|Years active||1978–2002, 2004–present|
|Label(s)||Loud, Combat, Capitol, Sanctuary, Roadrunner, Tradecraft|
David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961 in La Mesa, California, USA) is the lead/rhythm guitarist, main songwriter, and vocalist for the American heavy metal band Megadeth. He currently resides in San Diego, California. Mustaine was also the first lead guitarist and co-songwriter of Metallica. In 2009 he appeared as the No. 1 position in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. Mustaine was also ranked eighty-ninth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.
Mustaine was born on September 13, 1961 in La Mesa, California, to Emily and John Mustaine. When his parents divorced, he spent much of his youth with his mother and sisters moving constantly to avoid contact with his father. By the age of 15, Mustaine had rented his own apartment and was surviving financially by dealing drugs. One of his clients was often short of cash, but worked in a record store, so she offered him albums by artists such as Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and Judas Priest in trade, which helped form his taste in heavy metal. In the late 1970s, Mustaine started to play electric guitar, most notably a B.C. Rich and joined a band known as Panic for a short time. Mustaine is of Irish, Finnish and French descent, on his father's side, and a German Jew, on his mother's.
In 1981, Mustaine left Panic to join Metallica as the lead guitarist. Metallica's drummer had posted an ad in a local newspaper, The Recycler, looking for a lead guitarist. In his own words, Mustaine remembers his first meeting with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich: "I was convinced that I should be in the band and went to rehearsal. I was tuning up when all the other guys in the band were in another room. They weren't talking to me, so I went in and said, 'What the fuck, am I in or not?!', 'You've got the job.' I couldn't believe how easy it had been and suggested that we get some beer to celebrate."
Mustaine's membership in Metallica would last less than two years. Brian Slagel, owner of Metal Blade Records, recalls in an interview: "Dave was an incredibly talented guy, but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He'd get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn't deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more...much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time."
On one occasion Mustaine brought his dog to rehearsal. The dog jumped up onto the car of Metallica bassist Ron McGovney and scratched the paint. Hetfield allegedly proceeded to yell at Mustaine's dog and kicked it in anger. Mustaine responded by physically attacking Hetfield and McGovney and yelled at Ulrich. Mustaine was fired following the altercation. The next day, Mustaine asked to be allowed back in the band and was granted his request. Another incident occurred when Mustaine, who had been drinking, poured a full can of beer down the neck and into the pick-ups of Ron McGovney's bass. When McGovney tried playing it, he received an electrical shock which he claims 'blew him across the room and shocked the hell out of him'. McGovney then told Mustaine and Hetfield to leave his house and left the band shortly after.
In April 1983, after Metallica had driven to New York to record their debut album, Mustaine was officially fired from the group because of his alcoholism, hard drug abuse, overly aggressive behavior, and personality clashes with founding members Hetfield and Ulrich — an incident Mustaine refers to as "no warning, no second chance". The band packed up Mustaine's gear, drove him to a Greyhound bus station in Rochester, NY, and put him on a bus bound for Los Angeles. It was on this busride that Mustaine scribbled some lyrical ideas on the back of a muffin wrapper, which would later become the song Set the World Afire from the 1988 Megadeth album So Far, So Good... So What!
During his short time in Metallica, Dave Mustaine toured with the band, co-wrote four songs which appeared on Kill 'Em All, and co-wrote two songs which would eventually appear on Ride the Lightning. Mustaine has also made unproven claims to have written parts of "Leper Messiah" from the Master of Puppets album. He also claims it was his idea to write and record a song featuring the children's prayer Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep featured in the songs "Go to Hell" and "Enter Sandman". He also recorded several songs with the band including the No Life 'Till Leather demo tape. A few of the songs he wrote with Hetfield and Ulrich went on to be re-recorded by Metallica. The most well-known of these is "The Four Horsemen" from Kill 'Em All, which Mustaine wrote and later released on his debut album with the original lyrics as "Mechanix".
