show and that summer took part in Ozzfest[citation needed]. As Nick Menza sat in the hospital side-lined by a knee injury, he received a call from Mustaine informing him that his services would no longer be needed. Jimmy DeGrasso, who Mustaine had enjoyed playing with in MD.45, joined Megadeth in his place. On New Year's Eve, Megadeth opened for Black Sabbath alongside Soulfly, Slayer, and Pantera.

While touring after Cryptic Writings, Mustaine told interviewers that songs like "She-Wolf" and "Vortex" had reinvigorated his love for classic metal by bands like Iron Maiden and Motörhead, and that he intended to write an album that was "1/2 Peace Sells, 1/2 Cryptic Writings"; however, after hearing about a comment that Lars Ulrich had made in the press in which he said he wished Mustaine would take more "risks," intentions changed. Managers and producers had more input. The song "Crush 'Em" was written with the express purpose of being played in sports arenas. In later years, Mustaine would blame much of this period on Friedman's desire to go in a more "pop" direction. Recorded with producer Dann Huff, again in Nashville, Risk was released on August 31, 1999. "Crush 'Em" made it onto the Universal Soldier: The Return soundtrack and into WCW wrestling events (notably played live on Monday Nitro). In July, the band covered "Never Say Die" for a second Black Sabbath tribute. They closed the Woodstock '99 music festival and again opened for Iron Maiden in Europe. There were few other highlights in the Megadeth world in 1999, a year that ended with Marty Friedman announcing his departure from the band.

The 2000s

As the tour behind Risk soldiered on, Al Pitrelli replaced Friedman on the road. In April, the new lineup entered the studio to begin work on a new album a couple of months before they officially parted ways with Capitol Records. The summer was spent on the road with Anthrax and Mötley Crüe. Capitol released a "best of" collection in the fall, Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years, featuring two brand new (and more metal-leaning) songs, "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" was one of the brand new songs and appeared on the next studio album the following year. With a new deal in place with Sanctuary Records, Megadeth returned to the studio toward the end of the year to finish their album and on New Year's Eve, played a show in Anchorage, Alaska.

An acoustic tour sponsored by radio stations, a press tour, and a video shoot for the song "Moto Psycho" all preceded the May, 2001 release of The World Needs A Hero. The summer was filled with festival appearances supporting AC/DC. In September, Megadeth set out across North America with Endo and Iced Earth. VH1's "Behind The Music" special on Megadeth aired that year and was later released on DVD. At the end of the year, the band filmed two shows in Arizona, which were released as the 2CD and DVD Rude Awakening. The early part of 2002 saw the release of a remixed and re-mastered Killing Is My Business... with bonus tracks and expanded packaging, followed by Rude Awakening.

In January 2002, Mustaine was admitted to the hospital to get a kidney stone removed. While undergoing treatment, he was administered pain medication that triggered a relapse. Following his hospital stay, he immediately checked himself into a treatment center in Texas.[8] While at the treatment center, Mustaine suffered a freak injury causing severe nerve damage to his left arm. The injury, induced by falling asleep with his left arm over the back of a chair, caused compression of the radial nerve. He was diagnosed with radial neuropathy, also known as Saturday Night Palsy, which left him unable to grasp or even make a fist with his left hand.[9]

On April 3, 2002, Mustaine announced in a press release that he was disbanding Megadeth, officially due to his arm injury.[9] For the next four months, Mustaine underwent intense physical therapy five days a week.[8] Slowly, Mustaine began to play again, but was forced to "re-teach" his left hand.

