Megadeth band 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There’s hope yet for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. After all, if
Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson, the two prime movers of of the world’s most
popular heavy metal bands – Megadeth – have buried the hatchet after years of
bitter feuding, then anything is possible.
With more than 20 million
albums during a three-decade career launched in 1983, the pioneers of thrash
metal – along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax – have experienced a turbulent
history involving drug abuse, revolving door personnel changes, health problems
and conversions to Christianity. Along the way to sobriety, they’ve released
some classic musical statements, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in
Peace in 1990 and the Grammynominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in
Outspoken guitarist and frontman Mustaine, who was booted out of
Metallica before he formed Megadeth, and bassist Ellefson were the two constants
in the band until the first phase of their career ended in 2002 when a
debilitating nerve injury in his arm forced Mustaine to give up guitar playing
and break up the band.
Following intensive physical therapy, Mustaine
recovered and in 2004 reformed the group but without Ellefson, who sued his
former band mate for $18.5 million for unpaid royalties and shares of
merchandising and publishing rights. Mustaine countersued, and both cases were
settled out of court in 2005.
But last year, on the eve of the band’s
Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary Tour, Ellefson was approached by drummer Shawn
Drover who, according to Classic Rock magazine, told him, “If ever there was a
time for you and Dave to talk, now is it.” The two worked out their differences,
and the bassist returned to the lineup, saying, “It felt like I never
For his part, Mustaine released an audio message to fans
commenting on his and Ellefson’s rapprochement and expressing the tenets of
born-again Christianity, to which both he and Ellefson pledged commitment almost
a decade ago.
“I hope you take my lead today and you go and spend some
time alone reflecting on people that you may need to forgive or that you may
need their forgiveness, and see what happens, man… I feel so great, and I know
so many of you feel great, too.
And this is all because I was willing to
take my hat in my hand and talk with my brother and to work things
By all accounts, things worked out fine, with the Rust in Peace
tour satiating fans and Ellefson deciding to continue his partnership with
Mustaine beyond the tour. Earlier this year, metal fans rejoiced when a special
one-time show was announced for April 23 in California, featuring The Big Four –
Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer – performing at an all-day show
But first, Megadeth is coming to Israel – on April 16 at the
Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
The band has staunchly loyal fans here who have
turned out for their three previous local performances – in 1995 at the Cinerama
in Tel Aviv, 2005 at Palmahim Beach, and in 2007 before a sold-out crowd at Tel
Aviv’s Hangar 11.
Next week’s show will likely witness their biggest
Israeli audience yet, spurred by the chance to see the classic Mustaine-Ellefson
lineup. The revamped band is also recording material for a new album, so it
looks like this year could be a mega year for Megadeth.
April 16 at the
Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, www.hadran.co.il