Main article: Megadeth In 1983, he concluded that one of his goals in life should be to create a band more successful than Metallica. That summer he met bass player David Ellefson and formed Megadeth. He then enlisted guitarist Greg Handevidt and drummer Dijon Carruthers. After a series of unsuccessful vocalist auditions, Mustaine elected to take on those duties himself in addition to playing lead guitar. In 1984, Megadeth cut a three-song demo with drummer Lee Raush.Kerry King joined the band for a few shows. However he opted to leave Megadeth after less than a week so he could continue working on his band Slayer. Jazz-influenced drummer Gar Samuelson replaced Raush. In November, the band signed a deal with Combat Records, a month before guitarist Chris Poland came onboard and the band played their first shows in New York.
In May 1985, Megadeth released their first album Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! on Combat Records. That summer, the band toured the U.S. and Canada with Exciter, and guitarist Mike Albert replaced Poland for the tour. Poland rejoined the band in the studio in October, and the band began recording their second album for Combat. On New Year's Eve of that year, Megadeth played in San Francisco with Exodus, Metal Church, and Metallica.
In 1986, after recording Killing Is My Business..., Mustaine approached Jackson Guitars for a custom-built guitar. Jackson modified their existing Jackson King V model for Mustaine by adding 2 more frets to the standard 22 fret King V. In the 1990s the company began mass-producing a Dave Mustaine signature series Jackson King V which continued into the early 2000s.
The following year, major label Capitol Records signed Megadeth and obtained the rights to their second album, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, from Combat. Megadeth opened a U.S. tour with King Diamond and Motörhead. Their second album, released in November, is regarded as a landmark metal album. It produced the notable title track (the opening bass lick of which was used by "MTV News" segments) as well as the thrash anthem "Wake Up Dead." The videos for both songs became staples on MTV's Headbanger's Ball.
In February 1987, Megadeth opened for Alice Cooper on his Constrictor tour. The band also toured with King Diamond whose previous band, Mercyful Fate, were a huge influence on Megadeth. In March, Megadeth's first world tour began in the UK. Mustaine and Ellefson guested on the band Malice's License To Kill album. Megadeth re-recorded "These Boots" for a movie soundtrack, and that summer went on tour with Overkill and Necros. Amid drug problems and suspicions of stealing the band's equipment for drug money, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson after their last show in Hawaii.
Chuck Behler, who had been Samuelson's drum tech, became Megadeth's drummer with a guitarist named Jeff Young replacing Poland. Megadeth released their third album, So Far, So Good... So What! in January 1988. The album contains the song "In My Darkest Hour", which was composed after the death of Metallica's bass player Cliff Burton. (Mustaine said this in the liner notes of So Far, So Good... So What!). "Hook In Mouth" attacked the PMRC with gusto, although their cover of Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the UK" — despite a guest appearance from ex-Pistol Steve Jones — was ill-advised in the eyes of Allmusic's critic.
Later that year, Megadeth opened for Dio and then Iron Maiden on tour before playing the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in the UK with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, David Lee Roth, and Helloween. Shortly after, Mustaine fired Behler and Young, accusing Young of having thoughts of a relationship with Mustaine's girlfriend Diana at the time. Around this period, Mustaine found the time to produce the debut album from Seattle thrash band Sanctuary, called Refuge Denied.
Nick Menza who was Chuck Behler's drum tech joined Megadeth in 1989, and the band recorded their only track ever as a three-piece: a cover of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" for the Wes Craven-directed horror flick, Shocker. Video director Penelope Spheeris would later recount in the Megadeth episode of Behind The Music that Mustaine showed up to the video shoot so fried on heroin and other drugs that he could not sing and play guitar at the same time. Therefore, the singing and playing had to be recorded separately. Mustaine was arrested for "impaired driving" that March with seven or more drugs in his system and was forced by authorities to enter a rehabilitation program (the first of his 15 visits to the rehabilitation centre).
In February 1990, guitarist Marty Friedman (Cacophony) was auditioned to fill in the vacant lead-guitar position. In September of that year, the band joined the "Clash of the Titans" tour overseas with Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Testament. The tour began one month before Megadeth released Rust in Peace which contains "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", "Hangar 18", "Tornado Of Souls", "Take No Prisoners", (1990), which continued their commercial success. They immediately went back on the road, this time as support for Judas Priest, to promote the album.
