Dave MustaineSeptember 13, 1961 in La Mesa, California) has been a prominent heavy metal musician for over twenty years.
His parents divorced when he was seven, and he grew up bouncing around various low-income Southern California suburbs. As a teenager, he was often left on his own or with his sisters and their (sometimes abusive) husbands.
In 1981, he left the band Panic to join Metallica, serving as lead guitarist for two years before being fired in April of 1983 for his drug use and personality clashes with founding members Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield who had resolved to keep Metallica as a 'clean' band.
According to the story, Ulrich had posted an ad in the local newspapers for a lead guitarist. Mustaine arrived, set up his amplifiers and started his sound check. So impressed were they with his sound check, that they immediately asked him to join them without even asking for a demo tape.
Mustaine returned to Los Angeles after departing Metallica and formed the heavy metal group Megadeth with bassist David Ellefson. Mustaine was the group's main songwriter. While the band began to achieve success, Mustaine's drug problems deepened as he became addicted to heroin.
After an impaired driving arrest in 1990, he entered a 12 step recovery program, and has reportedly remained clean and sober since; he married in 1991, and became a father in '92. Also in 1992, he served as a most unlikely correspondent to the 1992 Democratic National Convention for MTV News.
The band continued to release successful records on a regular schedule, even as it went through repeated turnover in musicians. Mustaine also collaborated on several projects with other musicians, including the band MD.45 with Lee Ving of Fear.
In January 2002, Mustaine suffered a compressed radial nerve in his left hand and arm, making it impossible for him to play guitar. In April of that year, Megadeth was disbanded.
Mustaine is still going through physical therapy for his injury, and exploring other areas of the music industry, including production.
Mustaine has now fully recovered from his arm injury and has remixed and remastered 8 of the releases on Capitol records. They are set to be released July 27th, 2004. Megadeth will also be putting out a new album called "The System Has Failed" on September 14th, 2004. The lineup on the album is Dave Mustaine on guitar & vocals, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Jimmy Lee Sloas on bass, and former guitarist Chris Poland on lead guitar. A tour is going to follow which will feature Dave Mustaine, Jimmy Lee Sloas, and former drummer Nick Menza on drums. A lead guitarist has not been picked yet. It is unknown at this time if this will be Megadeth's last album.