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        M  E  G  A  D  E  T  H





Formed 1983, Los Angeles, California

THE BAND

Dave Mustaine - born Sep. 13, 1961, La Mesa, California, guitars, vocals.
David Ellefson - born Nov. 12, 1964, Minn., bassist.
Chris Poland, guitars.
Gars Samuelson, drums.

When guitarist Dave Mustaine was booted out of Metallica early in its career, he formed Megadeth, which continued his former group’s thrash-metal style with even more speed and intensity.

Mustaine was seven when his parents divorced, and his family wound up living in poverty in the Southern California suburbs. During his teens, Mustaine’s mother was often away, leaving him with his sisters and their abusive spouses; he told a journalist that a brother-in-law once punched him in the face for listening to Judas Priest. Mustaine’s revenge was to join a heavy-metal band, and in 1981 he became a founding member of Metallica, from which he was fired two years later in a power struggle over leadership and allegations of his drug use. Mustaine, who is notorious for his outspokenness and mood swings, formed Megadeth that same year with Minnesota native Dave Ellefson.

Mustaine and Ellefson hoped to create a jazz-oriented progressive strain of heavy metal based on chops as much as emotional aggression. Megadeth’s first album, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good, succeeded in that regard and garnered mainly positive reviews, even from critics normally hostile to heavy metal. Mustaine’s drug use, meanwhile, deepened with his discovery of heroin. Still, the band’s subsequent albums, Peace Sells... But Who‘s Buying? and So Far, So Good... So What? (#28, 1988), continued in the band’s celebrated lightning-speed, chops-heavy style.

In 1990 Mustaine was arrested for impaired driving and went into a 12-step program for his drug and alcohol problems; he has since remained clean and sober. The same year, Megadeth released Rust in Peace, which reached #23. Mustaine’s former band, meanwhile, paved the way for thrash-metal when its self-titled album of 1991 skyrocketed to the top of the charts; Megadeth followed in Metallica’s footsteps the next year with Countdown to Extinction, which went to #2.

Mustaine’s newfound sobriety hasn’t kept the guitarist from getting into trouble: In 1993 Megadeth was dumped from its opening spot on Aerosmith’s tour when that group tired of Mustaine’s misbehavior. Megadeth returned in 1994 with Youthanasia (the album’s press release was written by novelist Dean Koontz), which debuted at #4.

1985 -- Killing Is My Business.., and Business Is Good (Combat)
1986 -- Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? (Capitol) (- Poland; - Samuelson; + Jeff Young, gtr.; + Chuck Behler, drums)
1988 -- So Far, So Good... So What? ( - Young; - Behler; + Marty Friedman [b. Dec. 8, 1962, Washington, D.C.], gtr.; + Nick Menza [b. July 23, 1964, Ger.], drums)
1990 -- Rust in Peace
1992 -- Countdown to Extinction
1994 -- Youthanasia


THE MEGADETH TIMELINE:

1982

  • Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield form Metallica.
  • Dave Mustaine leaves Panic and joins Metallica.
  • Ron McGovney is hired as Metallica's bassist
  • March, Metallica's first gig at Radio City in Anaheim
  • March, Metallica opens for Saxon on their "Denim and Leather" tour
  • April, Brad Parker (a.k.a. Damian Phillips) is hired as Metallica's second guitarist. He leaves band after one gig, Metallica's only as a five-piece band.
  • May, James Hetfield takes up rhythm guitar in addition to vocals.
  • June, "Hit the Lights" is included on Metal Massacre compilation
  • Rare demo album No Life 'til Leather is released.
  • December, Cliff Burton leaves Trauma to replace Ron McGovney

1983

  • March, Cliff Burton's first gig with Metallica
  • April, Dave Mustaine is fired from Metallica, Kirk Hammet leaves Exodus to replace him
  • Metallica's first album, Kill 'Em All, is released
  • Dave Mustaine gets together with bassist David Ellefson, guitarist Kerry King, and drummer Lee Rash to form Megadeth
  • Kerry King assists Megadeth on tour and then returns to Slayer
  • Lee Rash is replaced by Gar Samuelson
  • Chris Poland is hired to fill the gap Kerry King helped with.
  • Hawaii (Marty Friedman's second band) releases One Nation Underground
  • December 31st, Mustaine becomes Megadeth's singer

1984

  • November, Megadeth is signed to Combat records
  • Hawaii releases Loud Wild and Heavy

1985

  • May, Megadeth releases Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!
  • Hawaii releases The Natives Are Restless

1986

  • Cliff Burton dies in bus accident
  • November, Megadeth releases Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?
  • Capitol Records signs Megadeth, gets rights to Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? from Combat
  • Overkill opens for Megadeth on "Wake Up Dead" tour
  • Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson are fired after last show of tour in Hawaii