Megadeth started off 1991 performing for 145,000 people at a festival in Brazil before starting their own world tour with Alice in Chains as their special guest. Mustaine got married in April, the same month the Rusted Pieces home video was released. That summer, the "Clash of the Titans" tour hit the U.S. featuring Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, with Alice in Chains taking the opening slot. Later that year, the Megadeth song "Go To Hell" was featured on the soundtrack to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
Mustaine collaborated in 1991 with Sean Harris from Diamond Head on the track "Crown of Worms." (Mustaine would later appear on Diamond Head's reformation album Death and Progress.) Mustaine's wife, Pamela, gave birth to their son Justis on February 11, 1992. The band was featured on another soundtrack, this time for Super Mario Bros. with the song "Breakpoint." July saw the release of Megadeth's most commercially successful record:Countdown to Extinction. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and boasted the band's most successful songs: "Symphony Of Destruction," "Sweating Bullets," and the ode to sky-diving, "High Speed Dirt." The original version of the "Symphony of Destruction" video was edited due to its depiction of a political leader being assassinated. "Skin O' My Teeth" was aired on MTV with a disclaimer from Mustaine insisting that the song did not endorse suicide. Ellefson contributed lyrics to the family-farm ballad "Foreclosure Of A Dream," and Menza wrote the lyrics about canned hunting for the title track. This album began a new, more "collaborative" Megadeth.
Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies opened for Megadeth on the Countdown To Extinction tour. MTV News invited Mustaine to cover the Democratic National Convention for them that summer. In November, the "Exposure Of A Dream" home video was released. In 1993, Mustaine guested on a new album by one of the bands who influenced his sound, Diamond Head. Mustaine began a U.S. tour with Megadeth with Stone Temple Pilots as their opening act. This tour, including a planned appearance at Budokan, was ultimately canceled due to Mustaine's continuing struggles with addiction. In June, Megadeth played Milton Keynes Bowl with Diamond Head and Metallica and later opened for Metallica for a handful or European Stadium dates. Megadeth was kicked off Aerosmith's U.S. tour after just seven dates. "Angry Again" was featured on the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Last Action Hero" while "99 Ways To Die" was featured on the "Beavis and Butthead Experience" compilation.
Megadeth spent the bulk of 1994 making Youthanasia, a much more commercial album undoubtedly inspired in part by the success of Countdown to Extinction, The band covered "Paranoid" for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath and performed on MTV's "Night Of The Living Megadeth" in celebration of the Halloween release of their new album. They began a tour the next month in South America. Youthanasia became the quickest album to go gold (500,000 units) in Canadian history and sold well throughout the world. It was an album that showed a more melodic side to the band with tracks such as "A Tout Le Monde." The album also included "Train of Consequences," which became one of the band's most memorable music videos.
Another soundtrack appearance, "Diadems" on "Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight," kicked off 1995. Megadeth spent the first two months of the year on the "Youthanasia" tour with Corrosion of Conformity in tow. In March, the Hidden Treasures compilation hit European stores. The "Evolver: The Making Of Youthanasia" home video followed in May, and Hidden Treasures made it to the U.S. and Japan in July, just in time for the start of the "Reckoning Day" tour with special guests Flotsam and Jetsam, Korn, and Fear Factory. In September the band performed at the "Monsters Of Rock" festival in South America.
A Grammy nomination for "Paranoid" began 1996 for Megadeth. Enlisting Fear singer Lee Ving, Mustaine made an album under the moniker "MD.45" with Suicidal Tendencies drummer Jimmy DeGrasso behind the kit. In September, Megadeth went back into the studio, this time in the country music hotbed of Nashville, TN. The following year's Cryptic Writings was the result.
Cryptic Writings included thrashing songs like "Vortex" and "FFF" alongside radio friendly fare like "Trust," the song which put Megadeth on the no 1 spot in the US billboard earning them many spins at rock radio. Megadeth.com launched that year and in June, the reformed Misfits opened for the band on tour. Chaos Comics released "The Cryptic Writings Of Megadeth" comic books and a remix of "Almost Honest" showed up on the "Mortal Kombat Annihilation" soundtrack. The first ever all-acoustic Megadeth performance in Buenos Aires (Argentina) closed out the year in December.
Mustaine's daughter, Electra Mustaine, was born on January 28, 1998, the same month that "Trust" was nominated for a Grammy. Megadeth played on the Howard Stern Show and that summer took part in Ozzfest. As Nick Menza sat in the hospital side-lined by a knee injury, he received a call from Mustaine informing him that his services would no longer be needed. Jimmy DeGrasso, who Mustaine had enjoyed playing with in MD.45, joined Megadeth in his place. On New Year's Eve, Megadeth opened for Black Sabbath alongside Soulfly, Slayer, and Pantera.
