News

Aug 10th

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We only have a few copies left of The Lucid signed vinyl! Signed by all four members of The Lucid! order now at lucidofficial.com !

Aug 10th

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As we continue the celebration of the Kings of Thrash tour coming up in October, 2022, Jeff Young / Six-Strings Inc. & David Ellefson will be checking in via their new web-a-log series entitled So Far, So Good…So What’s the Story?! providing a behind the scenes narrative and reminiscing on moments which made the So Far, So Good…So What! album one the most pivotal Thrash records to close out the decade.

So Far, So Good…So What’s the Story?

Webisode 1: No Survivors

In many ways, the track ‘Set the World Afire’ on the So Far, So Good…So What! album provides the origin story of Megadeth. Although it appears on album number three of the band’s recording catalog, it was actually the very first song Dave Mustaine composed after parting ways with METALLICA in April, 1983. The original working title of the song was ‘No Survivors’.

Inspired by a handbill of then-California Senator Alan Cranston, in which he proclaimed “The arsenal of megadeath can’t be rid”, indicating that we had built up too much nuclear power on the planet to even get rid of it. A “megadeath” is the count in millions of deaths following a nuclear explosion and fallout. Bear in mind this was 1983, in the age of the Cold War and the nuclear race between the USA and Russia was in full swing.

Around this same time, my best friend Greg Handevidt(TOZ & KUBLAI KAHN guitarist/singer) and I relocated from Jackson, Minnesota to Los Angeles following our high school graduation in May, 1983. Heading west to pursue our dreams of rock stardom we moved into our new digs at 1736 N. Sycamore Ave. Hollywood, California. We wanted to get to know the city so we knocked on our upstairs neighbor’s door asking where to find beer & cigarettes. That neighbor was Dave Mustaine, who we would soon learn was a budding rock star in the international heavy metal circles. At first, he appeared apprehensive of our knock on his door as this was the big city, not the rural areas we were accustomed to dropping by unannounced. But, we must have convinced him we were just harmless young Midwest metal heads sincere in our plea. Quickly, we set out to grab a case of Heineken beer at the local liquor store on Hollywood Boulevard. Returning back to the Sycamore apartments, stories flowed & camaraderie engaged which could only be described as a divine intervention to change the trajectory of each of our own lives as well as that of metal music in the very near future.

As a humorous and colorful story teller himself, Dave gave us the full scoop on his musical history and that of his former band METALLICA, a group we hadn’t heard of yet in the Midwest but was making waves as the next ‘big thing’ in the underground metal scene. We quickly learned, Dave had just parted ways with the band six weeks earlier and was now in search of musicians in the LA area to start up his next group, under a preliminary working moniker of FALLEN ANGEL. Dave played us a few riffs of his new music and we were hooked. And, since Greg and I had just traveled to LA looking to start or join a new group ourselves, our serendipitous meeting with Dave seemed destiny for everyone.

Early the next morning (and a bit hungover) Greg and I quickly agreed to get behind Dave’s vision and to set out to play with him in the new group, becoming the first publicly ceded guitarist and bassist for the band.

Within a couple weeks we rehearsed in Hollywood & Glendale as a unit with our then-lineup of Dijon Carruthers on drums and Lor Caine on vocals. Returning back to our Sycamore apartment after rehearsal one afternoon to discuss among other things, the name of the band, it was Handevidt who suggested we call the group MEGADETH, the word taken from Mustaine’s ‘No Surivors’ lyric, but removing the “a from death” so it wouldn’t have a bad omen around it concerning death. At first, Dave was apprehensive about the name but Greg was a convincing salesman and Lor loved it, too! To me, it was something that would certainly scare people and get their attention!

Dave eventually warmed up to the name and agreed that by making it an eight-letter word it would be make a uniform logo and be congruent with numerology, the numeral “8” being the perfect number with its continuous infinite loop design. Soon, the name stuck and the rest is history.

In our many Sycamore band discussions we would talk about everything from our stage design to stage names. We opted to use our family given names (rather than fictitious stage names) and ‘Junior’ became my nickname, a workaround to the matter of two ‘Dave’s’ being in the group. I would later just go by my given name of ‘David’. Everything was meticulously planned before it would ever enter rehearsal, the stage or recording studio…nothing was left to chance. In many ways, the band was like a strategic war plan session as much as it was a musical group. Never did we just get in a room and jam ideas. Instead, everything was carefully planned and composed. Very war-like planning indeed!

While that lineup would last only a few weeks before changes began, Dave and I carried on as the only two remaining founders of the group until it disbanded in 2002, and my return again from 2010-21.

As for the song ‘No Survivors’ it would make its debut in our live shows in 1984 but would be moved to the recording sidelines until the So Far, So Good…So What! album in 1988. The song would then be renamed ‘Set the World Afire’.

The short prelude to the song on the LP (following the album’s opener ‘Into the Lungs of Hell’) is a track by the jazz vocal group THE INK SPOTS (1934-54) which features a snippet of their song ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World On Fire’.

