Dave Mustaine: To be better than James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett means so much

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth with James Hetfield of Metallica

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is out promoting his new album Endgame with an interview in Classic Rock. As usual, since he was fired from Metallica in 1983, Metallica is the topic of many of his interviews.

How did it feel to be No.1 in Joel McIver’s recent book, The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists?

It was especially sweet when I found out that Joel has written books on Metallica. I looked at my copy of the book – I wasn’t on the cover or the back. I figured I’d be somewhere like No.69. So I thumbed through it; it’s a really comprehensive, good book. I got to No.50 and I thought, ‘Am I in here?’ I’d been told that I was, but not which position. So I got No.16 and I saw Hetfield. I thought, ‘Wow’ because I respect James. I’m a better lead player than he is, but he’s one of the three best rhythm players in the world.

The other two being?

Malcolm Young [of AC/DC] and myself. Malcolm kept it basic but brought a whole new style of rhythm playing to the world. So I got to the Top 10… I still wasn’t in there. Every page I turned, I became more excited. I get to No.5 and it’s Kirk [Hammett], and I thought, ‘Thank you, God’.

At that point it didn’t matter [which position I was]. To be better than both of them [Hetfield and Hammett] meant so much – it’s been one of the pet peeves of my career and I’ve never known how to deal with it. I didn’t realise that it has had so much bearing upon my life. Then I got to No.2 and it was John Petrucci [of Dream Theater] and I froze. I was No.1.

What made it better still is that the guy wrote: ‘This isn’t about Dave as a person because he’s been a cock’ – [interjects with a bray of laughter] – ‘These four pages are about his guitar playing, which is the best. There are people who are better at one thing that Mustaine does, and others that are better than another, but no-one who’s as good at everything’. All I thought was… I win!

In a way did it represent closure?

That’s it exactly. I’m not addicted [to anything] anymore. And I’m no longer struggling with past demons from another band [Metallica]. That game has ended. Lars [Ulrich] called me up and offered the chance to come to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame thing and not be inducted, to sit in the audience [instead].

‘It’s only for people who’ve been on the records’ is what I was told. That would have been awkward. So I didn’t go. There are obviously some unresolved issues on Lars’ part. But you know what? If God wants me in the Hall Of Fame, I will be there.

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Dave Mustaine: “James ya da Kirk’den daha iyi olmak benim için çok anlamlıdır.” « serbest karalama defteri
November 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 El Bastardo August 29, 2009 at 5:41 am

Dave is slightly better than Kirk.Where is the problem.
Both make good music. No one cares.

But why this stupid News-Title?


2 Bill October 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm

honestly i think that dave mustaine should of been in the hall of fame with metallica because he wrote some good songs for them like the four horsemen…that song kicks ass


3 gianfranco October 20, 2009 at 2:30 am

i do think Dave is a great song writer but he didnt write the four horsemen, he worte “the Mechanix”. and in him being present at the rock n roll hall of fame i wouldnt have mind at all , if they brought jason (who wrote as much in all his years as dave in a year or so) why not bring mustaine.


4 Mia Sommers November 28, 2009 at 4:36 am

Dave did write some good some while with Metallica, but I think the guys have gotten better over the years. despite their age (I know they are no were near the rolling stones) they still are able to punch out that hard rock edge. Dave helped them get started but if he was still in metallica they would not have reached the heights they have today.


5 C December 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Err… Last I knew … Dave actually was invited – by Metallica themselves – to go but he was busy on tour. What that means, I do not know, but the fact remains he was invited to be there.

What surprises me most is some of the things he has said, have actually appeared a bit more mature as of late (congratulating them, then he’s going to play with them … and so on).


6 tallius December 23, 2009 at 6:24 am

In fact Mustaine is a million times better than Kirk, James and many others.

I just want share this


Kirk is a almighty guitarist,hell yeah


7 ILuvTo69 February 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Yeah I think Dave is a talented guitarist, but number 1? Now I’m a true Metallica fan and I don’t think Dave deserves it just because I’m a Metallica fan, I just think he doesn’t follow up to that title. He’s [co]written some good songs for Metallica and he’s a great rhythm player for Megadeth. I’m not saying Kirk should be number 1 either. He’s not exactly a shredder but he can make some great solos. Maybe we could give the number one spot to Zakk Wylde or Kerry King.


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