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This Was Dave Mustaine's Reaction To Hearing METALLICA's Kill 'Em All for the First Time

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Metallica and Dave Mustaine parted ways in 1983. That same year, Mustaine formed Megadeth and Metallica put out their debut album Kill 'Em All, which featured all seven of the band's No Life 'Til Leather demo tracks Mustaine played on plus a few more.

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In an December 2020 interview with Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn's No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn podcast, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson recalls sitting with Mustaine as he listened to Kill 'Em All for the first time. Ellefson recalls Mustaine being particularly pissed off that Metallica jacked his solos.

"[The record] got sent out to us [by mail]," said Ellefson. "I remember Greg [Handevidt, then-Megadeth guitarist] — he remembers in detail sitting there for like an hour of silence, or 38 minutes of silence, opening the box, looking at the record, opening the shrink wrap and putting it on the turntable. It was obviously a weird moment, 'cause me and Greg are there going, 'Oh my God. This is the moment.' It's like that moment you probably see your ex with somebody else. The pictures are there, and we were sitting there listening to it.

"[Dave was] listening to it, just staring at the speakers in complete silence, studying the songs. And I remember me and Greg sitting around him, just kind of nervously going, 'Oh my God. What's the reaction gonna be to this?' And I remember one of the first things he said, he goes, 'He fucking ripped off my solos.' That was Dave's first reaction — that Kirk had played his solos. They're not entirely the same, but to some degree."

"I remember that was a very personal thing to Dave — the solos. At that point, those songs at least were well known in the Bay Area, and people knew of those songs, and that demo had been traded around, so people knew. Dave definitely put the stamp and the die had been cast on that demo, the No Life 'Til Leather demo. And you know how Dave plays — what he plays he plays night after night after night. It's a written part of the song. It's not some ad-libby, groovy jam solo. What's been recorded, that's there forever — that's exactly the way it's played night after night.

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"So to Dave, the solo was as much a part of the composition — it wasn't a blues jam. And then, obviously, seeing the way the credits were on the record — songs Dave had written and brought it, and now the credits were divided up. So probably a lot like a divorce. He was pissed. And that was that moment that I think was, like, 'Oh, God. Here's the reality of it.' And, of course, for me, I'm, like, 'What's the big deal? We've got our own band. We're doing our own thing.' But at the same time, we had to be respectful. Obviously, this was Dave coming out of this big group that we had not heard of yet, Metallica."

The No Life 'Til Leather demo is still a point of contention between Mustaine and Metallica. A reissue of No Life 'Til Leather was held up (and is still being held up) due to a disagreement between the two parties about who did what on the demo. Or as Mustaine put it, "We talked about it a little bit, and there are certain things about the way [Metallica drummer] Lars [Ulrich] wants things to go down, and it’s just not going to happen."

[via Blabbermouth]

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