Dave Mustaine – “No Warning, No Second Chance” (The Metallica Years)

“Set the world afire was the first lyric that I have written  when I left Metallica, except it was called “Megadeth” at the time, and was also the first music piece I had written as well once I left. However I never released anything until I felt it was time or it was ready to be experimented with.” Mustaine

“The arsenal of Megadeth
Can’t be rid they said
And if it comes
The living will envy the dead”

David Scott “Dave” Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is the founder, main songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead guitarist, and lead vocalist for the American thrash metal band Megadeth.

Panic was Mustaine’s first real band. The lineup was Mike Leftwych on drums, Bob Evans on bass, Tom Quecke on guitar, Pat Voeks as the vocalist and Dave Mustaine was the lead guitarist. Both Mike Leftwych and the sound man were killed in a car crash after Panic’s first show

In 1982, Mustaine left Panic to join Metallica as the lead guitarist.

Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich had posted an ad in a local newspaper, The Recycler, looking for a lead guitarist.

“I was in the room warming up and I walked out and asked, ‘Well, am I gonna audition or what?’, and they said, ‘no, you’ve got the job.’ I couldn’t believe how easy it had been and suggested that we get some beer to celebrate” Mustaine

During his time in Metallica, Dave Mustaine toured with the band, co-wrote four songs that appeared on Kill Em All, and co-wrote two songs that would eventually appear on Ride the Lightning. Mustaine has also made unverified claims to have written parts of “Leper Messiah” from Master of Puppets.

He also recorded several songs with the band including the “No Life ‘Til Leather” demo tape. A few of the songs he wrote with Hetfield and Ulrich went on to be re-recorded by Metallica.

The most well-known of these is “The Four Horsemen” from Kill ‘Em All, which Mustaine wrote as “The Mechanix” and later released on Megadeth’s debut album with the original lyrics

On one occasion, Mustaine brought his dog to rehearsal; the dog jumped onto the car of Metallica bassist Ron McGovney and scratched the paint. Hetfield allegedly yelled at Mustaine’s dog and kicked it in anger, to which Mustaine responded by physically attacking Hetfield and McGovney and verbally abusing Ulrich. Mustaine was fired following the altercation, but the next day, Mustaine asked to be allowed back in the band and was granted his request.

Another incident occurred when Mustaine, who had been drinking, poured a full can of beer down the neck and into the pick-ups of Ron McGovney’s bass. When McGovney tried playing it, he received an electrical shock, which he claims ‘blew him across the room and shocked the hell out of him’.

“Dave was an incredibly talented guy but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He’d get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging megalomaniac, and the other guys just couldn’t deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more … much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time.” Brian Slagel, owner of Metal Blade Records

On April 11, 1983, after Metallica had driven to New York to record their debut album, Mustaine was officially fired from the band because of his alcoholism, drug abuse, overly aggressive behavior, and personality clashes with founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, an incident Mustaine refers to as “no warning, no second chance”.


The band packed up Dave’s gear, drove him to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and put him on a Greyhound bus bound for Los Angeles.It was on this bus ride that Mustaine scribbled some lyrical ideas on the back of a hand bill, which would later become the song “Set The World Afire” from the 1988 Megadeth album So Far, So Good… So What!

“There was also another first with in “My Darkest hour”, which was the first song I’d ever writing in one sitting, from beginning to end and this was done when I had heard that my friend and former partner Cliff Burton had been killed in a bus accident in Europe . That was the day that my understanding  of “being there for you” was born” Mustaine


Metallica Logo by Ron McGovney in 1981



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