Mustaine himself gave what he called "the Reader's Digest version" of the whole matter during an interview for SuicideGirls: "I went into retirement because my arm got hurt really bad. I broke up the band which at the time was Al Pitrelli, Dave Ellefson, Jimmy DeGrasso, and myself. I was having problems with Al because he liked to drink, and we didn’t want to show up at places with him drunk. Al also got married to a nice woman, but he wanted to spend time with her. After a few years, most married men are willing to die, so I figured if we got a couple years into the marriage that might have changed. But the fact was, Al wasn’t fitting. DeGrasso was really hard to be around because he was so negative all the time with his complaining about money and wanting things. Ellefson was all about 'play my songs, play my songs.' I hated being around these guys so when the arm injury happened, it was a welcome relief and an indication that I had to stop."[10]

Mustaine went through physical therapy for his arm injury. During his recovery, he explored other areas of the music industry, including production. Contrary to what doctors had predicted, within a short time he fully recovered. However, all was mostly quiet on the Megadeth front for the better part of 2003. Mustaine left Jackson guitars, did a solo acoustic performance at a benefit show, unveiled his new ESP model at the NAMM convention, and oversaw the release of Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? as an audio DVD presented in Dolby 5.1 surround.

At the same time, Mustaine's personal life once again underwent change. It was during this period that Mustaine became a Christian. He expressed his intent to withdraw from a show in Greece that had Rotting Christ and Dissection opening for Megadeth.[11][12] Mustaine told The Daily Times during a recent interview, his own world was already shattered, and becoming a Christian was the one way he's found to put the pieces back together. “I went back to being a Jehovah’s Witness, but I wasn’t happy with that.” He later said in an interview, “Looking up at the cross, I said six simple words, ‘What have I got to lose?’ Afterwards my whole life has changed. It’s been hard, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Rather go my whole life believing that there is a God and find out there isn't than live my whole life thinking there isn't a God and then find out, when I die, that there is."[13] Mustaine also considers his talent a gift from God. "To be the No. 1 rated guitar player in the world is a gift from God and I'm stoked about it, but I think Christ is better than I am, anyway," he said. "Either way, I don't put too much earthly merit on it."[13]

In 2004 Mustaine oversaw the remixing and re-mastering of Megadeth's entire Capitol Records catalog. All albums were re-released with bonus tracks and full liner notes. With one album remaining in his contract to Sanctuary Records, Mustaine began recording what he intended to be the first Dave Mustaine solo album with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Jimmy Sloas. Complete with guest solos from old friend Chris Poland, this project became a new Megadeth album, The System Has Failed, released September 14, 2004. One month before, Mustaine announced a new touring lineup for Megadeth: Glen Drover (King Diamond/Eidolon) and James MacDonough (Iced Earth). Nick Menza had briefly been a part of the new band before differences once again caused his departure. One week before a new US tour with Exodus supporting, new drummer (and Glen's brother) Shawn Drover (Eidolon) joined Megadeth.

The "Blackmail The Universe" tour started in February 2005 with Diamond Head and Dungeon supporting. Capitol released a new greatest hits, Back To The Start, in June, a month before Mustaine created "Gigantour" with Dream Theater, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Symphony X, Dillinger Escape Plan, Life of Agony, and more. During 2005 Gigantour Mustaine brought a "spiritual counselor" to help him avoid the problems that almost cost him his life due to his prior drug addictions. The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato stated: "He had a pastor walking around with him on tour and riding on his bus, I think to help keep him on the straight and narrow path."[14]

The Arsenal of Megadeth, a two-disc anthology DVD, was released in March 2006. Bass player James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, White Lion) replaced James MacDonough in February shortly before the band headed to the Dubai Desert Rock Festival in the United Arab Emirates. On April 19, the band began recording a new album, United Abominations, at SARM studios in the UK (David Gilmour's house), they announced a worldwide deal with Roadrunner Records in May 2006. United Abominations was released worldwide on May 15, 2007. However, the album had already been leaked before its release. On January 13, 2008, Dave Mustaine confirmed that guitarist Glen Drover had quit Megadeth to focus on his family and that he had been replaced by Chris Broderick of Jag Panzer. The new lineup made its live debut in Finland on February 4 and returned to the US for Gigantour 2008 in the spring.[15] A 12th studio album titled Endgame was released on September 15, 2009.

Mustaine planned to open Megadeth's California recording studio to under-privileged children to teach them about rock 'n' roll. The band owns a building in San Diego, California, which has housed their recording equipment over the years. In an interview with Kerrang, Mustaine wanted to make better use of the studio by turning the space into a learning center for children who come from under-privileged backgrounds. He also said he vowed to teach them how to play instruments.[16]

The 2010s

Long time bassist, David Ellefson has recently re-joined Megadeth after 8 years since the disbanding of Megadeth in 2002. Ellefson and Mustaine have agreed to keep any unresolved issues in the past and are working on building and maintaining their friendship again.

