Dave Mustaine Was Very Pissed METALLICA Didn't Call To Tell Him Cliff Burton Died
On the same day that we post that Metallica's James Hetfield says there is no longer any ill-will between Metallica and former founding member Dave Mustaine, coincidentally, a story comes out with a quote from Mustaine about how unhappy he was about certain ways Metallica treated him.
Mustaine spoked to Rolling Stone for their recurring feature "My Life in 15 Songs" – where the musician, in this case Mustaine, picks 15 songs from their discography that define them. The entire article is worth a read for some great insight on Dave's mind at the time of some of Megadeth's biggest tracks. The choice quote for me was when Mustaine was talking about the Megadeth track "In My Darkest Hour," which he wrote for Cliff:
I wrote the music when I heard that Cliff [Burton, Metallica bassist] had died. A friend of mine, "Metal" Maria Ferrero, called me to tell me that he had been in a bus accident. I took it really personal because, I figured, "You fuckers, you know we're all brothers in a band and he dies and you have someone else call me?" So I took it very, very, very bad. I've come to understand now that in grief, people do strange things so I've changed my outlook towards her calling me, but at the time I was very upset and I wrote the music in one sitting and then I started chipping away at the lyrics as fast as I could. … It was a very, very painful period writing that music.
The last time I'd spoken to Cliff was probably at an odd show that I had gone to. Those guys were still threatened by me so I would never get a backstage pass; I'd always get an after-show pass, which I think is pretty chicken-shit. So whenever we would go to the concerts, me and Ellefson would see them after and we'd get invited to wherever they were partying. I didn't wanna go to a party; I wanted to come see my friends and hang out. But I guess we're not friends; the last time I talked to Cliff was probably at one of those shows that they had done in the States. [..]
That song evokes a lot of feelings. The first time I played it, Cliff's mom and dad were at our show. I could do it in the studio and in rehearsal, but with them there, I could not get through it. You don't even know where those feelings come from. It's like, do I have these feelings? And then all of a sudden you do a song and we can't control … It's like, shit, those are real. I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye. I mean, I didn't even know where he was buried. So that kind of shows how that all went down. But I'll see him in heaven. That's the cool thing. At least I believe that.
Cliff obviously meant a lot of things to a lot of people, and Mustaine is no exception. I will commend Mustaine for being reflective and understanding the rest of Metallica were grieving in their own way to consider his feelings at the time.
Mustaine is very candid about his feelings towards the Metallica guys, and how he's moving past it, even acknowledging Kirk Hammett's tweet from a few weeks ago:
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett speculated that it was "super-cathartic" for Mustaine to play with the band again in 2011 after feeling "really, really sad, really angry, really frustrated" for years, Mustaine tweeted that Hammett's assessment was "almost 100 percent accurate … almost." "There wasn't anything that wasn't right, I just didn't want to say he was right," Mustaine says now. "I was just being playful. I think you have to have a little levity in life."
The whole article is absolutely worth a read, especially Mustaine talking about early Metallica tunes like "Ride the Lightning" and "The Four Horsemen."