Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir


Since the beginning of last year I’ve done a whole lot of reading in my free time. I typically read books about music or musicians because that’s what interests me most and there’s something about the inner workings of a band and stories from the road that appeal to me moreso than reading something by Tom Clancy or that lady that wrote 50 Shades of Grey.

For Christmas I was given a $50 Amazon gift card which was then promptly spent on a series of books ranging from Hunter S. Thompson and Bruce Campbell to Carl Jung and occultist Aleister Crowley.

This was one of the books I ordered. (Duh.)

I recently read a book titled Birth. School. Metallica. Death: The Inside Story of Metallica (1981-1991) so I was already somewhat familiar was the earlier part of Dave Mustaine’s story, how he’d been kicked out of Metallica for being too “unpredictable and out of control” and how they went against his wishes and used the songs that he had written for their first album, thereby creating an animosity that would last most of the next 20 years.

Megadeth was founded out of Mustaine’s desire to keep making music and overthrow Metallica as the Kings of Thrash Metal, although there have been many inhibitions along the way, both uncontrollable and self-inflicted (such as getting kicked off a big tour with Aerosmith for making a joke about how old they were).

Mustaine embodied the “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” mantra, regularly engaging in promiscuity, alcoholism, and a gnarly heroine//cocaine addiction as well as having a willingness to fight anywhere, anytime. It wasn’t until the late 90s, early 2000s that Mustaine ultimately decided, of his own volition, to get clean and stay that way.

Shit, after 17 stints in rehab I’d get tired of the hassle too.

Religion was also an interesting part of the Mustaine story. Being raised a Jehovah’s Witness as a child, Mustaine also dabbled in black magic//witchcraft (to get even with a school bully) before becoming a full-on Christian in the early 2000s.

One thing I didn’t know about Dave Mustaine is that he holds multiple blackbelts and regularly practice martial arts such as taekwondo and ukidokan karate.

If you listen to Megadeth or like thrash metal, Metallica, or a book that you can really immerse yourself in, then I would 100% say check this book out.

I tore through this thing (370 pages) in a week, which is a level of focus that, personally, I’ve never experienced before. (just kidding)

Anyways, this book was a fantastic, quick read and gave me a newfound respect for both Megadeth and Dave Mustaine as a musician and a regular dude.


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