While touring after Cryptic Writings, Mustaine told interviewers that songs like "She Wolf" and "Vortex" had reinvigorated his love for classic metal by bands like Iron Maiden and Motörhead and that he intended to write an album that was "1/2 Peace Sells, 1/2 Cryptic Writings." However, after hearing about a comment Lars Ulrich had made in the press in which he said he wished Mustaine would take more "risks," intentions changed. Managers and producers had more input. The song "Crush 'Em" was written with the express purpose of being played in sports arenas. In later years, Mustaine would blame much of this period on Friedman's desire to go in a more "pop" direction. Recorded with producer Dann Huff, again in Nashville, Risk was released on August 31, 1999. Crush 'Em made it onto the "Universal Soldier 2" soundtrack and into WCW wrestling events (notably played live on Monday Nitro). In July, the band covered "Never Say Die" for a second Sabbath tribute. They closed the Woodstock '99 music festival and again opened for Iron Maiden in Europe. There were few other highlights in the Megadeth world in 1999, a year that ended with Marty Friedman announcing his departure from the band.
As the tour behind Risk soldiered on, Al Pitrelli replaced Friedman on the road. In April, the new lineup entered the studio to begin work on a new album a couple of months before they officially parted ways with Capitol Records. The summer was spent on the road with Anthrax and Mötley Crüe. Capitol released a "best of" collection in the fall, "Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years," featuring two brand new (and more metal-leaning) songs. With a new deal in place with Sanctuary Records, Megadeth returned to the studio toward the end of the year to finish their album and on New Year's Eve, played a show in Anchorage, Alaska.
An acoustic tour sponsored by radio stations, a press tour, and a video shoot for the song "Moto Psycho" all preceded the May, 2001 release of The World Needs A Hero. The summer was filled with festival appearances supporting AC/DC. In September, Megadeth set out across North America with Endo and Iced Earth. VH1's "Behind The Music" special on Megadeth aired that year and was later released on DVD. At the end of the year, the band filmed two shows in Arizona, which were released as the 2CD and DVD Rude Awakening.
The early part of 2002 saw the release of a remixed and re-mastered Killing Is My Business... with bonus tracks and expanded packaging, followed by "Rude Awakening."
Mustaine now writes a lesson column in Guitar World magazine.
Injury and Breakup Edit
Mustaine himself gave what he called "the Reader's Digest version" of the whole matter during an interview for SuicideGirls: "I went into retirement because my arm got hurt really bad. I broke up the band which at the time was Al Pitrelli, David Ellefson, Jimmy DeGrasso, and myself. I was having problems with Al because he liked to drink, and we didn’t want to show up at places with him drunk. Al also got married to a nice woman, but he wanted to spend time with her. After a few years, most married men are willing to die, so I figured if we got a couple years into the marriage that might have changed. But the fact was, Al wasn’t fitting. DeGrasso was really hard to be around because he was so negative all the time with his complaining about money and wanting things. Ellefson was all about 'play my songs, play my songs.' I hated being around these guys so when the arm injury happened, it was a welcome relief and an indication that I had to stop."
Mustaine went through physical therapy for his arm injury. During his recovery, he explored other areas of the music industry, including production. Contrary to what doctors had predicted, within a short time he fully recovered. However, all was mostly quiet on the Megadeth front for the better part of 2003. Mustaine left Jackson guitars, did a solo acoustic performance at a benefit show, unveiled his new ESP model at the NAMM convention, and oversaw the release of Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? as an audio DVD presented in Dolby 5.1 surround. He also remixed and remastered all of Megadeth's albums, releasing them through Capitol Records in 2004.
It was during this period that Mustaine became a Christian. He expressed his intent to withdraw from a show in Greece that had Rotting Christ opening for Megadeth.
Mustaine said on the official Megadeth website: "Yes, I did say I would prefer not to play on concerts with Satanic bands," he said. "That doesn't mean I won't, it doesn't mean I would not talk with the bands either...But to make a life-altering change and then not have some kind of effect would not have been a change at all, would it? It's not much different from staying away from booze if you have made a decision to be sober."
