David Ellefson Reveals How Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Acted While Attending Megadeth Shows, Opens Up on How Metallica Treated Dave Mustaine

At this point, it’s safe to say that David Ellefson won’t ever be a member of Megadeth again, although you never know what can happen with that band. Either way, Ellefson is still a major part of the band’s history, as well as one of the icons of the genre. And although Dave Mustaine doesn’t consider him to be the “founding” or “original” member, he’s been there since the earliest days of Megadeth.

Megadeth - David Ellefson Bass Solo (1995)

While we’re at it, in a recent interview conducted by Stefan Adika for Artists on Record, David Ellefson recalled Megadeth’s early shows. In particular, he talked how Metallica’s Lars Ulrich came to some of these performances even after Mustaine’s infamous split with the band which ultimately led to the formation of Megadeth. Looking back on those days, Ellefson said (via Ultimate Guitar):

“I was always encouraging Dave, going, ‘Dude, don’t look over there. It’s blinders. What we’re doing is cool, man.’ I mean, look, Lars was coming to our shows, paying attention to what we were doing.”

“He was definitely a fan of Dave’s work and he was a friend of Dave. I think it probably bummed him out that he had to let him go. He had to make a choice.”

Megadeth - Live In Detroit 1986 [Full Concert] /mG

“But he continued to come to the gigs, he hung out, he was always friends with Dave. So it’s, like, ‘Look, these guys haven’t forgotten you. They used your songs, they put your name on it, and they paid you. I mean, they don’t hate you.'”

“There’s a lot of other bands where it’s like, ‘Fuck that guy. We’re gonna steal his songs. We’re not gonna credit him. And we’re not gonna pay him. Fuck you. Sue us.’ That’s how it usually goes in the music business.”

“So the fact that those guys did the right thing every step of the way, I think is awesome. Because otherwise… Dave — using a Beatles analogy — he could have been the Pete Best of Metallica: the most forgotten, never-heard-of-again member of Metallica, had they not put his name on those records. That validated him.”

“They gave him a chance for a second chance by putting his name on those records, using those compositions, and then again, [by] paying him.”

Photo: Ralph Arvesen (Megadeth performing in San Antonio, Texas (27420120171)), Carter Sterling (David Ellefson (cropped2)), Dariusz Lachowicz (Lars Ulrich)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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