Megadeth embarked on a Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour, playing the album in its entirety, along with fan favorites such as "Wake Up Dead", "In My Darkest Hour" and "Skin O' My Teeth."

On August 3, 2010, Mustaine released his autobiography in the US, titled "Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir". The book covers Mustaine's life from childhood till shortly before the release of the 2009 Megadeth album "Endgame". The book was released in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand titled "Mustaine: A Life in Metal"

On November 16, 2010, Mustaine revealed that he and Megadeth were working on material for a new album. At the time of the statement, they had "five songs almost finished".

On August 10, 2011, Mustaine revealed he approached Metallica's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich to form a heavy metal supergroup. Dave Ellefson is said to be the bassist of the band. Mustaine said it was "on my bucket list." James has declined at this point.[citation needed]

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Dave Mustaine composed the song "Sudden Death" for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock under the name of his band. The game also features two Megadeth titles: "Holy Wars: the Punishment Due" and "This Day We Fight". Megadeth downloadable contents are also available as tracks including "Hangar 18", "Symphony of Destruction" and "Peace Sells".


Dave Mustaine at a Gigantour show in Orlando, FL.

In the summer of 2005, Mustaine launched a travelling North American metal festival. He named it Gigantour after a favorite childhood cartoon of his, Gigantor. It spanned six weeks and was co-headlined by Megadeth and Dream Theater, with a variety of other supporting metal acts such as Fear Factory and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Mustaine has been quoted as saying that his main intention when conceiving the tour was to bring the American metal audiences an eclectic and affordable alternative to Ozzfest.

The second annual Gigantour began in September 2006 and was composed of Megadeth, Lamb of God, Opeth, and Arch Enemy. The second stage bands were Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity, and The Smash Up.

The 2007 Gigantour featured Bring Me the Horizon, Static-X, DevilDriver, and Lacuna Coil along with Megadeth. Megadeth appeared on their first tour to India, Bangalore in March 2008.

The 2008 installment of the tour featured Megadeth, Children of Bodom, In Flames, High on Fire, and Job for a Cowboy (and Evile for the UK and Scandinavia tour).[17]

Megadeth Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego (from the Gigantour 2008) premiered on HDNet Sunday November 2 at 8PMET in high definition and 5.1 audio (Repeats check www.hd.net)

In November 2011, it was announced the Gigantour would start up again. The lineup consists of Megadeth, Motorhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil. The tour kicks off at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ on Jan 26, 2012.


Mustaine used B.C. Rich guitars early in his career (and for his entire duration with Metallica), most notably a B.C. Rich Bich 10 string with just the regular six strings. First the guitar started in a natural finish, but Dave painted it black around the time 'Peace Sells' was released. In 1987 he switched to Jackson guitars.

In March 2009, while he was guest hosting Bruce Dickinson's Friday night radio show, Mustaine attributed his choice of the Flying V guitar to being a fan of UFO's Michael Schenker when he was growing up.

After switching to Jackson Guitars he helped to re-design the guitar maker's version of the King V model (at the time, it was a "double Rhoads size" meaning it had two of the longer fins from the RR). The reshaped Mustaine KV1 model had slightly shorter fins, Kahler bridge and Seymour Duncan JB (SH-4b) and Jazz (SH-2n) pickups. He also specified 24 frets rather than the original King V's 22, a tradition which Jackson still keeps on its King V models today, and the KV1, as have all of Mustaine's signature models, also featured a smaller, medium fretwire compared to the extra jumbos featured on most Jacksons.

Mustaine later switched to ESP Guitars. The company released the DV8 signature model in the 2004 NAMM convention also at which time Mustaine announced his ESP endorsement deal. In 2005, Mustaine and ESP teamed up to release the ESP Axxion, (pronounced Action), in order to celebrate Megadeth's 20th anniversary.(the XX in Axxion and the fretboard inlays being the number 20 in Roman numerals) The ESP Axxion and ESP DV8 were both successful and cheaper models such as the LTD-DV8 R, LTD DV200 and the LTD Axxion were released to target a bigger market.

