Rumors began circulating late this January that Megadeth and Marty Friedman would reunite for the first time in 23 years on February 27 at the Nippon Budokan venue in Tokyo. Then Megadeth all of a sudden announced they'd be livestreaming the Nippon Budokan show online, which pretty much confirmed the rumors without actually outright confirming them.
Now Megadeth has issued a statement confirming they'll reunite with Friedman at the February 27 show. Megadeth's statement is as follows:
"For the first time in more than 23 years, Megadeth alumni Marty Friedman will join Megadeth on stage as the special guest for our one-off global livestream from the legendary Budokan Arena in Tokyo, Japan on February 27!
"'Marty and I have remained friends over 23 years, since we last played together. However, I hear his music every night, and he still is among the top guitar players I’ve ever heard. This is an amazing treat for the fans, as well as myself. To be honest, I may drift off while listening to Kiko and Marty play together!' [said] Dave Mustaine.
"Get your tickets for this global livestream event [here]."
Friedman joined Megadeth in 1990 and performed with the band until 2000, playing on every record between Rust In Peace and Risk. Friedman has since enjoyed a massively successful musical and acting solo career in Japan.
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine explained in a 2022 interview that the breaking point for Friedman in the band was the "Breadline" solo on Risk.
"I've always believed we should give the guitar player an opportunity to do a solo that he feels is right for the song," said Mustaine. "If someone plays something that doesn’t work for the part, then I may make some suggestions. If it's still not happening, I might say, 'Okay, this is what I want you to play here.' If a lead totally doesn’t work then I’m going to do the part myself. That’s what happened [on] 'Breadline'. And Marty Friedman quit over the solo in 'Breadline'."
"I said [to management], 'Well, you have three choices. Either you mute the solo completely, have Marty come back and redo it, or I do it.' And then I said, 'If I do it, you'd better tell him.' Well, I redid it and nobody told Marty. So we're in there listening to the finished album and the solo comes on. It's my solo, not Marty's… I looked at him as tears ran down his face and I knew right away that nobody had told him. I knew that was probably going to be the end of Marty Friedman."