He added, "If I don't feel it is right for me to do something, then (I) would just respectfully decline. I would not ask that anyone be taken off if they were already confirmed...I have to draw the line and stand for my beliefs or they aren't beliefs at all, are they?"
Moreover, Mustaine stated that Christianity helped him to get back in the saddle - while baptized Lutheran, he dabbled heavily in Satanism and black magic during his teenage years, and then years after that began to identify (albeit loosely) as a Jehovah's Witness, until, finally, he became a born-again Christian.
At the same time, Mustaine's personal life once again underwent change. During the tour of Gigantour 2005, Mustaine brought with him a "spiritual counselor" to help him avoid the problems that almost cost him his life due to his prior drug addictions. This was noted recently by The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato, who explained his experience with Mustaine on Gigantour: "He had a pastor walking around with him on tour and riding on his bus, I think to help keep him on the straight and narrow path."
The Return Edit
The next year kicked things into high gear. Mustaine oversaw the remixing and re-mastering of Megadeth's entire Capitol Records catalog. All albums were re-released with bonus tracks and full liner notes. With one album remaining in his contract to Sanctuary Records, Mustaine began recording what he intended to be the first Dave Mustaine solo album with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Jimmy Sloas. Complete with guest solos from old friend Chris Poland, this project became a new Megadeth album, The System Has Failed, released September 14, 2004. One month before, Mustaine announced a new touring lineup for Megadeth: Glen Drover (King Diamond/Eidolon) and James MacDonough (Iced Earth). Nick Menza had briefly been a part of the new band before differences once again caused his departure. One week before a new US tour with Exodus supporting, new drummer (and Glen's brother) Shawn Drover (Eidolon) joined Megadeth.
The "Blackmail The Universe" tour went worldwide in February, 2005 with Diamond Head and Dungeon supporting. Capitol released a new greatest hits, Back To The Start, in June, a month before Mustaine created "Gigantour" with Dream Theater, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Symphony X, Dillinger Escape Plan, Life of Agony, and more. Throughout all of this, Mustaine had been coy in the press about whether or not this would be the "final" album and tour for his band. At a concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he announced that he would, in fact, keep Megadeth together.
"The Arsenal Of Megadeth," a two-disc anthology DVD, was released in March 2006. Bass player James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, White Lion) replaced James MacDonough in February shortly before the band headed to the Dubai Desert Rock Festival in the United Arab Emirates. On April 19, the band began recording a new album, United Abominations, at SARM studios in the UK (David Gilmour's house), they announced a worldwide deal with Roadrunner Records in May 2006. United Abominations was released worldwide on May 15, 2007. However, the album had already been leaked before its release. On January 13, 2008, Dave Mustaine confirmed that guitarist Glen Drover had quit Megadeth to focus on his family and that he had been replaced by Chris Broderick of Jag Panzer. The new lineup made its live debut in Finland on February 4 and returned to the US for Gigantour 2008 in the spring.They are set to be releasing their 12th studio album titled Endgame set to release at August 31 (UK only) and September 15 (worldwide), 2009.
According to www.ultimate-guitar.com, Mustaine is planning to open Megadeth's California recording studio to under-privileged children to teach them about rock 'n' roll. The band owns a building in San Diego, California, which has housed their recording equipment over the years. However, in a recent interview with the British music magazine Kerrang, Mustaine wanted to make better use of the studio by turning the space into a learning center for children who come from under-privileged backgrounds. In the interview, he also said he vowed to teach them how to play instruments.
In 2009 Dave Mustaine was featured in the 2009 album "Cult of Static" by Static-X.
On October 8th 2009, Dave Mustaine appeared on the Alex Jones radio show to talk about Megadeth's latest album Endgame. The title of the album was inspired by the Alex Jones film of the same name. In the live interview on Prisonplanet.tv, Mustaine explained that the cover art shows prisoners with barcode mohawks on their heads being marched into a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) camp. Alex Jones mentions how the beginning of the song Endgamesounds just like the riot police at the Pittsburgh G-20.
In the beginning of 2010, Mustaine and Megadeth embarked on a Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour, playing the album in its entirety, along with fan favorites such as Wake Up Dead, In My Darkest Hour, and Countdown to Extinction along with original bassist Dave Ellefson rejoining the band and having problems solved with Dave Mustaine.