Dave Mustaine with his Dean VMNT USA Gears of War guitar on tour supporting United Abominations

However, on December 6, 2006, Dave Mustaine announced that he was leaving ESP guitars and shifting his endorsement to Dean Guitars. His new signature guitar was revealed during NAMM Show on January 19, 2007. The signature guitar is called the Dean VMNT. The V-shaped guitar is very similar to his earlier Jackson and ESP Signature models. The release campaign of the VMNT had a limited copy of only 150 in the world and are signed by Dave Mustaine. This was posted on the website.

"After two successful years, I have decided to leave ESP guitars. This was a business decision and had nothing to do with the guitars or the manufacturing of the guitars, and I wish the staff of ESP, both in the USA and in Japan and Korea the very best of health and prosperity. Meanwhile, I am taking my Classic Metal V known formerly as a Jackson King V1 or an ESP DV8, and my new guitar design presently known as an Axxion, which was the recipient of the Gold Award from Guitar World Magazine for 2005 for new guitar designs with me. I will also be re-introducing through my new endorsement many special models, including re-issues of my old models from over the span of my career, as well as some retro V shapes, similar to the formerly known Jackson Y2KV or a Gibson Flying V. I will make my announcement and be attending the 2007 NAMM show to meet Megadeth fans and all metal fans, musicians of all styles-especially guitarists."

Dave Mustaine performing with Megadeth in Hartford, CT, with his Dean Zero.

Today he uses his signature models by Dean Guitars, the Dean VMNT and Zero. The USA models were available briefly in limited run after release, although the Korean and Chinese models are in continuous production. Mustaine uses the USA and Korean models on stage.

Dave Mustaine has also recently collaborated with Marshall in order to produce the 1960DM Dave Mustaine Signature Cabinets. He is now using his signature Marshall cabinets on tour.

Dave Mustaine endorses Seymour Duncan and has his own Signature Live Wire pickups and uses Signature GHS Progressives Strings (10-52).

The Dean Zero debuted in 2010 with Dean guitars was a unique new shape for Dave, resembling the Gibson Explorer with sharper points. Dave has made a few appearances so far; with this guitar on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and on shows during the Australian tour with Slayer. He has also used the guitar in the later dates of the 2009 Endgame tour and continues to use it to this day. He says he primarily still uses his VMNT's so he can grab on to the lower horn with his legs for certain songs.[18]

Dave has also used Ovation acoustic guitars for most of his career. However, he stopped endorsing the company after receiving a signature acoustic from Dean, dubbed the Mako.[18][19] Dave also has his own signature Zoom pedal, called the Zoom G2.1DM.



  • Dean Dave Mustaine Signature VMNT Models
  • Dean Dave Mustaine Signature Zero Models
  • Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaine Live Wire Pick Ups
  • Dunlop .73mm Picks
  • GHS Dave Mustaine Progressive Strings 10-52


  • Marshall JVM410 100W Amp Head
  • Fractal Axe FX Ultra Preamp
  • DigiTech GSP1101 Preamp
  • Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Power Amp
  • Marshall Dave Mustaine Signature 1960DM Cabinets With Celestion Speakers

Other Effects/Rack Equipment

  • Rocktron All Access Controller
  • Furman PL Plus Power Conditioner
  • Mogami Cables
  • Whirlwind MultiSelector
  • Shure UHF-R Wireless Guitar System
  • Ebtech Hum Eliminator

Guitar playing

In 2004, Guitar World magazine ranked Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman together at #19 on the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.

