Megadeth Bassist Reveals How He Felt About Being Replaced By David Ellefson in 2010, Recalls Dave Mustaine Calling Him Back

In a new interview for Ashdown Engineering, current Megadeth bassist James LoMenzo recalled being replaced by original member David Ellefson back in 2010. Before coming back to the fold in 2021, officially replacing ousted Ellefson, LoMenzo already played in Megadeth between 2006 and 2010, recording two albums with the band during that time. Looking back on being replaced by Ellefson, James said (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“After three or four years in Megadeth, David Ellefson returned. And I, like you, was pretty excited about that, because I had always been a fan of Megadeth anyway. I’m one of those crazy guys that’s, like, I want it to be the original band. I always want it to be the original band; it’s kind of the way I grew up.”

Megadeth - Peace Sells medley (David Ellefson vs James MacDonough vs James LoMenzo)

“But in lieu of that, I had to take the charge of the bass spot when he couldn’t be there. So when he came back, I was fine with it. I’ve done two great albums — ‘United Abominations’ and ‘Endgame’; we’ve done two world tours, been all over the place. And so at that point, I was kind of excited to maybe try something new.”

“And so I went back home. I started a video production company. I started doing these local jams where all my famous friends would come by and jam with me. It was great. And eventually, I ended up in John Fogerty’s [ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival] band.”

Looking back on how he rejoined Megadeth, LoMenzo said:

“How do I end up back in Megadeth? It’s like that ‘Godfather’ movie — ‘Just when I thought I got out, they pull me back in again.’ No… But anyway… When they needed a bass player — it became apparent — I thought to myself, ‘They’ll probably call me up.’ But I also thought to myself, ‘It’s been a while since I played that kind of music, so maybe it’ll be great. It’ll be all right. Maybe not.'”

Yamaha BB / Beyond Classic: James LoMenzo – John Fogerty / NEW BB

“Sure enough, the phone rings, and Dave [Mustaine] is, like, ‘We’ve gotta do this ‘Metal Tour of The Year’. James, I know you’re the guy who can do it. I would love to have you here. If you would just commit to just doing this tour, that would be great.’ And I thought, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird. He doesn’t want me to rejoin the band.'”

“But then I thought about it. He knew I had another band, and he was telling me, ‘I don’t want you to screw up whatever you’ve got going.’ I was being loyal to John. So we went out on the tour, and gosh, it was just the best time. I was so enamored with the band that he put together and with Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and with Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] that I was blown away. And Dave, gosh, he’s just delivering the goods every day.”

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“The great thing about Dave is he’s been through a lot. He recovered from cancer. He’s had problems with his back. Over the years, he’s had more things than most professional wrestlers would have, and he shows no sign of it — he just gets up there and plays and just gives it his all. So after that tour, I was sitting there going, ‘Man, I think I might like to stay here for a while.'”

“And so, luckily, as luck would have it, not too long after that, Dave calls me up at home and he goes, ‘You know, we would love to have you be part of the band officially if you wanna stay.’ And I thought, ‘That’s exactly what I was thinking, man. Let’s do it.'”

“So, anyway, [I am now] back in Megadeth. Back out on the road. The newest album is ‘The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!’ We have been touring that one. We just started this year, and we show no signs of stopping. We’re coming to you, kids.”

Photos: Lilly M (Metalmania 2008 Megadeth James LoMenzo 01), Carter Sterling (David Ellefson), Ralph Arvesen (Megadeth performing in San Antonio, Texas (27420120171))

  • 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, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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