Anthrax’s Scott Ian Recalls the Day Dave Mustaine Was Fired From Metallica
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is about to release his official autobiography, 'I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax.' Co-authored by Jon Weiderhorn, the book is sure to be a great read, and in a brilliant promotional move, Ian offered up a big chunk of the rock memoir which recalls Dave Mustaine's famous firing from Metallica in 1983.
Scott Ian is one of metal's most beloved workaholics. A founding member of Anthrax, Ian has been thrashing for well over three decades. The man has also appeared on a number of VH1 TV specials, embarked on a spoken word tour and was even transformed into a zombie for 'The Walking Dead.'
Ian's latest piece of work will tell his life's tale, and if this excerpt he provided to Radio.com is any indication of what we can expect, the book is a must-own. The Anthrax guitarist paints a picture of Dave Mustaine during his time with Metallica:
They were all drinking buddies and they did stupid s–t. But Dave was a little stupider. And when he was really drunk, he could be a total a–hole. Late at night he would dump piles of trash in front of other bands’ rehearsal room doors, so when they’d show up the next day their whole front door would be covered with a mountain of garbage. And they’d know which band did it because Metallica were the only ones sleeping there. So all these musicians would knock on Metallica’s door, wanting to beat them up.
Ian goes on to describe Mustaine's ousting from his own perspective:
I was with them on April 9, 1983, when they were playing L’Amour with Vandenberg and the Rods. Vandenberg were onstage in the middle of the afternoon sound checking, and Mustaine was already hammered. He was in the middle of the floor of the venue, and as soon as they ended a song he started screaming at them that they sucked and they should get the f–k off the stage. [Anthrax/Metallica manager] Jonny Z pulled him away. But I didn’t think any of that s–t was enough to get him kicked out of the band. The guy is arguably the godfather of thrash metal. He wrote a lot of the riffs on Kill ’Em All and even some of Ride the Lightning. Without Dave Mustaine, maybe thrash metal never would have happened. At least in the beginning, he was the driving force, artistically.
A day or two later, I woke up, drove to the Music Building saw Cliff standing outside having a smoke. “What’s up?”
“Nothing. What’s going on?” I answered, figuring it was just another day.
“Not much. We fired Dave. He’s on a Greyhound back to San Francisco.”
I laughed because Cliff was always being sarcastic and busting balls.”Yeah, that’s funny,” I said. “Look, I have to go work with my amp. I’m not real happy with the tone. I’ll see you upstairs.”
“I’m totally serious,” he said. “Go upstairs to the room right now and talk to James and Lars.”
I went upstairs, looked around, and didn’t see Dave anywhere. “What’s going on?”
“Didn’t Cliff tell you?” James said. “Yeah, but he’s lying, right?” “No, we fired Dave this morning,” I still figured that was impossible and they were playing a trick on me. “You’re f–king serious?” “We’re totally serious,” said Lars. I said, “Holy s–t. You have gigs coming up and you’re making an album next month. Does Johnny Z know?” “Yeah, we told him a couple days ago,” Lars continued. “We made him promise not to say anything. We didn’t want Dave to find out. We didn’t know what he would do.”
They had the whole operation planned out with the precision of a military air strike. It turned out that L’Amour show with the Rods was Dave’s final straw. They purchased a one-way bus ticket back to LA and waited for a night when Dave got really drunk, which they knew wouldn’t be long. There was a Greyhound station almost next door to the Music Building, they woke him up while he was still mostly incoherent and fired him. He had passed out in his clothes, so they didn’t have to help him get dressed. They just collected his stuff, which they had mostly packed in a bag already, and literally put him on the bus before he understood what was happening. Then they made plans to send him his gear.
I was standing there with my jaw open, speechless, and Cliff walked back in. “See, I told you,” he said.
“Well, what are you going to do about your shows and the record?”
“We have a guy coming in from this San Francisco band, Exodus,” Lars said. “He’s flying in and joining the band. He already knows most of the songs, and he’s learning the leads."
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