1987

  • February, Megadeth opens for Alice Cooper's "Constrictor" tour
  • Megadeth tours with Mercyful Fate
  • Chuck Behler hired as Megadeth's drummer
  • Jay Reynolds of Malice helps out Megadeth until they find a suitable replacement for Chris Poland, guitarist Jeff Young
  • Marty Friedman's and Jason Becker's Cacophony releases Speed Metal Symphony

1988

  • March, Megadeth releases So Far, So Good... So What!
  • Megadeth opens for Dio on European tour
  • Megadeth featured in acclaimed documentary, Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years
  • August, Megadeth plays Castle Donnington with KISS, and Iron Maiden as the headliner
  • Megadeth opens for the "Monsters of Rock" tour.
  • Marty Friedman releases his first solo album, Dragon's Kiss
  • Megadeth cancels Australian tour
  • Dave Mustaine helps produce Sanctuary's Refuge Denied

1989

  • Cacophony releases Go Off!
  • Jeff Young and Chuck Behler are fired
  • Mustaine is arrested for impaired driving, forced to clean up in 12-step program
  • July, Nick Menza, is hired as Megadeth's drummer

1990

  • January, Megadeth covers Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" for Wes Craven's Shocker soundtrack, their only song as a three-piece band
  • Jason Becker is diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs's disease, Cacophony officially breaks up
  • February, Marty Friedman is hired as Megadeth's lead guitarist
  • October, Megadeth releases Rust in Peace
  • October, Megadeth joins Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Testament for "Clash of the Titans" tour

1991

  • March, Megadeth opens for Judas Priest, in support of their new album Painkiller
  • April, Dave Mustaine gets married to Pamela Anne Casselberry
  • April, Rusted Pieces video is released
  • July, Megadeth's "Go to Hell" featured on Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack
  • US "Clash of the Titans" tour featuring Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and opener Alice in Chains

1992

  • May, Megadeth's "Breakpoint" featured on Super Mario Bros soundtrack
  • July, Megadeth releases Countdown to Extinction
  • November, Exposure of a Dream video is released
  • Megadeth tours the USA with Stone Temple Pilots
  • Dave Mustaine covers Democratic national convention for MTV
  • Marty Friedman releases Scenes, with Nick Menza on drums
  • Dave Mustaine's son, Justis, is born

1993

  • Dave Mustaine makes a guest appearance on Diamond Head's Death and Progress
  • February, Dave Mustaine overdoses in a getting high attempt. The quote on MTV's "Night of the Living Megadeth" regarding it was a joke.
  • Megadeth plays Milton Keynes Bowl with Diamond Head and Metallica
  • Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden for a few dates on their European Tour
  • Aerosmith kicks Megadeth off their American "Get A Grip" tour, Jackyl takes their place
  • Pantera opens for Megadeth's "Countdown to Extinction" Tour
  • June, Megadeth's "Angry Again" featured on Last Action Hero soundtrack
  • November, Megadeth's "99 Ways to Die" featured on The Beavis and Butthead Experience soundtrack

1994

  • Halloween, Megadeth releases Youthanasia, plays on MTV's "Night of the Living Megadeth"
  • October, Megadeth covers "Paranoid" for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath

1995

  • January, Megadeth's "Diadems" featured on Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight soundtrack
  • January to February, "Youth" worldwide tour with Corrosion of Conformity
  • March, Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in Europe
  • May, Evolver: The Making of Youthanasia video is released
  • July, Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in USA and Japan
  • July to August, "Reckoning Day" tour with Flotsam and Jetsam, Korn and Fear Factory
  • Marty Friedman releases Introduction, with Nick Menza on drums

1996

  • Dave Mustaine collaborates with Lee Ving of Fear on MD.45, The Craving
  • November, Marty Friedman releases True Obsessions (Shrapnel Records)
  • David Ellefson's son, Roman Alexander, is born
  • David Ellefson produces Helstar's reunion album, Multiples of Black

1997

  • June, Megadeth releases Cryptic Writings
  • Remix of Megadeth's "Almost Honest" included on Mortal Kombat Annihilation soundtrack

1998

  • January 28th, Dave Mustaine's daughter, Electra, is born
  • Megadeth takes part in "Ozzfest'98"
  • July, Nick Menza and Megadeth have parted ways
  • July, Jimmy DeGrasso is hired as Megadeth's drummer
  • October 23rd, David Ellefson's daughter Athena is born

1999

  • Megadeth enters the studio with producer Dann Huff in Nashville to record their follow up to Cryptic Writings.
  • Megadeth spend the summer playing radio shows, and eventually join Iron Maiden for a European tour in September.
  • "Crush 'Em" is released on the Universal Soldier 2 Soundtrack and eventually makes its way into NHL arenas and WCW.
  • Risk is released on August 31, 1999, and is certified gold a month later.


 

 

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