Megadeth Press Articles


So Far, So Good... So Mega! :: Marty Friedman's Stepping Stone :: Clash of the Titans - Mighty Megadeth :: I'm a Rock Star, OK? :: The Big Four :: Rust Never Sleeps :: Good Times, Bad Times, Dave Times :: Clash of the Titans :: The Secrets of Hangar 18 :: Simply Symphonic :: Deth Metal! :: Love it to 'Deth! :: A Kinder, Gentler... Megadeth :: RIP Reader's Poll Winner - Best Album: Countdown to Extinction :: I Was Dead and They Brought Me Back! :: Godzilla vs. Megadeth :: Tour of Consequences :: Mustaine Mouths Off :: MD.45 - The Mustaine Side Project :: There's a Lot of Fire on This Album! :: Dethspotting :: Megadeth: Secret Mission :: At the Start It Was About Revenge :: Escaping Capitol Punishment to Reach Sanctuary :: Megadeth's Really Over!

Clash of the Titans

taken from Spin, March 1991
by Dean Kuipers


I'll spare you the weird conversation Rick Sales and I had about his plan to "make money in Europe". Suffice it to say that the tight security on the kitchen had become a sour issue. And then there was production manager Bobby Schneider, a grade-A asshole who never smiled and who looked like he'd been beaten with a spatula for two weeks.

By the time the tour hit Spain, the Titans were indeed clashing. While Araya and Rocky literally crawled through the streets of Barcelona blind drunk, shoulder to shoulder in brutal comradery, Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine had squared off at each other, each claiming that they would like nothing better than a decent gutter fight. War logic in evidence. The following exchange was later recorded in the October 13, 1990 issue of "Sounds", under the title "Gnash of the Titans":

Mike: "I would be more than happy at Wembley to... Let's fuckin' throw up a boxing match, y'know? He's a kick boxer, I'm a street fighter, we'll throw on some gloves, that'll make it fair. We'll box it out right on the stage. There's a lot of people who'd like to see Dave Mustaine get his butt kicked, 'cause Lord knows Mike Muir ain't goin' down. I'll fuck him up... I'd dazzle him, left'n'right [punches the air]. I wanna see a little blood, y'know what I'm sayin'?"

Mustaine: "It's more like Clash of the Tightwads. We've been screwed over lights, staging, effects, even meals for our roadies. There's one guy involved with one of the bands, I can't say who, but we'd all like to take him outside, put a blanket over his head and beat the fuck out of him... His name is in the word 'wholesales'. I like Suicidal Tendencies, but if Mike Muir's trying to intimidate me he's pretty stupid. Who cares? Mike Muir wants a fight onstage but I'm not in this business to be a kick boxer. It doesn't matter. If he starts something, I might not win, but I won't lose. I hear Slayer called me a 'homo'. That's because I told Tom I liked it when he was sucking my dick."

And so on. I have to admit that the thought of a one-round, untimed open slug-fest between Mike Suicide and Mega-Dave makes good entertainment sense to me. Muir is a burly, Cro-Magnon tough with a chip on his shoulder the length of Venice Beach. In the Hollywood punk days before Suicidal Tendencies existed as a band, a friend of mine featured Muir in an article on the whole scene; Muir was famous for clunking skulls, moshing until blood came. The article featured a lead photo of Muir at a club, his nose bashed, blood pouring down his shirt, extremely happy.

Mustaine, for his part, is widely respected as the biggest asshole in metal, and has studied judo, praying-mantis kung fu, tae kwon do, karate, and currently studies kick boxing under Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, retired undefeated world champion and probably one of the most dangerous men alive. I'd pay to see that fight, I'd sit in the front row for that.

It wasn't until the end of the week - Black Friday, ironically - that Megadeth managed to drift out of the Titans nebula and rip into the jugular of history. A cold leafy day in mid-October, the end of Munich's Oktoberfest. The sun hadn't hit the revolving door yet at the Munich City Hilton, but the guys in Megadeth were slouching sullenly about the hotel lobby like a gang of disgruntled vampires. Not just rolling in off another long bus ride, but just getting up. We avoided looking at each other, cowering under thick black sunglasses, hair - as always - an impenetrable defense.

There was little talk in the lobby. We had gotten off the bus in a haze at 4:30 AM after a 5-hour jostle from Mainz. Mustaine and drummer Nick Menza were already getting grumpy, Mustaine's lip slowly, imperceptibly sliding up his eyetooth to form that nasty contemptuous snarl.

