In a new interview with Darren Paltrowitz (host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast), MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke about his new book, "Rust In Peace: The Inside Story Of The Megadeth Masterpiece", which details the making of the band's iconic record "Rust In Peace". Asked if he got to present his commentary first before the other people involved in the making of the record offered their point of view, or if it was the other way around, Mustaine said (hear audio below): "We kind of went along as the book took shape. I talked with [co-author] Joel [Selvin] regularly, and he spoke with a lot of the other contributors to the book, and we just started to piece everything together. It was much like the Tower of Babel — it just continued to grow.
"One of the things I thought was really funny is how the content changed, not only in what it was, but how it was presented," he continued. "You're listening to one guy, and then, a couple of paragraphs later, the same dude totally [ended up] contradicting himself. So that was really fun and very rewarding for me, because it shows you that some people forget. It's not the end of the world, as they do. And the other thing is that I'm not as bad as they make me out to be. And you can see that — where they say stuff, and then, later on in the book, they'll say something totally different. Which I appreciate them telling the truth. I think it's great, 'cause I wanted everybody to know how truly talented those guys were."
Mustaine went on to single out former MEGADETH guitarist Chris Poland, who famously sued Dave over the 2004 reissue of "Rust In Peace", which contained demos on which Poland performed.
"Chris Poland, as much as I don't really like the guy, he was a great guitar player, and I wanted to give him a shot when we did the 2004 reissues for 'Peace Sells' and 'Rust In Peace', and I wanted to put that song out on the 'Rust In Peace' reissue," Dave said. "He got involved in a nuisance lawsuit, I think it was, and we just ended our friendship. And I thought, 'God, that was such a waste.'
"There was a little teeny mountain that was right out by where we live, and I said I could have just as soon bought that piece of dirt there than sell Chris's friendship, and I'm so bummed that this happened," Mustaine added. "'Cause I thought it would have been terrific to have him on the record. [When] people say, 'Hey, this sounds like Marty Friedman.' No, Marty Friedman sounded like this, because Chris played it first."
Poland was a member of MEGADETH from 1984 to 1987, during which time he performed on the band's classic albums "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!" and "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" He is also a featured soloist on the group's 2004 album, "The System Has Failed".
Back in 2004, Poland and/or his management and attorney filed a lawsuit against Mustaine regarding the use of the three "Rust In Peace" demos on the album's reissue without Chris's permission. According to MEGADETH's webmaster, Mustaine included the demos because he thought Chris would be "thankful for the promotion, the tipping of the hat, and showing the fans how Marty [Friedman, MEGADETH's guitarist during some of the post-Poland years] had actually been influenced by some of Chris's solo selections for those songs." Chris also allegedly tried to sue Dave for defamation of character because Dave called him a "thief," but Chris's attorney "dropped that after he found out that Chris had actually taken the band's gear and sold it for drugs," according to MEGADETH's webmaster. "Remember, there is a confession in the VH1 'Behind the Music' on MEGADETH," the webmaster said.
Chris eventually settled for $9,500 and thereby ended a professional relationship with Dave and MEGADETH.
Poland discussed the legal issues surrounding the 2004 reissue of "Rust In Peace" in a 2018 interview with the As The Story Grows podcast. He said: "When I did 'The System Has Failed', [Dave] was working on adding the demos to a re-release of 'Rust In Peace'. And I wasn't going to get paid, but I didn't realize that until it came out. I was like, 'Wait a minute — I'm not getting paid for this.' And I tried to call Dave at least a dozen times, and I never heard back from him. Then I called Dave's manager a dozen times, and he wouldn't get back to me. The last time I called him, I said, 'Hey, man. If you don't call me back, I'm going to call [my lawyer], and we're going to have to get into it.' [The manager] calls me back and totally insults me, saying, 'You played a couple solos. So what?' And I'm like, 'What do you mean, 'So what?'' 'Well, Dave thought that you would do it for the fans.' I said, 'Okay. Is everybody else that played on that demo doing it for the fans? Are they getting paid?' He said, 'Chris, that's not the point.' I said, 'Listen, man, we have to do something here. I'm not just going to walk away. I love the fans, but I'm just not going to do it. If everybody else is getting a performance royalty for this, I want one.' I want everybody to know that it wasn't a nuisance suit, it wasn't anything like that. I made every attempt to work it out, and they just ignored me."
For the past couple of decades, Poland's main musical focus has been the fusion band OHM:, which has released several full-length studio albums to date.
"Rust In Peace: The Inside Story Of The Megadeth Masterpiece" is due on September 8 via Hachette Books.