In 2009 Mustaine was named the No. 1 player in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. As he told Classic Rock magazine in September 2009: "It was especially sweet when I found out that Joel has written books on Metallica. Every page I turned, I became more excited. I get to Number 5 and it's Kirk Hammett, and I thought, 'Thank you, God'. At that point it didn't matter [which position I was]. To be better than both of them [James Hetfield and Hammett] meant so much – it's been one of the pet peeves of my career and I've never known how to deal with it. All I thought was--I win!"[20]

Personal life

Dave was married to Pamela Casselburry in 1991.[21] They have a son named Justis David Mustaine and a daughter Electra Nicole Mustaine.[21] Dave recently confirmed to Eddie Trunk that after 2 trial separations, he and Pam had reconciled.[21]

Coffee line

Mustaine helped promote his wife Pam's coffee business, Net Worth Coffee Brokers, by creating a Dave Mustaine line of coffee and associated items, with part of the proceeds going to Door of Faith charity. The bags featured his silhouette with a guitar and his signature. Among the items in the line were Dave Mustaine's Peruvian Blend coffee, Black Gold Blend coffee, Decaff coffee, Dave Mustaine's Perfect Tea Maker, a Barrel Mug, Travel Tumbler, and a Christmas T-shirt. Mustaine announced the line would be discontinued in August 2009, though his wife's business would continue.[22][23][24][25]


Mustaine was raised as a Jehovah Witness[26] and over the course of his career has been born again as a Christian.[27]

In 1988, in response to the British government's criticism of homosexuality, Mustaine said: "More power to them. It says in the Bible that men should not lay with men like they lay with women. I mean I don't wanna f--k up and not go to heaven."[28] In an answer to a question about Judas Priest having an overt homosexual image, "I don't wanna talk about this. The last thing I need is a bunch of homos picketing us."[28]

Mustaine began to focus on religion more directly while attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.[27] Finding that the meetings were actually impeding his progress in sobriety and spirituality, Mustaine left to focus on Christianity on his own.[27] Through this process he became a committed Christian.[27] In line with this, it has become his policy not to appear with any band that is seen as black metal or satanic, such as declining to appear in a music festival in Greece with the band Rotting Christ as well as in Israel with the band Dissection.[29] In these instances, Mustaine requested that the bands not be kicked off the bill, but that Megadeth would step down and perform some other night.[27][29] However, the promoters actually removed the smaller bands from the billing rather than deal with rescheduling the headliner.[27]


Over his career, Mustaine has made comments about politics in the US and internationally. In a confrontational 1988 interview with Sounds journalist Roy Wilkinson, Mustaine said, "If I were President of the United States, I'd build a great wall along the Mexican border and not let anybody in. ... The beauty is gone when you see Americans sleeping on sidewalks and it makes me sick to to think we have assh---s in this country letting f--king Mexicans in. Who needs this s--t?"[28]

In 1989, Mustaine caused a riot when Megadeth played a concert in Northern Ireland after he "unwittingly" expressed support for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) regarding the problems between Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities.[30][31]

In 1992 Mustaine covered the Democratic National Convention for MTV.[32] He went on to vote for President Bill Clinton.[33]

In 2004, Mustaine said he would vote for President Bush because John Kerry would "ruin our country."[34] In 2011, he called President Obama "the most divisive president we've ever had. I've never, in my 50 years of being alive, listened to an American president try and turn one class of people against another class of people."[35]

In 2009, Mustaine discussed the influence Alex Jones' films and ideas have had him and his music.[36] Specifically, Mustaine said that he wrote the album Endgame based on Jones' Endgame film in order "to educate his fans and the general public about the conspiracy behind the march towards global government."[37]

Martial arts

Dave Mustaine holds black belts in taekwondo and karate. In 2007 he was made a Goodwill Ambassador of the World by the World Taekwondo Federation.[38]

Cameo appearances

Dave Mustaine has appeared on various television shows:

