This April marks the 32 year split of Dave Mustaine from 80s metal band Metallica. The former lead of one of modern rock’s biggest names went on to create a different metal act that would shape the future of the genre, and start a new rivalry of sorts.
Mustaine’s trek with Metallica’s fellow Californian metalheads James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Ron McGovney which came to its conclusion on April 9, 1983. Alcoholism was the catalyst in the process, though Mustaine’s behavior as an angry drunk has been attributed to what the rest of Metallica refer to as “the last straw.”
Known for doing things to create tension and bitterness between members of other bands as well as his own, Mustaine’s tirades and actions while under the influence caused more problems for the band down the road. A drunken fight that left Hetfield on the receiving end of a Mustaine punch combo made the departure of Mustaine secured. The precision of his ousting was impressive.
While waiting for a show date, the other Metallica members waited for Mustaine to get loaded and pass out. Fortunately, he still had his clothes on. They got him a one-way bus ticket to LA and sent him off, returning his gear to him later. Filling in (and eventually finding permanent residency in the band) was Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett.
Dave Mustaine would go on to be the founding member of fellow metal band Megadeth, though still hold some heavy bitterness against his former band. Years have passed since that tumultuous time, and former members are more agreeable at present. Hetfield and the rest of Metallica seem pleasant when discussing Mustaine’s success in Megadeth, still noting that their separation was necessary for the betterment of everyone.