Dave Mustaine's firing from Metallica way back in 1983 remains one of the most infamous oustings in metal history. As the story goes, the guitarist and his former bandmates did not get along in their short time together, and after a series of incidents prior to the release of Metallica's 1983 debut, Kill 'Em All — including a time when Mustaine punched James Hetfield in the face for kicking one of his dogs — Mustaine was fired. And hence, Megadeth was born.
That was nearly 40 years ago, and in the time since his messy departure, Mustaine has gotten back on civil terms with the Metallica guys. During a segment of our new video featuring Mustaine answering fan questions, the thrash pioneer took the time to emphasize his respect for Hetfield and even admit that it was foolish of him to slug him all those years ago.
"I saw the thing with James on stage where he was saying that he was going through a rough patch," Mustaine said, referring to a widely-circulated video from earlier this year in which Hetfield admitted onstage that he had been dealing with some anxieties about getting older.
"I was sad to see that because it's been one of those really weird love-hate relationships. And the whole reason that I ever even pursued any of this was I really liked those guys. If I didn't like 'em, I would just say, 'Fucking flush the toilet and be done with it.'
"He's always been somebody that I really liked playing with. I wished things wouldn't have ended the way that they did. But que sera, sera [Spanish expression for "what will be, will be"]. It was a dumb thing that I did by taking my dog up to practice, and it was even dumber to punch [James].
"I really respect him and I respect his playing. And I hope he knows that there are a lot of people out there, like me, that like him as a person and don't give two fucks about him being in Metallica."
Watch Mustaine's responses to all of the fan questions below.