Megadeth is one of the “Big Four of Thrash Metal” along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Interestingly enough, the main force behind Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, was a former member of Metallica.
Mustaine has been the lone constant in Megadeth since the band formed in 1983. In the Megadeth’s 25-plus years of existence it’s seen 20 official members.
Currently, Mustaine is joined by Chris Broderick on guitar, James Lomenzo on bass and Shawn Drover on drums.
Bass guitarist David Ellefson was in Megadeth from 1983 to 2002. He has the longest Megadeth-tenure of anyone besides Mustaine.
The band released its first album, Killing Is My Business… and Business is Good!, in 1985. Megadeth was given $8,000 dollars to record the album but spent half of it on drugs.
The following year Megadeth propelled themselves to legendary status with the release of Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? This collection of songs is considered a thrash masterpiece and one the most influential heavy metal albums of all time.
In total, Megadeth has released 12 studio albums and have sold more than 24 million albums worldwide. They’ve also been nominated for seven Grammy Awards.
In 2002, the band disbanded after Mustaine sustained nerve damage to his left arm in a freak sleeping accident. Mustaine spent months rehabilitating his arm undergoing both physical and electric shock therapy.
Two years later, with the record label demanding another Megadeth album, Mustaine reformed the band but Ellefson refused to return. The split was anything but amicable as Ellefson publically accused Mustaine of faking his injury.
Since then, both men have sued one another. Ellefson’s case was dismissed while Mustaine’s suit was settled out of court.
Mustaine is a born again Christian and refuses to play certain Megadeth songs. He’s also canceled shows with bands he deems anti-Christian.
His expulsion from Metallica, and Megadeth’s numerous lineups, has been attributed to rampant substance abuse.
It became some bad that in 1987 Alice Cooper, with whom Megadeth had been touring with, warned the band about their excessive drug use. In fact, Mustaine’s suffered his freak sleeping accident while at a drug treatment facility.
In 1988, while performing in Northern Ireland, Mustaine accidently dedicated a song to the IRA. Not only did a fight ensue in the audience but Megadeth had to finish their tour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a bulletproof bus.
In 2009, the band released its twelfth studio album, Endgame. The album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 Charts.
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