Metallica Wiki

Dave Mustaine performing with Megadeth in San Antonio, Texas in 2016.

David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician best known as the frontman of thrash metal band Megadeth. He was the original lead guitarist for Metallica, having auditioned for the band shortly after it was formed. He was fired from Metallica in 1983 because of his alcohol abuse, his extreme unkindness to the other members and violent tendencies and soon after formed Megadeth that same year to rival his old band.

Before his entrance into Metallica, Mustaine's first band was Panic.

He was replaced by Kirk Hammett and was sent back to California. His bitterness towards Metallica, especially Hetfield and Hammett, was made clear by Mustaine over the years, leading to one of the most infamous band rivalries in heavy metal.

Early Life

Role in Metallica

Brian Slagel, an early manager of the band, said that Mustaine "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 maniac, 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".

One of the most reflective moments of Mustaine's time in Metallica was when he brought his dog to rehearsal. The dog jumped up onto the car of Metallica bassist Ron McGovney and scratched the paint. Hetfield allegedly proceeded to yell at Mustaine's dog and kicked him/her in anger. Mustaine responded by physically attacking Hetfield and McGovney and yelled at Ulrich. Mustaine was fired following the altercation. 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'. McGovney then told Mustaine to leave his house, and quit the band".

Metallica songs credited to Mustaine

Mustaine is credited on six Metallica songs, two of which he wrote mostly himself and four of which he contributed. Mustaine uses some of his Metallica riffs for Megadeth songs, making it easier to tell which parts he contributed to.

Written by Mustaine

  • The Mechanix - Found in several pre-Kill 'Em All Metallica demos, was written almost entirely by Mustaine alone, with lyrics about sex at a car mechanics. When he was kicked out, Hetfield wrote entirely new lyrics, and the rest of the band added an extra section, a bridge and a solo (all totaling an extra three minutes) - the result was "The Four Horsemen". Megadeth's debut album has "Mechanix", which is the original song with the word "the" dropped from the title, an added intro, and a much, much faster tempo.
  • Jump in the Fire - Written largely by Mustaine, the song was originally, like "The Mechanix", about sex. Even when Mustaine was in the band, Hetfield and Ulrich helped him tweak it, hence why they are both credited alongside him.


  • Phantom Lord - Mustaine wrote the riff towards the end of the song's bridge (before Hammett's solo). This riff would later appear on Megadeth's "This Was My Life" on the album Countdown to Extinction (from around 3:10 to the end of the song).
  • Metal Militia - Mustaine has been credited with writing the main riff of the song.
  • Ride the Lightning - Mustaine wrote a single riff that appears before Hammet's solo. He calls it the "Spider Chord riff", and used it in the Megadeth song "Wake Up Dead", which appears in their 1986 album "Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?". The riff itself starts at 1:02.
  • Call of Ktulu - To what extent is not known, but Mustaine wrote a part of the intro. The D-minor progression of the song was later used in Megadeth's "Hangar 18", and the chord used just after the intro riff closes the Megadeth song "Foreclosure of a Dream". This is the last Metallica song to have a writing credit for Mustaine.
  • Seek and Destroy - has that solo, and in an old interview with Metallica, Seek and Destroy had already been written, and James said he played the solo, and he played it right. This means Dave wrote that solo.
  • The Four Horsemen - He made riff at the beginning, and the song was fully written in No Life till Leather, under the title "The Mechanix", which is about sex in a Mechanics shop.


  • Leper Messiah - Once Dave claimed that he had written the bridge riff (3:16 - 3:37) and, accordingly to some sources, the following riff as well (3:37-3:56). Although Metallica denied Mustaine's involvement in creating this song and the whole Master of Puppets album, some fans believe that this riff does have Mustaine's touch, and the similar riff was recorded on the Jam at McGovney Garage '82 tape. Apparently, Metallica could take this riff and change some notes so it sounded completely different, and not give Mustaine any credit for some reasons (e.g. minor contribution, insult or lack of wish to confirm the fact that the band used the former member's stuff). However, Mustaine still claims that he made the riff to this day.


With Metallica

With Megadeth


Studio Albums

Live Albums

With MD.45

  • The Craving (1996)


With Megadeth


With Metallica

With Megadeth