During a recent appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn‘s “No F*ckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn” podcast, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson recounted the experience of listening to METALLICA‘s debut album, Kill ‘Em All, for the first time with Dave Mustaine, a mere three months after after MEGADETH frontman was kicked from METALLICA.
“[The record] got sent out to us [by mail]. I remember [MEGADETH‘s then-guitarist] Greg [Handevidt] — he remembers in detail sitting there for like an hour of silence, or 38 minutes of silence, opening the box, looking at the record, opening the shrink wrap and putting it on the turntable,” Ellefson said. It was obviously a weird moment, ’cause me and Greg are there going, ‘Oh my God. This is the moment.’ It’s like that moment you probably see your ex with somebody else.
“The pictures are there, and we were sitting there listening to it. [Dave was] listening to it, just staring at the speakers in complete silence, studying the songs. And I remember me and Greg sitting around him, just kind of nervously going, ‘Oh my God. What’s the reaction gonna be to this?’ And I remember one of the first things he said, he goes, ‘He f*cking ripped off my solos.’ That was Dave‘s first reaction — that Kirk [Hammett] had played his solos. They’re not entirely the same, but to some degree.”
“I remember that was a very personal thing to Dave — the solos,” he continued. “At that point, those songs at least were well known in the [San Francisco] Bay Area, and people knew of those songs, and that demo had been traded around, so people knew. Dave definitely put the stamp and the die had been cast on that demo, the No Life ‘Til Leather demo. And you know how Dave plays — what he plays he plays night after night after night. It’s a written part of the song. It’s not some ad-libby, groovy jam solo.
“What’s been recorded, that’s there forever — that’s exactly the way it’s played night after night,” Ellefson added. “So to Dave, the solo was as much a part of the composition — it wasn’t a blues jam. And then, obviously, seeing the way the credits were on the record — songs Dave had written and brought it, and now the credits were divided up. So probably a lot like a divorce.
“He was pissed. And that was that moment that I think was, like, ‘Oh, God. Here’s the reality of it.’ And, of course, for me, I’m, like, ‘What’s the big deal? We’ve got our own band. We’re doing our own thing.’ But at the same time, we had to be respectful. Obviously, this was Dave coming out of this big group that we had not heard of yet, METALLICA.”
You can watch full interview below.