In the summer of 2005, Mustaine launched a travelling North American metal festival. He named it Gigantour after a favorite childhood cartoon of his, Gigantor. It spanned six weeks and was co-headlined by Megadeth and Dream Theater, with a variety of other supporting metal acts such as Fear Factory and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Mustaine has been quoted as saying that his main intention when conceiving the tour was to bring the American metal audiences an eclectic and affordable alternative to Ozzfest.
The second annual Gigantour began in September 2006 and was composed of Megadeth, Lamb of God, Opeth, and Arch Enemy. The second stage bands were Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity, and The Smash Up.
The 2007 Gigantour featured Bring Me the Horizon, Static-X, Devildriver, and Lacuna Coil along with Megadeth. Megadeth appeared on their first tour to India, Bangalore in March 2008.
The 2008 installment of the tour featured Megadeth, Children of Bodom, In Flames, High on Fire, and Job for a Cowboy (and Evile for the UK and Scandinavia tour).
Megadeth Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego (from the Gigantour 2008) premiered on HDNet Sunday November 2 at 8PMET in high definition and 5.1 audio (Repeats check www.hd.net)
Mustaine used B.C. Rich Guitars early in his career (and for his entire duration with Metallica), most notably a B.C. Rich Bich 10 and later, a B.C. Rich Perfect 10 Bich, which Mustaine strung with just the regular six strings.
In March 2009, while he was guest hosting Bruce Dickinson's Friday Night Radio show, Mustaine attributed his choice of the Flying V guitar to being a fan of UFO's Michael Schenker when he was growing up.
After switching to Jackson Guitars he helped to re-design the guitar maker's version of the King V model (at the time, it was a "double Rhoads size" meaning it had two of the longer fins from the RR). The reshaped Mustaine KV1 model had slightly shorter fins, Kahler bridge and Seymour Duncan JB-4 and Jazz-2 pickups. He also specified 24 frets rather than the original King V's 22, a tradition which Jackson still keeps on its King V models today, and the KV1, as have all of Mustaine's signature models, also featured a smaller, medium fretwire compared to the extra jumbos featured on most Jacksons.
Mustaine later switched to ESP guitars. The company released the DV8 signature model in the 2004 NAMM convention also at which time Mustaine announced his ESP endorsement deal. In 2005, Mustaine and ESP teamed up to release the ESP Axxion, (pronounced Action), in order to celebrate Megadeth's 20th anniversary.(the XX in Axxion and the fretboard inlays being the number 20 in Roman numerals) The ESP Axxion and ESP DV8 were both successful and cheaper models such as the LTD-DV8 R, LTD DV200 and the LTD Axxion were released to target a bigger market.
However, on December 6, 2006, Dave Mustaine announced that he was leaving ESP guitars and shifting his endorsement to Dean Guitars. His new signature guitar was revealed during NAMM Show on 19 January 2007. The signature guitar is called the Dean VMNT. The V-shaped guitar is very similar to his earlier Jackson and ESP Signature models.The release campaign of the VMNT had a limited copy of only 150 in the world and are signed by Dave Mustaine.
"After two successful years, I have decided to leave ESP guitars. This was a business decision and had nothing to do with the guitars or the manufacturing of the guitars, and I wish the staff of ESP, both in the USA and in Japan and Korea the very best of health and prosperity. Meanwhile, I am taking my Classic Metal V known formerly as a Jackson King V1 or an ESP DV8, and my new guitar design presently known as an Axxion, which was the recipient of the Gold Award from Guitar World Magazine for 2005 for new guitar designs with me. I will also be re-introducing through my new endorsement many special models, including re-issues of my old models from over the span of my career, as well as some retro V shapes, similar to the formerly known Jackson Y2KV or a Gibson Flying V. I will make my announcement and be attending the 2007 NAMM show to meet Megadeth fans and all metal fans, musicians of all styles-especially guitarists."
Today he uses his new signature model by Dean Guitars, the Dean VMNT. The USA model was available briefly in limited run after its release, although the Korean and Chinese models are in continuous production. Mustaine uses the USA models on stage.
