DAVE MUSTAINE Says METALLICA's Co-Manager Called Him 'A Pussy' Before Yankee Stadium Concert

DAVE MUSTAINE Says METALLICA's Co-Manager Called Him 'A Pussy' Before Yankee Stadium Concert

Dave Mustaine says that METALLICA's manager called him a "pussy" after he was faced with the prospect of having to cancel MEGADETH's concert at the Yankee Stadium due to a health issue.

The so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — played their last concert on September 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Two days prior to the event, rumors spread that MEGADETH had pulled out of the concert so that Mustaine could undergo surgery for stenosis, a neck and spine condition that he said was caused by "years of headbanging." Mustaine eventually had a change of heart and decided to go through with the performance, but struggled through the set due to the pain.

During an appearance on "The Jasta Show" podcast, Mustaine recalled how an allegedly offensive remark from METALLICA co-manager Peter Mensch gave him the inspiration to perform that day six years ago despite the physical challenges he was facing.

"When I did the 'Big Four' concert at Yankee Stadium and had my neck in a neck brace riding on a golf cart to the stage, I had tape all over the stage that said, 'Don't headbang,'" Mustaine said (hear audio below). "I would have died if I headbanged that night because I was in an emergency surgery room two days before, ready to have my neck operated on. And I called up my manager, Mark Adelman, at the time, and I said, 'Look, I played with METALLICA, ANTHRAX and SLAYER before, I've played New York before, I've played a baseball stadium before, so none of this is new to me. And I have to cancel because I need emergency surgery.' So, allegedly, Adelman tells this to METALLICA's management — whatever the guy with the name of a penis, whatever his name is... It was Dick or Peter or something... Peter! So [Peter] said I was a pussy. And so I went, 'Okay. All right. Wrap me up. I'm going to New York.' So they gave me a bunch of injections in my neck and put me in a neck brace and I flew out there and I played the concert and I came back. And I figured, nobody else knows about this except for him, and who's the real pussy now?"

Mustaine went on to point out that both James Hetfield (METALLICA) and Tom Araya (SLAYER) had undergone the same surgery in the years prior. Like Mustaine, the two musicians were forced to cut down on their stage activity as a result of their injuries.

Asked by "The Jasta Show" host Jamey Jasta how his neck is doing more than half a decade after the operation, Mustaine said: "[My] neck is okay [now]. The range of motion — because you have a plate in there, the bones that were fused together has lost mobility — so, consequently, the joint above and below are taking more work than necessary, so I have to be careful. 'Cause I have arthritis degenerative disc disease and stenosis in my neck besides the fact that I had that fusion done. So it's just… You know, almost 40 years of headbanging, it's gonna do something to you."

In the hours prior to the Yankee Stadium concert, Mustaine gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine in which he credited his faith in God for helping him perform that day.

"We called yesterday and said I couldn't make [the gig]," he said at the time. "And then I thought about it and I thought, 'You know what? I trust God and I know He's got me in His hands. I know that He hasn't brought me this far through all this adversity and done all this reconciliation with all the [other] bands [the bill] and us all getting along this well to have the finale show [of the 'Big Four' tour] here in the States stopped. And I just thought, either God's everything or it's nothing, and I believe in Him, so that's why I'm here."

Mustaine later told the NY Hard Rock Music Examiner that he was "supposed to not do [the Yankee Stadium] show. I'd been laying in the emergency room getting ready to have them put me to sleep, and I'd said we had to cancel the concert," he said. "And one of the people associated with the concert said I was a pussy, and I thought, 'I'm a pussy. I'm getting ready to have two major spinal surgeries done and I'm a pussy. Okay.' Obviously, you don't know what pussy is, because that's not pussy."

In a 2013 interview, Araya said that the only thing that was standing in the way of further "Big Four" concerts was "the politics of character in one particular band." He continued: "We had an issue that came up on the New York show, which really freaked everybody out, but the New York show happened. I think, in all honesty, that was the last time we did the 'Big Four.'"

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