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Didn’t See This Coming: Jason Newsted Now Touring Australia with Testament, While Megadeth Aren’t Touring Australia at All

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Dave-Mustaine-Jason-NewstedSo this story just keeps weirder and weirder.

Last week, the organizers of Australia’s Soundwave Festival announced that Jason Newsted had been kicked off the tour “at the request of Megadeth” — which was kinda surprising, ’cause last we heard, Newsted and Dave Mustaine were buddies.

Less surprising, then, was when Megadeth fired back the next day, assuring fans that “Dave Mustaine is not responsible for booting Newsted off [the Soundwave festival]” and that “Dave and Jason are friends.” Newsted, for his part, stayed mum… even after it was announced that he would be going to Australia after all, acting as support for Testament instead of Megadeth.

And then, yesterday, Megadeth and Mustaine posted these messages on Facebook:


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AJ Maddah, the founder of Soundwave to whom Mustaine makes reference, did not hesitate to get on Twitter and respond (transcription courtesy of The PRP):

“Dave, we have been friends for a long time and I love you. Your family is like my own. But the only people being punished here are the fans. We took instructions from your representatives and we acted on those instructions as we would with any other artist. I realise that you fired your agent and manager and appointed new ones during the process… And that there may have been misunderstandings or miscommunications but none of those were at our end.

“Despite of this, I sent you a statement regarding possible misunderstandings/miscommunications, apologising to fans, etc, …even though my people did everything by the book and correct protocol was undertaken getting approvals for supports. There are strings of emails supporting this, including ones forwarded with instructions to remove certain artists. I am not sure where and how you believe you are owed an apology.

“And if you are, it should be from your own reps! All you are doing by canceling is punishing the fans who have had no part in any of this. Your reps approved your supports and sent clear instructions.

“They even approved artwork and press release. If you have a quarrel, or you were not consulted then your issue is with your reps and not Australian reps or your old friend! So here it is Dave. I apologize for whatever slight you think I have done you. So, does this mean tour is back on?”

Maddah also claimed that he has attempted to contact Mustaine to discuss the issue personally via means other than Twitter, but hasn’t heard back — “Got a call from his agent apologising for his behaviour. That’s about it.” Mustaine still has yet to publicly respond, and Newsted is still staying quiet, too, presumably because he’s somewhere smokin’ a j, watching all this drama unfold and laughing his ass off.

Of course, nobody knows for sure what really happened here… but the court of public opinion doesn’t seem to be in Mustaine’s favor right now. Part of that has to do with the fact that Mustaine has spent the past several years seemingly going out of his way to look like a putz, and part of it has to do with the fact that Maddah and the other organizers of Soundwave don’t really have any reason to lie (and even if they are lying, Maddah is right — Mustaine isn’t really punishing anyone here but his fans).

But I guess we’ll see what happens next! If I was Maddah, I’d release those e-mails “with instructions to remove certain artists” and settle this shit once and for all, but he seems like a much more level-headed dude than I am.

Oh well. At least Testament fans are in for a treat!

Thanks: Rhys G.

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