Dave Mustaine has also recently collaborated with Marshall in order to produce the 1960DM Dave Mustaine Signature Cabinets. He is now using his signature Marshall cabinets on tour.
His new guitar shape, debuting in 2010 with Dean guitars will be a unique new shape for Dave, resembling the Gibson Explorer. This new guitar is named the Dean Zero, with sharper points. Dave has made a few appearances so far with this guitar on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and on shows during the Australian tour with Slayer. He has also used the guitar in the later dates of the 2009 Endgame tour. He says he still uses his V guitars so he can grab on to the lower horn with his legs with certain songs.
Dave has also used Ovation acoustic guitars for most of his career. However, he stopped endorsing the company after receiving a signature acoustic from Dean, dubbed the Mako.
In 2004, Guitar World magazine ranked Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman together at #30 on the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.
In 2009 Mustaine was named the No. 1 player in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. As he told Classic Rock magazine in September 2009: "It was especially sweet when I found out that Joel has written books on Metallica... Every page I turned, I became more excited. I get to No.5 and it’s Kirk Hammett, and I thought, ‘Thank you, God’. At that point it didn’t matter [which position I was]. To be better than both of them [James Hetfield and Hammett] meant so much – it’s been one of the pet peeves of my career and I’ve never known how to deal with it... All I thought was… I win!"
Dave Mustaine has appeared on various television shows:
- In 1992 Mustaine covered the Democratic National Convention for MTV. He also hosted the MTV2 Television Network's series Headbanger's Ball on two occasions: once on a tribute to Dimebag Darrell in December 2004 and the second time as a special guest on an episode which aired August 27, 2005. He also played the song "Gears of War" with Megadeth on an episode about the video game release under the same name.
- Dave Mustaine makes an appearance on the 1998 The Drew Carey Show episode entitled "In Ramada Da Vida." When Drew and the gang decide to start a band, they audition guitarists, including Mustaine. After playing a lightning fast guitar solo, Lewis Kiniski tells Mustaine "Don't be nervous son, just slow down," to which Mustaine replies, "It's supposed to sound that way." Drew replies by saying, "Yeah, sure it is..... next."
- In the 1996 Black Scorpion sci-fi series episode Love Burns Mustaine plays Torchy Thompson, a vengeful arsonist.
- Dave Mustaine and Megadeth appear in the Duck Dodgers 2005 episode "In Space, Nobody can Hear you Rock/Ridealong Calamity", the second-to-last episode of the series. In the show, Mustaine plays a cryogenically frozen version of himself, possibly a reference to the "Hangar 18" video since the video ends with the whole line up of Megadeth cryogenically frozen. He is unfrozen because the main cast requires an incredibly loud noise to overload a Martian sonic weapon, and "nobody rocks harder, faster, or louder than Dave Mustaine." He is referred to in the episode as being "genetically engineered to rock and raised by wolverines". During this episode he played the song "Back in the Day" from the album The System Has Failed. Mustaine appeared again in the show in the final episode, Bonafide Hero: Captain Duck Dodgers.
- Mustaine appeared on the second episode of season 8 on the television show Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
- Mustaine and Megadeth appeared in promotional videos for the NHL team Philadelphia Flyers in response to an inflammatory comment by Mike Wise in the Washington Post which suggested that some of the Flyers' fans could work security for Megadeth. Mustaine invited them to do so. Megadeth all wore Flyers' jerseys. Mustaine sported the one of team captain Jason Smith, while other members wore the jerseys of Danny Brière, Martin Biron and Mike Richards.
- Mustaine appeared in an episode of Rock & Roll Jeopardy! along with George Clinton and Moon Zappa, where he won with an extremely high lead.
- Dave Mustaine has also appeared in the Classic Album documentary of Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast.
- Dave Mustaine has appeared in the heavy metal documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years".
- Dave Mustaine has appeared in the documentary "Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash metal".
- Mustaine appeared in the vote campaign for St Arnaud global nations awards he was accompanied by his old friend Jake Rose. He commented at the end of the day the campaign was a complete success.
- Dave played the National Anthem on guitar before MTV's Rock 'n' Jock Softball game.
- Dave Mustaine now hosts a syndicated radio show on the iHeartRadio network in his spare time, titled "Megadeth Radio".
- Dave Mustaine now lives in Fallbrook, California.