Get your KINGS OF THRASH VIP tickets now at here and concert tickets to the upcoming shows now at these outlets below:

San Diego

here

Phoenix

here

Las Vegas

here

West Hollywood

here

Aug 9th

Here's a quick video about a special project I'm unveiling on September 8th. I've made an art collection called BASS LUMINOSITY with the art team SceneFour.

Sign up at here for details and an early preview.

SceneFour Jackson Guitars Hartke SIT Strings

Aug 9th

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David Ellefson autographed signature Kellybird basses by Jackson Guitars like this DIETH instrument available now:

here

Aug 8th

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A fun interview with my friend Bryan at Yes You Can Play Guitar. Touching on all things Kings of Thrash DIETH The Lucid TOZ and more!

Jackson Guitars

Aug 5th

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THE KILLING CHRONICLES

Episode Five:

As we close out the Killing Chronicles this week, we look forward to seeing you at the shows in October. Your terrific support has the phone ringing to bring this show to other cities and countries everywhere.

Stay tuned for behind the scenes history on the So Far, So Good…So What album next week and we look forward to seeing you on the road!

Get your KINGS OF THRASH VIP tickets now at here and concert tickets to the upcoming shows now at these outlets below:

San Diego

here

Phoenix

here

Las Vegas

here

West Hollywood

here

Aug 5th

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Aug 4th

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Ellefson-Soto show dates!

Milan

here Milan event

Rome

here Rome event

Aug 4th

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Coming soon!

Aug 4th

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THE KILLING CHRONICLES

Episode Four:

In early 1984 discussions began between record labels to sign the band. Among its earliest suitors were Road Racer Records (later renamed Roadrunner), Metal Blade, Shrapnel and Combat. I recall Walter O’Brien at Combat (who later became Pantera’s manager) seemed to have the right instincts to make that label our new home. After several discussions a deal was tendered and the rest is history.

With the modest recording budget of only $8000 from Combat we went into Indigo Ranch studios in Malibu (formerly owned by The Moody Blues) to cut the drum, bass and guitar tracks, with Karat Faye engineering and co-producing. All songs were recorded live in one take with me, Dave and Gar Samuelson in the main room together. The only effects I used on bass was a chorus pedal on the break in ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’.

The ‘Last Rites’ piano introduction to ‘Loved To Deth’ was something Dave composed on guitar and best I recall was played with an overhand two-hand approach. Once in Indigo Ranch, the studio’s piano served as the perfect instrument for Dave to play the part in a more classical setting, yet still performing the two-handed guitar piece as an accompaniment. I was literally standing behind him with my bass as we recorded the track together with no click track. There is one bass note at :19 which still bugs me to this day, as I played it ever so slightly early. In all three versions of the releases we’ve never set out to correct it so I guess it remains as part of the performance forever. In the same way, when mixing the song, the jet engine ramp-up which served as a segue from ‘Last Rites’ into ‘Loved to Deth’ was always just slightly too loud, and in my opinion left the intro guitar of ‘Loved To Deth’ a bit faint. Fortunately, this was corrected on the remix of KIMB “The Final Kill”.

Get your Kings of ThrashVIP tickets now at here and concert tickets to the upcoming shows now at these outlets below:

San Diego

here

Phoenix

here

Las Vegas

here

West Hollywood

here

Aug 3rd

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THE KILLING CHRONICLES

Episode Three:

It’s widely known that the KIMB album is one of the fastest Thrash albums ever to descend upon mankind. However, rapid fire tempos in the band was not always the case. When we formed the group and first batch of songs were being composed in mid to late 1983, the tempos were much, much slower. In fact, almost at a Black Sabbath tempo. I recall ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ being almost half the tempo as it was finally recorded, which gave it this monstrous groove and weight. The same was true with ‘Chosen Ones’ which allowed me to play the bass lines with my fingers in a more Geezer-esque manner.

However, one day a fan letter showed up to our mailbox addressed to Dave which pleaded, “I hope your new band is faster than Metallica” and BOOM that was it…game over! That night at rehearsal, all the tempos were increased dramatically (20-40 beats per minute minimum!) and thus the KIMB LP represents a true turning point in the trajectory of speed being the primary calling card of cool factor with the founding fathers of the Thrash genre. EXODUS was already fast as hell and once Kerry King had seen them live, SLAYER would follow suit.

On the Kings of Thrash tour we’re excited to highlight these finer details of the songs without losing any of the “teeth” which made the album a staple in Thrash metal all these years later.

Get your KINGS OF THRASH VIP tickets now at here and concert tickets to the upcoming shows now at these outlets below:

San Diego

here

Phoenix

here

Las Vegas

here

West Hollywood

here

Aug 2nd

The first fine art collection created from bass performance is coming! "Bass Luminosity" by David Ellefson will be unveiled on September 8th worldwide.

Join the interest list at here for details and an early preview!

Jackson Guitars SIT Strings Hartke SceneFour