  • In 1992 Mustaine covered the Democratic National Convention for MTV. He also hosted the MTV2 Television Network's series Headbanger's Ball on two occasions: once on a tribute to Dimebag Darrell in December 2004 and the second time as a special guest on an episode which aired August 27, 2005. He also played the song "Gears of War" with Megadeth on an episode about the video game release under the same name.
  • Dave Mustaine makes an appearance on the 1998 The Drew Carey Show episode entitled "In Ramada Da Vida". When Drew and the gang decide to start a band, they audition guitarists, including Mustaine. After playing a lightning fast guitar solo, Lewis Kiniski tells Mustaine "Don't be nervous son, just slow down," to which Mustaine replies, "It's supposed to sound that way." Drew replies by saying, "Yeah, sure it is..... next."[39]
  • In the 1996 Black Scorpion sci-fi series episode "Love Burns" Mustaine plays Torchy Thompson, a vengeful arsonist.
  • Dave Mustaine and Megadeth appear in the Duck Dodgers 2006 episode "In Space, Nobody can Hear you Rock/Ridealong Calamity", the second-to-last episode of the series.[39] In the show, Mustaine plays a cryogenically frozen version of himself. He is unfrozen because the main cast requires an incredibly loud noise to overload a Martian sonic weapon, and "nobody rocks harder, faster, or louder than Dave Mustaine." He is referred to in the episode as being "genetically engineered to rock and raised by wolverines". During this episode he played the song "Back in the Day" from the album The System Has Failed. Mustaine appeared again in the show in the final episode, Bonafide Hero: Captain Duck Dodgers.
  • Mustaine appeared on the second episode of season 8 on the television show Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
  • Mustaine and Megadeth appeared in promotional videos for the NHL team Philadelphia Flyers in response to an inflammatory comment by Mike Wise in the Washington Post which suggested that some of the Flyers' fans could work security for Megadeth.[40] Mustaine invited them to do so. Megadeth all wore Flyers' jerseys. Mustaine sported the one of team captain Jason Smith, while other members wore the jerseys of Danny Brière, Martin Biron and Mike Richards.
  • Mustaine appeared in an episode of Rock & Roll Jeopardy! along with George Clinton and Moon Zappa. He won the game in a landslide victory.

