Dave Mustaine says that he has "tremendous respect for Kirk Hammett," claiming that the METALLICA guitarist was "almost 100% accurate" in his recent assessment of the MEGADETH mainman's relationship with his former band.
Mustaine, who was the original lead guitarist of METALLICA, was dismissed from the band by drummer Lars Ulrich in 1983. He was replaced by Hammett and went on to form MEGADETH and achieve worldwide success on his own.
Mustaine feuded with the members of METALLICA for more than two decades before finally patching things up over the last few years. He has jammed with his ex-bandmates on several occasions during "Big Four" shows and at METALLICA's 30th-anniversary concerts in 2011.
During an appearance on the "Word Of Wheeler" podcast, Hammett spoke about his current relationship with Mustaine, saying that "I've always seen Dave as someone who was just really, really sad, really angry, really frustrated about his situation with METALLICA, and he never could let that go. And, you know, I've always shown a lot of empathy for him, understanding that he was just pissed off. It's the equivalent of the woman of your life leaving you. I mean, really. When your band kicks you out… I've never been kicked out, but I can imagine it's a horrible experience, especially if it's a band that you feel really passionately about. So I can understand Dave's plight over all these years. But I will also say that when we did these 30th-anniversary shows at the Fillmore [in San Francisco], and we invited Dave to play on all those 'Kill 'Em All' songs, man, it felt so good to have him playing on stage. It felt perfectly fine for me to, while Dave was playing the guitar solos, for me to go over to James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] and play the rhythm parts with James, and it wasn't a big deal at all. And I could see from the look on Dave's face and just from his whole attitude that it was super-cathartic for him. And I could see how it was helping him. And so I just took it all in stride. And it's interesting, because since then, I think, Dave's relationship with us is a little bit better now. I'd like to think that that whole thing just kind of healed some scars that needed to be healed."
After Hammett's comments about Mustaine were first reported by BLABBERMOUTH.NET on Saturday and picked up by other music sites the following day, Mustaine took to his Twitter to respond. He wrote: "I have tremendous respect for @KirkHammett and I appreciate his take on this. he is almost 100% accurate...almost. I wish him the best."
Mustaine, who was a member of METALLICA for less than two years, from 1981 to 1983, was not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band during the April 2009 ceremony at Cleveland, Ohio's Public Auditorium.
Ulrich later explained to The Plain Dealer that Mustaine was not included because "you've got to kind of cap it somewhere. Dave Mustaine never played on any METALLICA records. No disrespect to him. But there [were] half a dozen other people that were in the lineup in the early days. We thought . . . the fair thing to do would be to include anybody that played on a METALLICA record." He added: "Dave Mustaine was in the band for 11 months, predominantly in 1982... I'm not trying to play it down. I have nothing but respect and admiration for his accomplishments since."
(Thanks: Chris Marti)