The haze settled in over the meticulously-groomed German corn and bean fields. The sun hung back dismally and let Black Friday sink in. Moods were foul.

It was an ugly day to be going to the Dachau concentration camp and I only thought it was a good idea because the fascination was right. This is the kind of shit I expected from the Titans tour - and indeed Megadeth and Suicidal were the two bands most plugged into the reality of being off the bus. This might have been a bit of self-reflexive commentary on Megadeth's hot new singles, "Holy Wars" and "Hangar 18." Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman hadn't come along; he had relatives who died here and for him it was just too heavy.

It wasn't until I was standing in the photographic museum behind Mustaine and manager Ron Lafitte that I started to feel the weird prickle of humor and horror that surrounded them. Both of them stood there in immaculate black leather jackets with the word Megadeth embroidered in bright yellow across the shoulders. A fiftyish woman standing next to me, staring at the jackets, silently mouthed the word Megadeth to her middle-aged daughter, both of them wearing looks of dismay and even shock. Before us hung a huge blow-up photo of the bodies of Dachau dead stacked up for cremation. Plain and simple: megadeath.

Two busloads of high school kids milled about, but the gravity of the place kept them from hounding us. You could tell from the sullen look behind Mustaine's glasses that it just wasn't a time for autographs. We walked toward the crematorium, past the foundations of two dozen large barracks, long since demolished. A full hour into the visit, no one had uttered so much as a word.

On the small footbridge to the crematorium, I stopped to glance into the fast creek and spotted a ten-inch trout. A living thing in this place of death.

"Look, a trout," I said, shattering everything.

"You liar," snarled Dave, rushing over to take a look. But it was. We walked into the crematorium.

The ovens in that building were one of the harshest sights I've ever forced myself to look at. Even worse was the efficiency with which the SS had laid out the camp. The gallows had stood right outside the swinging double doors of the main crematorium - just about the distance two grown, malnourished men could toss the dead body of one of their comrades.

As we walked away, Dave said, "This makes me feel very fuckin' sad. I never knew this was such a huge fucking deal until I saw this firsthand."

That night in Munich, Megadeth blazed just a bit hotter than usual. In a way, I was satisfied that the band had been forced to ditch the snarling rock-star stance and stare political reality in the face for once.

"In school your teachers always asked someone to read a paragraph out of the history book," Dave said the next day in Duesseldorf. "And everyone in school had to read the next paragraph. It may be my time to read the paragraph. My history books are open and so are my eyes. I feel that I am entitled to say what I feel. Some people may not like it, because they like not knowing. The world right now really values the statement, 'Ignorance is bliss.'"

"Do you find it easy to pick apart a social problem, find the good guys and the bad guys?" I asked, probing.

"No. Because I'm not qualified to do that. I think that in this scene right now, a lot of people talk about war and antireligion; more so about the dark side - and though we do talk a lot about the final stages of life, that is done because without death, life would be meaningless."

"I think a lot of people... just write songs about death for the sake of writing songs. Just to seem heavy. Now, I can appreciate Slayer because Slayer, in a sense, stands for a lot of the things... we've been fascinated with, interested in. And I believe that curiosity is one of the natural wonders of the human mind. To leave it untapped is really a shame."


So Far, So Good... So Mega! :: Marty Friedman's Stepping Stone :: Clash of the Titans - Mighty Megadeth :: I'm a Rock Star, OK? :: The Big Four :: Rust Never Sleeps :: Good Times, Bad Times, Dave Times :: Clash of the Titans :: The Secrets of Hangar 18 :: Simply Symphonic :: Deth Metal! :: Love it to 'Deth! :: A Kinder, Gentler... Megadeth :: RIP Reader's Poll Winner - Best Album: Countdown to Extinction :: I Was Dead and They Brought Me Back! :: Godzilla vs. Megadeth :: Tour of Consequences :: Mustaine Mouths Off :: MD.45 - The Mustaine Side Project :: There's a Lot of Fire on This Album! :: Dethspotting :: Megadeth: Secret Mission :: At the Start It Was About Revenge :: Escaping Capitol Punishment to Reach Sanctuary :: Megadeth's Really Over!

The Realms of Deth
Articles | Home | Back to the Top | E-mail