Dave Mustaine Recalls Getting Revenge From Kirk Hammett

A turning moment for the band came when Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica because of his aggressive conduct and drug and alcohol misuse issues before the “Kill ‘Em All” recording sessions. Kirk Hammett was hired by Metallica when they needed a new guitarist, which led to a protracted argument between Mustaine and Hammett. Mustaine claimed that Hammett became well-known by playing pieces he had written himself.

Over the years, the singer for Megadeth has expressed his distaste for Hammett, accusing the Metallica guitarist of stealing his lead guitar work and assuming his place. Mustaine stated in an interview with Dave Navarro of Spread TV that he intended to exact revenge on his successor:

“James and I had planned on firing Lars so many times. I like James more than Lars. I don’t really like Kirk ’cause he got my job, but you know, I nailed his girlfriend before I left.”

In spite of their hostility, Hammett and Mustaine’s friendship gradually changed, especially when their bands performed together at the 2010 “Big Four” concerts. A pivotal moment came the next year when Mustaine revealed that Hammett had asked him to do guitar solos live during a performance of Diamond Head’s “Helpless.”

In an interview with Artisan News, Mustaine reflected on the encounter and described what happened:

“He said, ‘Do you wanna take the solo?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ [Laughs] But we forgot to tell anybody on the stage or [running] the sound out front that I was gonna do the solo, so Kirk’s playing rhythm full blast, and I’m sitting there going you can’t hear what I’m doing.”

Mustaine offered the following commentary about the symbolic importance of this unexpected collaboration:

“At least we knew what had happened. It was kind of a symbolic passing of the torch back to me, and it was a nice gesture. I think that that helped Kirk and my relationship improve a bit.”





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