Like their thrash metal rivals Metallica, Dave Mustaine
and co. are a band in recovery
Courtesy of Creativeman
When Dave Mustaine disbanded Megadeth after
losing the use of his left arm to injury in 2002, many thought
it was the end of the group that, along with Metallica, had
pioneered the thrash metal sound at the dawn of the 80s.
But like Metallica, which Mustaine had co-founded, Megadeth
returned last year in fighting form with a new album and lineup.
Where Metallicas near-breakup was mainly due to leader
James Hetfields battle with alcoholism (a battle chronicled
on the documentary Some Kind of Anger), Megadeth lost its
frontman to a freak injury.
Judging by the lack of specifics about the injury in the press
release announcing their breakup on Megadeths website,
Mustaine doesnt like to talk about it. But he was later
willing to share the secret with AskMen.com. I had fallen
asleep on my arm, he related. Its just that
simple. I wish I could tell you I was sword fighting, or saving
a baby from a burning building or something. You know, sometimes
you are wearing shoes that are too tight or you are sitting
the wrong way and your leg will fall asleep a little bit.
That is what happened to my hand. The circulation was cut
off to the nerve on the inside of my left bicep. When the
nerve lost circulation it shrunk like a crunched-up straw.
Diagnosed with radial neuropathystrained nerves in his
left arm and handthe guitar shredder was told he would
never play again. But Mustaine wasnt ready to retire.
I figured that nobody tells me no, so I took on the
challenge. I went and got a great physical therapist and worked
out five days a week, sometimes to the point where I was crying
because the pain was so horrible.
Taking guitar lessons to relearn his way around the fret board,
Mustaine finally felt strong enough to reconvene Megadeth
at the end of 2003. And as it turned out, he still owed his
publishing company an album. Last years The System Has
Failed saw a feisty Mustaine jettisoning long-standing members
over contractual issues, and creating a new lineup that produced
what was arguably the best Megadeth album in at least a decade.
While not completely in thrall to the past, The System Has
Failed marked a return to the brutalist thrash metal mold
of 1990s Rust In Peace. Mustaine brought back talented
guitarist Chris Poland from the bands early days for
an album that made Metallicas comeback, St. Anger, sound
tame in comparison. But the album also had its head in the
present and was topical, lambasting what Mustaine characterized
as a political system out of control.
The songwriter still reserves particular bile for Metallica,
a band he co-founded in 1981 before getting the boot in 1983
because of his drug problems. Mustaine actually appears on
the Some Kind of Monster documentary, confessing his anger
about being forced out of Metallica. The last injustice
was with this movie...I am done with them, Mustaine
said. I told [drummer] Lars [Ulrich] that I didnt
want my stuff in there: He knows that it came from me because
I told the director that I didnt want it in there. Now
he is saying stupid shit...like, He is sexually attracted
to me. Sorry Lars. Tokyo Koseinenkin Kaikan,
Apr 2 and Kawasaki Club Citta, Apr
3. See concert listings for details.
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