See also


  1. ^ "‘I’m Over My Metallica Demons’, Says Dave Mustaine". Classic Rock. http://www.classicrockmagazine.com/news/im-over-my-metallica-demons-says-dave-mustaine. 
  2. ^ "Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time — HearYa - Indie Music Blog". Hearya.com. 2006-12-04. http://www.hearya.com/2006/12/04/hit-paraders-top-100-metal-vocalists-of-all-time/. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Dave Mustaine biography". Everything2. May 20, 2002. http://everything2.com/user/avalyn/writeups/Dave+Mustaine. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Megadeth vs. Metallica". The Realms of Deth. http://megadeth.rockmetal.art.pl/related_metallica.html. Retrieved May 16, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Dave Mustaine". MetWorld. http://www.metallicaworld.co.uk/dave_mustaine.htm. Retrieved May 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Megadeth Documentary part 2". YouTube. 2009-02-18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z24f6xIv9mU. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  7. ^ Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good remastered liner notes
  8. ^ a b Epstein, Dan (2003). "Die Another Day". Guitar World. http://megadeth.rockmetal.art.pl/interviews_guitarworld2003.html. Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  9. ^ a b "Megadeth Disbands Press Release". Megadeth's Official website. 2006. http://www.megadeth.com/news/pr/disband.html. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 
  10. ^ Daniel Robert Epstein (September 14, 2004). "Megadeth — Dave Mustaine". SuicideGirls.com. http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/Megadeth+-+Dave+Mustaine/. Retrieved May 16, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Dave Mustaine Vs. Satanic Bands". ultimate-guitar.com. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/upcoming_tours/dave_mustaine_vs_satanic_bands.html. Retrieved May 9, 2005. 
  12. ^ "Rotting Christ interview at". Tartareandesire.com. 2005-09-22. http://www.tartareandesire.com/interviews/rottingchrist2.html. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  13. ^ a b "ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER: Megadeth's Dave Mustaine talks of his spiritual reinvention". http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20091119/ENT/311199947. 
  14. ^ "Dave Mustaine takes a Pastor on tour". Blabbermouth.net. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=43063. Retrieved October 21, 2005. 
  15. ^ "''"Press Release"'', January 14, 2008, at". Megadeth.com. 2008-01-14. http://megadeth.com/announcement.php. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  16. ^ "Dave Mustaine to Open School of Rock". www.ultimate-guitar.com. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/dave_mustaine_to_open_school_of_rock.html. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Gigantour 2008 lineup". Roadrunnerrecords.com. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=87190. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  18. ^ a b "Dean Electric Guitars-Acoustic Guitars-Bass Guitars". Deanguitars.com. http://www.deanguitars.com/mustaine_series2010.php. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  19. ^ Dave Mustaine of Megadeth Hardrock Haven interview April 17, 2010
  20. ^ "I'm Over My Metallica Demons," Says Dave Mustaine Classic Rock magazine interview August 25, 2009 (retrieved March 31, 2010)
  21. ^ a b c Dave Mustaine Says That He Knows That He Doesn't Make Lars Ulrich "Comfortable". EddieTrunk.com. September 11, 2009.
  22. ^ Bram Teitelman (Fri, Aug 14, 2009). "Coffee To Extinction: Dave Mustaine Stops Production Of Coffee". http://www.metalinsider.net/the-coffee-has-failed/coffee-to-extinction-dave-mustaine-stops-production-of-coffee. 
  23. ^ Dave Mustaine (6/21/2009). "Introducing Net Worth Coffee Brokers, Inc.". http://networthcoffeebrokers.moguling.com/2009/June/Introducing-Net-Worth-Coffee-Brokers-Inc-1.htm. 
  24. ^ "Dave Mustaine". 5/29/2009 10:13:48 PM. http://networthcoffeebrokers.moguling.com/2009/May/Dave-Mustaine-1.htm. 
  25. ^ "Dave Mustaine's Peruvian Blend Coffee". http://www.hotfrog.com/Companies/Net-Worth-Coffee-Brokers-Inc/Dave-Mustaines-Peruvian-Blend-Coffee-14935. 
  26. ^ Jodi Beth Summers talks to Dave Mustaine, "Out to Lunch," Hit Parader, June 1987
  27. ^ a b c d e f Dave Mustaine Explains Why He Refuses To Share Stage With His 'Confessed Enemy' Blabbermouth.net - May 8, 2007
  28. ^ a b c Roy Wilkinson, "MegaDumb: Interview with Dave Mustaine," Sounds, 28 May 1988, Page 23
  29. ^ a b "Dave Mustaine vs. Satanic Bands". May 9, 2005. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/upcoming_tours/dave_mustaine_vs_satanic_bands.html. 
  30. ^ Dave Mustaine - Mustaine's Terrorist Blunder ContactMusic, 12 November 2005 09:19
  31. ^ Northern Ireland: Tim Wheeler reflects on the musical tradition of his home country The Guardian, 14 February 2008
  32. ^ Dave Mustaine AllMusic biography
  33. ^ DAVE MUSTAINE: 'It Looks Like We're Sprinting Down The Path To Socialism' Blabbermouth.netFeb. 3, 2011 ]
  34. ^ Dave Mustaine Says John Kerry Will 'Ruin Our Country' - Oct. 25, 2004 , Blabbermouth.net
  35. ^ "DAVE MUSTAINE Says OBAMA Is 'The Most Divisive President We've Ever Had'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=165143. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  36. ^ Live with Dave Mustaine, The Alex Jones Show/Prison Planet, 2009
  37. ^ Dave Mustaine: Endgame' Is About People Being Run By The People Who Have Money', Ultimate-Guitar.com, December 10, 2009
  38. ^ ""Taekwondo Changed My Life" Says Megadeth Leader Dave Mustaine". http://www.wtf.org/bbs/bbs.php?bbs_no=1222&bbs_code=10004&bbs_cate=&bbs_num=35&page=3&search=&keyword=&symode=view&PHPSESSID=a1584ee18820d1835f0695916bc14569. 
  39. ^ a b Internet Movie Database "Dave Mustaine IMDB webpage", reported by IMDB.com; last accessed November 20, 2006.
  40. ^ Washington Post "Beaten to the Punch", reported by washingtonpost.com; last accessed May 16, 2008.

External links

Preceded by
Metallica lead guitarist
Succeeded by
Kirk Hammett

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