MEGADETH founder and frontman Dave Mustaine has announced the return of original bassist David Ellefson (1983-2002) to the iconic multi-platinum group. This reunion is appropriately timed to MEGADETH's upcoming historic month-long "Rust In Peace" 20th anniversary tour which launches March 1 in Spokane, WA. At these incredibly special shows, MEGADETH will play their landmark, genre-defining 1990 album "Rust In Peace" in its entirety, in addition to other MEGADETH favorites.
"This shows the power of brotherly love and forgiveness," Mustaine says. "David Ellefson belongs in MEGADETH. Next we are going to show you the power of getting your asses kicked...HARD!"
David Ellefson concurs: "This is a huge moment for all of us, band and fans alike. It is a great celebration of the music from one of the biggest landmark albums of our career."
Ellefson will join Mustaine and MEGADETH band members Shawn Drover (drums) and Chris Broderick (guitar) on tour in support of the group's current CD, "Endgame", which has received some of the highest critical accolades of the band's career.
"We'd like to thank James Lomenzo for several years of loyal service on the bass, and wish him the very best," Mustaine adds.
Ellefson filed suit against Mustaine in 2004, claiming, among other things, breach of fiduciary obligation, libel and emotional distress.
Speaking to Cindy Scull of the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas radio station 97.1 The Eagle Rocks in September 2009, Dave Mustaine stated about Lomenzo's addition to MEGADETH, "When Junior [Ellefson] and I parted ways, I thought, well, even though I don't care for this guy anymore after suing me, I certainly know it's gonna be some big shoes to fill. . . And when James Lomenzo came in... I was comparing James MacDonough [Ellefson's initial replacement in MEGADETH] to Junior a lot, and it wasn't working. But when Lomenzo came in, he plays as good as Junior does, and he sings better, because Junior couldn't sing. James was part of that WHITE LION thing way back in the '80s, and he can sing, man — he can sing really good."
In a fall 2009 interview with Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Dave Mustaine was asked whether he and Ellefson have mended their differences. "Well, I forgave him, but I'll never play with him again," Mustaine replied. "I talked to him a little while ago about coming back and playing with us when I first took MEGADETH out of the ashes, and then there was a period after that where we discussed it again. It's just not right, [and] it'll never be right. The guy, his butt grew together when I called him Junior, and I'm thinking, 'What the hell is wrong with that?' If it's that nit-picky where you can't even call somebody a nickname he's had for 20 frickin' years, it's like, things have changed. I mean, like I said, he's a good bass player. I'm sure his band... whatever it's called... I think it's F5 or something. There's several F5s, though. So he's the one in the band without the girl singer. But I'm sure that if it's meant to be for him, he's gonna be successful again; if not, I know he's happy doing his thing [working as an as an artist relations representative] with Peavey [manufacturer of musical equipment, gear and accessories]. The bottom line is I still respect and appreciate what he did for me being the bass player in MEGADETH for so long. Although what he did to me was very, very hurtful — especially airing all of the stuff that happened, because a lot of the stuff wasn't true; some of it was true, and I made mistakes — I'm human; I make mistakes — and I made amends for it. But even still, having made amends, it didn't matter; I was still in this lawsuit [that Ellefson filed against Mustaine shortly after Mustaine announced that he was reforming MEGADETH with a new lineup]. And that was kind of hurtful. But the bottom line is I went out to Arizona and I met him, and I said, 'I forgive you.' When I became a Christian, I really, really [didn't wanna] be another one of these idiots that are Christians who walk around and they embarrass themselves. I don't tell people how to live their lives, I don't tell people, 'You need to go to church,' 'cause that's not my place; I've got enough wrong with me right now where I would be a complete hypocrite. But I did know that if I continued to hold on to that bitterness for him, who would be hurting? Me. Because [Ellefson] doesn't care if I forgive him or not. I mean, I'm sure it made him feel better, because when he lost, he lost a lot — he lost me, he lost the band, he lost a lot of fans, he lost a lot of money... He had to pay all my court costs and everything. But the bottom line, again, I forgave him. Now, does that mean we're gonna swap spit and Christmas cards and stuff like that? No."
Photos below by Stephanie Cabral
MEGADETH 2010 (left to right): Shawn Drover (drums), David Ellefson (bass), Dave Mustaine (guitar, vocals), Chris Broderick (guitar):
MEGADETH 2010 (left to right): Shawn Drover (drums), Dave Mustaine (guitar, vocals), Chris Broderick (guitar), David Ellefson (bass)