Megadeth Interviews


On the Phone with Dave :: Out to Lunch :: So Far, So Good for Megadeth :: Rust in Peace :: Dave the Human, Mustaine the Artist :: A Founding Forefather of Thrash :: The Outside Corner :: Music Is Our Business... And Business Is Good :: Deth Rally :: Trial by Fire :: Megadeth Conquers Globe :: Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered :: Shooting from the Hip :: I Made It Home Alive! :: So Far, So Good... Now What? :: Megadeth: Online and Onstage :: Sodom and Gomorra :: Metal Is Still Their Business... But Who's Buying? :: Shooting from the Hip II :: Country and Western :: Metal Church :: Get in the Van :: Foreclosure of a Team :: Last Men Standing :: Without the MTV Support :: Set the World on Fire :: Dave Mustaine University :: Heavy Metal Marines :: The Real Line-up of Megadeth :: Risk Factor :: The World Will End in Megadeth :: Megadeth: Crush'em with Ferocity and Finesse :: An Ugly American :: Try to Sue Capital Records! :: Big Boys :: We're Pissed Off Again :: Dave Mustaine's Symphony of Reconstruction :: It Wasn't Fun Anymore :: Metallidethica :: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Been Asking :: Dave Ellefson: Life After Megadeth :: Die Another Day

Get in the Van

taken from Metal Hammer, January 1998
Dave Ling talks to Dave Mustaine



Dave Ling: Tell us about your first tour.

Dave Mustaine: Dave Ellefson [bassist] and I drove up to San Francisco, where we were really big because of my previous band, and we did some shows at the Stone. My strangest memory is being backstage and seeing Rick [Hunolt] from Exodus throwing a banana at this guy called Weird Harold's face as hard as he could. This would have been in 1984 or 1985. One of our first actual tours was with Exciter, up in Canada.

DL: Do you have good memories of that time?

DM: Yeah, Exciter's drummer Dan Beehler used to drink white Russians, which was Kahlua, vodka and milk, but I just wanted the vodka. On one occasion, Gar [Samuelson, ex-drummer] got arrested, probably for buying drugs, and although Exciter were headlining they had to go on before us. But it was a cool tour, and I remember jamming "Pounding Metal" with them at the last show.

DL: What's the weirdest bill Megadeth have played on?

DM: A European festival we played a year or two ago was REM, Oasis, Faith No More and Cheryl Crow and some old blues dude who played a square-shaped guitar.

DL: Tell us one of your favorite tour stories

DM: The first time I came to England I couldn't work out the light switches. The first time I drank Strongbow cider it knocked my dick in the dirt, and I couldn't find the toilet. So I lifted the lid on something that felt like a toilet and pissed into it. The next day I discovered it was David Ellefson's suitcase!

DL: What's the weirdest venue you've ever played?

DM: Right in front of the stage in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there was a huge pond. The audience got so worked up that they leapt in, and I remember thinking, "you don't know if that's backflash from an outhouse." One particular girl had obviously just got herself a new set of tits and kept on showing them to me, and that was one of the few times I wish I'd been Moses - I'd have parted that pond!

DL: What's the most grueling tour you've done?

DM: One of the most grueling tour was also our most disappointing tour, which was with Aerosmith. Our previous manager lied to us and told us that Aerosmith had agreed to things which they had declined us, and we ended up arguing for things we were not entitled to [eventually they were thrown off the tour]. Aerosmith had a signed contract from our management stating that we would play for 45 minutes, that we didn't need a soundcheck and we wouldn't fly a backdrop. I would never have signed that. No soundcheck? This is Megadeth, not some garage punk band. No backdrop? That's iffy. But 45 minutes? C'mon, we're a multi-platinum band. I was pissed off at Aerosmith because I thought that they were fucking us, but I now know they were blameless. I just wish I'd handled it better.

DL: Who has been the most considerate headline band?

DM: Judas Priest or Alice Cooper. Rob [Halford, former Judas Priest frontman] and I became good friends - just good friends! And Alice Cooper is my godfather, that's actually true! He offered to become my godfather about ten years ago, once he'd got off drugs and drink, and I took him up on his offer. It's a real honor, and in fact I'm getting into business with him.

DL: Tell us about the tour you nearly broke up on.

DM: When Jeff Young [former guitarist] found out that [Warlock's] Doro Pesch had written me a love letter, saying she loved the power and the smell of Dave Mustaine, he quit the band. Jeff wanted Doro so bad - he sent her roses onstage and put photos of her on his guitar- and after he'd gone through my bag to find this letter, he quit. So his guitar tech played instead. This tech also told me he'd been spitting into Jeff's water bottle for the past two weeks - it must have been like eating an oyster! More recently, I had found out about all these problems with our manager and by the time our last tour ended in South America I'd started drinking again. It wasn't a pretty sight, and when I was leaving the venue of the last show I said, "I can't believe it's over." I meant the tour, but I was close to meaning the band.

