Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Disputes Claim in Metal Blade Founder Brian Slagel’s New Book


Friends, you’re never gonna believe this, but the usually zen-like Dave Mustaine is angry about something. I know, I know. I was really surprised, too.

What irked Megadave? According to The PRP, it’s the below passage from For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records, the new book from Metal Blade founder and all-around-legend Brian Slagel:

“The only band that I didn’t get that I wished I had was Megadeth. It was between us and a brand new label called Combat, which was part of the Important distribution firm that we’d started working out with.

“Late in 1984 they’d decided that the whole metal thing was starting to happen and they wanted to get on it by creating their own label.

“The first band that came onto their radar (and ours at the same time) was Megadeth. In the end, it came down to just a thousand dollars. We had offered them seven thousand dollars, but Combat offered eight, so they went with Combat.

‘Well, maybe I could have gotten a little more money together.’ But really, at that time, seven thousand dollars was absolutely the most we had ever offered anybody.

“Most of the stuff we were doing involved spending $1,600 to maybe $3,500, at the high end, to make a full record.

“Seven grand was a lot of money. I remember Dave Mustaine writing me a really long, heartfelt letter saying how he really wanted to be on Metal Blade, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

If you read that and your reaction was “What about Slagel’s story could possibly have offended Mustaine?”, well, I’m right there with you. But offended Mustaine was:

think Mustaine means to imply that Metal Blade actually offered Megadeth less than $7,000. And if we take him at his word, well… uh… so what? The key issue upon which no one seems to disagree is that Combat made a higher offer, and so Megadeth went with Combat. 99.9% of all bands would have done the same thing; it’s not as though in those days anyone knew what Metal Blade would become. It seems like Mustaine is upset that Slagel claims he went with Combat even though their bid was only a little higher than Metal Blade’s… except, again, why is that worth getting upset about? Megadeth are one of the most revered metal bands of all time; Metal Blade is one of the most revered metal labels of all time. In the end, everything worked out for everyone.

Slagel, for his part, kept it classy when responding to Mustaine:

If you asked me who I thought was telling the truth here, I’d say “Who cares? WHAT IS THE BIG FUCKING DEAL?!?” If you put a gun to my head and made me offer an opinion, I’d say Slagel is telling the truth, because Mustaine has a reputation for being a real turd and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone says an unkind word about Slagel (plus, we know Mustaine was less-than-sober in 1984, so presumably his memory from that period isn’t razor-sharp).

Regardless, Mustaine certainly didn’t help his case by getting so very pissy over something that in no way seems worth getting pissy about. He also gave Slagel’s book a ton of free advertising, since now every metal site on the web is going to cover this story. So, basically, Mustaine is behaving like a schmuck. Again.

There, Dave. Now you can go ahead and be offended.

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