Aug 11, 2020
On the morning of April 11, 1983, Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, was awoken from a drunken slumber.
“Wake up, wake up”.
“You’re out of the band”.
“What, no second chance, no warning?”
The move was kind of hypocritical given the band members’ own struggles with the bottle, not to mention the fact that they had referred to themselves as ALcoholica for a long time.
“When does my plane leave?”
“There’s no plane. You’re taking the bus.””
Hetfield took Mustaine down to the bus depot, and as the pair hugged, tears could be seen in Mustaine’s eyes.
“Take care Dave”
“Don’t use any of my music!”
And with that, Mustaine began a sorrowful and reflective four-day long journey across the continent, back to San Francisco. A journey that would fuel his growing anger and resentment towards his former band.
Sitting at the back of the bus, and feeling dejected, Mustaine notices a pamphlet on the floor and picks it up. It’s from California senator Alan Cranston, and it warns of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. One line, in particular, stood out to Mustaine. “The arsenal of megadeath can’t be rid, no matter what the peace treaties come to.”
With that, Mustaine borrowed a pencil and on a discarded cupcake wrapper, he wrote the very first lyrics of his post-Metallica life, for a song he chose to call...Megadeth.
For the next three decades, the bands would trade blows to assume the coveted heavy metal crown.
Since the dawn of recorded history, we’ve been wired to fight - whether it was fighting for survival on the African savannah tens of thousands of years ago, or fighting with our siblings for the remote.
We’re captivated by stories of adversaries battling it out for supremacy.
Whether it was David and Goliath, Achilles and Hector, Michaelangelo and Leonardo Davinci, or even Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the struggle for superiority is one we can all innately relate to.
And these battles have played themselves out many times in the world of music, leaving us not only with some great tunes for the ages, but also with some incredible stories.
Each week on this show, we’ll deep dive into these stories and unpack battles between musicians that were sometimes fought with album and concert sales, words and fists, and other times, with bullets.
For over half a century, the boys next door otherwise known as The Beatles, have been duking it out with the bad boys of rock n roll, The Rolling Stones.
The intense rivalry between the east coast rapper, Notorious BIG and the west coast’s 2Pac Shakur was drawn to an abrupt and premature end bullet-induced end, resulting in inextricably linked murder cases that remain unsolved to this very day.
And in the world of heavy metal, it’s difficult to look past the ego, and drug-fueled bitterness that long drove a wedge between thrash metal icons Metallica and Megadeth.
So tune up and plug in, as I take you inside these rivalries and more.
This... is the Battle of the Bands.
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