DL: Do you have any special requirements on your backstage rider?

DM: We just don't like the stuff that makes the room smell. My respiratory system is very sensitive and I can smell cocaine a mile away. Also, I don't like it when people put onions on our tray because it makes the dressing room kinda stinky. And I'd refer it if people don't smoke around me, but I'm not an anti-smoking nazi.

DL: What has been your most drunkenly excessive tour?

DM: The "So Far, So Good... So What?!" tour [1988], because I was screaming drunk every night and strung out on cocaine. I'd gone from the days of Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! [1985], when I enjoyed smoking pot and drinking beer, to being someone who experimented with heroin on Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? [1986]. With Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction [1990 and 1992 respectively] I was sober, but I dabbled once in a while. I was sober for a long period of time around Youthanasia [1994], but after our manager stabbed us in the back, I mistakenly thought a couple of drinks would make me feel better. Now, I occasionally smoke Cuban cigars, but I've been sober for about two years.

DL: The sex tour - tell us all about your groupies?

DM: Well, I'm married now. I said to David Ellefson, "you watch, as soon as we get married all the good-looking girls will start coming to the shows," and it happened! In Chicago some girl came backstage to meet me and she was so beautiful - like what Pamela Anderson would look like if she had a real face instead of a silly putty. She got down on her knees and to me she fantasizes and masturbates thinking about me - now there was a visual! But I can still take advantage of it by talking to them and letting them get what they need out of it.

DL: And before you were married?

DM: Oh, I was a slut long before I started playing music. I have three sisters, so I know how to talk girls out of their clothes. I remember using this corny line from "Gone with the Wind" which went, "You look like someone who needs to be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how!" I worked for Gary Grant and it worked for me!

DL: Have you ever trashed a hotel room?

DM: No, but in Japan I once trashed David Ellefson's hotel room! I was drunk and I tried to flush the toilet with my foot, and the pipe broke in half. There was water everywhere, but it was an accident.

DL: Have you ever had any weird fans?

DM: Yeah. One Australian girl sent me freaky letter for a long time. She said she was a virgin goddess and she was growing her third set of teeth, they were insane letters. Eventually, I had to have our management contact her and ask her to stop stalking me. I guess she might have been sexually attracted to me - I don't know what she saw in me - and it was scary because she was insane.

DL: What's the neatest present you've received from a fan?

DM: The best reward was saving this Australian girl's life. I heard she was going to commit suicide over the Internet, and I called her. I told her whatever it was she was going through couldn't be that bad, the only final thing is death. She snapped out of it, and that was the best thing anybody had ever trusted me with - their life.

DL: How do you combat on-tour boredom?

DM: Well, I'm going to university right now, I'm studying business management. I work out a lot and I do tons of interviews. I write a lot of music. But if it wasn't for The MTV's Headline news I'd be very bored - I check out the news and see what's going on.

DL: What are the things you always take on the road with you?

DM: Obviously, there's clothes and personal hygiene things, but the most important commodities to me are time and good attitude. To be doing this for so long is just mind-boggling. God, I can remember when I did my first professional recording, back in 1980. That's a long time to be in one job, even if I have changed my employers. So the one thing that I absolutely need to take on the road with me is my commitment to playing the best I can, no matter what.


On the Phone with Dave :: Out to Lunch :: So Far, So Good for Megadeth :: Rust in Peace :: Dave the Human, Mustaine the Artist :: A Founding Forefather of Thrash :: The Outside Corner :: Music Is Our Business... And Business Is Good :: Deth Rally :: Trial by Fire :: Megadeth Conquers Globe :: Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered :: Shooting from the Hip :: I Made It Home Alive! :: So Far, So Good... Now What? :: Megadeth: Online and Onstage :: Sodom and Gomorra :: Metal Is Still Their Business... But Who's Buying? :: Shooting from the Hip II :: Country and Western :: Metal Church :: Get in the Van :: Foreclosure of a Team :: Last Men Standing :: Without the MTV Support :: Set the World on Fire :: Dave Mustaine University :: Heavy Metal Marines :: The Real Line-up of Megadeth :: Risk Factor :: The World Will End in Megadeth :: Megadeth: Crush'em with Ferocity and Finesse :: An Ugly American :: Try to Sue Capital Records! :: Big Boys :: We're Pissed Off Again :: Dave Mustaine's Symphony of Reconstruction :: It Wasn't Fun Anymore :: Metallidethica :: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Been Asking :: Dave Ellefson: Life After Megadeth :: Die Another Day

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