What's the story with Metallica and Dave Mustaine?

I saw the new documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster this weekend. The ads are right – you don’t have to be a Metallica fan to find the movie worthwhile.

But my lack of metal knowledge makes me curious about once scene. The setup is that part of Metallica’s process for recording St. Anger involved hiring a teamwork/career coach/therapist. At one point, while James Hatfield is away getting treated for alcoholism, Dave Mustaine attends a therapy session with Lars Ulrich and talks about the effects being kicked out of Metallica had on him.

It basically sounds like he was kicked out because of his own substance abuse problems, and that although he had a successful career (as of 2001-2), it wasn’t as successful as Metallica became.

Anyone have more details? What’s the scoop? I thought this was a really interesting scene, and I’m curious about the behind-the-scenes details.

I haven’t seen the documentary but I’ve heard two different stories about why Dave got kicked out; and I heard both of them a long time (10+ years) ago.

Story number one goes like: Dave was a drunk/drug addict so they woke him up one day on tour, handed him a ticket and said “see ya.” Dave asked what time his flight left and they informed him that it was a bus ticket.

Story number two (I seem to remember reading this in a “non-fiction” comic-book but I don’t remember what it was called) was that all Dave wanted to talk about in his music were demons and hell and devils, etc., and being atheists Metallica didn’t really care about that stuff.

Story number two would be funny because I recently heard that Dave is now a Christian, but I think story number one is probably closer to the truth. Then again it might be a mix of both, and story number one is just the more popular “simple answer” to the question of why he got booted.


From here. Not terribly interesting, although I like Megadeth a thousand times better than Metallica.

I think what Dave was hurting over wasn’t just being kicked out of Metallica. I think the anger of being kicked out helped him to be determined to be better than Metallica, but he was always placing second to them. Plus, Lars said some nasty things about him early on, and with that out there it was hard to be a Metallica fan and a Megadeth fan at the same time. And since there were many more Metallica fans, Dave was always being harrassed.

Having said that, Dave brought alot of that on himself. He was an asshole I heard. Didn’t stop me from being a huge fan.

Funny thing is, Mustaine is now pissed off about how he was used in Monster.

From this story. :

“If you watch the stuff linearly, it’s totally different…They filmed three hours of us together and they only used about five minutes. Why didn’t they use the part where Lars gets up and walks to the bathroom crying because I let him have it because of the shit that happened?”

I was a big fan of the Megadeth catalog in the mid-to-late 90’s, I actually found the old (meaning good) Metallica stuff through Mustaine’s story. Dave is very talented, but it seems he has managed to alienate almost everybody he has ever worked with. As Milhouse might say: “He’s got problems, SCARY problems.”

Monster is a very entertaining movie, BTW.

Indeed, Mustaine was recently sued by bassist David Ellefson, who was for many years the only other Megadeth stalwart as various drummers and lead guitarists shuttled in and out of the band.

(However, Mustaine and original Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland are getting along just fine again, as the latter showed up to lay down some tracks for the newest Megadeth album.)

Dave Mustaine is scary talented and scary disturbed. Basically, he had drug, alcohol and emotional problems that got him kicked out of Metallica.

Which is a massive shame - I can’t even imagine how good Metallica would have been with Mustaine on board over the course of their history. It’s a testament to his songwriting skills that nearly all of the songs on Metallica’s first two albums were his material, even though he wasn’t in the band any longer.

That’s a pity, because I thought his scene was one of the most interesting in the movie. He came across pretty well to someone who knows absolutely nothing of the backstory. Not that he was screwed over, which the movie doesn’t argue, but that there were definitely some unresolved issues.

Well, yes, Dave, that’s how documentaries work. Film a lot of stuff, cut most of it, edit the rest to make a point. And Lars definitely seemed teary in the footage that’s in the film, so we all got to see that you made him cry.

So did Metallica and Mustaine/Megadeth actually have some kind of feud, or was it pretty much stony silence on Metallica’s part after the immediate aftermath of the split?

I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic, my interest in metal bands mostly involved stealing guitar ideas rather than studying band bios. From what I remember, Metallica dumped Dave and never looked back. James and Lars went through one hell of a time on the road before they hit. When Cliff was killed, they seemed to put everything up until then behind them so they could keep going. I think they decided, rightly or wrongly, that Dave was only a footnote in their history and not worth much comment.

Mustaine, unfortunately, seemed much more driven by anger and resentment (my opinion). When Megadeth was Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza, they were the tightest, most kick-ass band I have ever heard. I still find it hard to believe that Dave could have listened to Rust in Peace and not realised that he had left Metallica far behind him. Something inside the guy apparently prevents him from either enjoying his success or letting go of the past. I’m sure the substance abuse is a factor in all of that.

Now, where do I go to collect my consulting fee? After all, I am every bit the equal of the shrink in Monster

Dude, how does one get that job? For the amout of money they were paying the guy, I think even I could sit around a listen to those idiots yammer about…whatever it is they whine about (haven’t seen the movie, but read an article mentioning that the dude gets $50,000/mo!).

Fuck, get them on Dr. Phil, then they’ll get free checkups and everyone can laugh at them.

From what they said in past articles, there was a lot of venom between Dave and Lars (whom Dave thought instigated his being kicked out). Cliff’s death healed the wound alittle. I heard it said that Dave wrote ‘In My Darkest Hour’ after hearing about Cliffs death.