Dave Mustaine was born on September the 13th 1961 in La Mea, California. He joined the band in late 1981 and remained with them until 11 April 1983. During his short time in Metallica, Dave Mustaine (lead guitar) toured with the band, co-wrote several songs which were later featured on the albums "Kill 'Em All" and "Ride The Lightning" and recorded several songs with the band, including the "No Life Til Leather" demo tape.
In LA at the end of 1982, Lars and James the self appointed heads of the band decided that if they were going to progress towards a more professional league then a few changes would have to be made. Problems had arisen with Dave Mustaine which went beyond simple onstage competition. "Dave was an incredibly talented guy" said Brian Slagel, "But he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He'd get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn't deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but I guess they could all hold their liquor better than Dave, and I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time."
One of the final straws for the band was on the road trip from San Francisco to New York to meet up with Johnny Z. The band nearly didn't make it: a crash with a jeep during a snow storm near Wyoming left the bands truck in a ditch. No-one was hurt, but as the incident occurred while Dave Mustaine was drink driving the others (James, Lars and Cliff) made a mental note that as soon as they started the new phase of their career on the east coast they had to get rid of him.
Dave Mustaine's last gig with Metallica was on a Saturday night in New York on a bill that also included Venom and Vandenburg. After discussing the problem the next day (Sunday) with new manager Johnny Z over a few crates of beer, Hetfield woke the volatile guitarist on the Monday morning to tell him on behalf of the others that he had an hour to pack his bags and leave as they had booked him on a greyhound airlines "flight" back home. It was a painful decision and the band tried to soften the blow by heading into Manhattan that night and drowning their sorrows in a bottle of vodka. Nonetheless it was a decision that had to be made.
Today Johnny Z refuses to elaborate on the events surrounding Mustaine's exit. "The true story about Dave Mustaine will never be told, because there's something of a pact between Dave, Metallica and myself," he says. "All the pain, all the guilt and all the blame came to rest last year, and so now it really is time to let sleeping dogs lie." At the time, however, there wasn't a great deal of love lost between those involved.
"Basically," Mustaine told Metal Forces fanzine shortly after re-emerging with his new band, Megadeth, "when they told me to leave I packed in about 20 seconds and I was gone. I wasn't upset at all as I wanted to start a solo project during the middle of Metallica anyway".
Dave Mustaine's replacement Kirk Hammett from the band Exodus would take up the lead guitar position in Metallica.