Personalities | Dave Mustaine | Megadeth Maestro | Guitar Heroes

Dave Mustaine (b. 1961) was the original lead guitarist for the heavy-metal band Metallica and the co-founder, lead guitarist and lead singer of the thrash-metal band Megadeth.

He was born in La Mesa, California. Brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, by the age of 17, he was surviving financially by dealing drugs. In the 1970s, Mustaine began playing electric guitar and joined a band called Panic.

In 1981, Mustaine left Panic to join Metallica as the lead guitarist. But Mustaine’s time in Metallica ended before recording Kill ’Em All in 1983, due to his heavy drinking and drug use. Mustaine toured with the band, co-wrote four songs that appeared on Kill ’Em All and co-wrote two songs that would eventually appear on Ride The Lightning. Mustaine then started a new band, Fallen Angels, connecting with neighbours Dave Ellefson and Greg Handevidt to play bass and guitar, respectively. The first of many drummers, Dijon Carruthers, joined the band. The line-up of Mustaine, Ellefson, Handevidt and Carruthers would be the first incarnation of Megadeth, with Mustaine on vocals.

In November 1984, 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!. The following year, Capitol Records signed Megadeth and released Peace Sells ... But Who’s Buying?. This album produced the notable title track as well as the thrash anthem ‘Wake Up Dead’. The videos for both songs became staples on MTV’s ‘Headbanger’s Ball’.

In the ensuing years, Megadeth became one of the iconic bands of heavy metal, and Mustaine one of heavy metal’s most revered guitarists. Through countless personnel changes and erratic behaviour due to Mustaine’s continued drug and alcohol abuse, he retained a firm grip on the group’s development, members and projects, which encompassed albums, videos, original music for pro wrestling events and video games, and the metal festival Gigantour.

After a freak arm injury while in rehab, Mustaine became a Christian in 2003. He was forced to stop playing and disband Megadeth, but eventually recovered fully and restarted the band. On 3 August 2010, Mustaine released his autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir.

Essential Recordings

Megadeth: Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good!

Megadeth: Peace Sells ... But Who’s Buying?

Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction

Megadeth: Youthanasia

Personalities | Dave Navarro | Master of Addiction | Guitar Heroes


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