David Ellefson Recalls Lars Ulrich’s Phone Call To Dave Mustaine
Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson recently spoke to Artists On Record’s Stefan Adika for an interview and recalled when Lars Ulrich called Dave Mustaine to invite him to join Metallica and disclosed his bandmate’s reaction.
David Ellefson was the bassist of Megadeth before his scandalous sex video, which went viral on the Internet. Ellefson formed the band with Dave Mustaine in 1983, but before that, Mustaine was Metallica’s original lead guitarist. However, he was fired from Metallica in 1983 because of his aggressive behavior, addiction, and personal conflicts with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
Since then, Dave Mustaine and the Metallica members have struggled to get along. For instance, the singer recently discussed the dynamics within the band and insisted that he was the real alpha male in Metallica. However, it seems like Mustaine put the tension between him and Metallica on the shelf when Ulrich called him to invite Ellefson to the band.
In a recent interview with Stefan Adika’s Artists On Record, David Ellefson discussed the rumor regarding his recruitment to Metallica. Ellefson admitted he never got the offer but said Ulrich had called Mustaine to tell him they were looking for a new bassist when Jason Newsted left the band in 2001. According to the bassist, Al Pitrelli was in Megadeth then, and they were doing well as they had signed a record deal with Sanctuary Records for an album.
Ellefson said that for the first time until then, he sat down with the bass guitar and thought about learning several Metallica songs. The bassist recalled that Dave Mustaine said he would be okay with it if he decided to take the job because he couldn’t hold Ellefson back from such an opportunity. David Ellefson noted that this gesture was admirable because Dave was a Metallica member, and they had a certain history.
During the conversation, David Ellefson said the following:
“I never got the call for it. I never got the offer. There was a discussion about it. Lars had actually called Dave in 2001 when Jason left the band. Dave called me; that was when Al Pitrelli was in the band. We had just signed this big record deal with Sanctuary Records. We had an album done, an album that I really liked and was really excited about it. But I never got the call. I know those guys; I’m good friends with them. I’m certainly a fan of their music, especially the earlier stuff, but I never got the call for it, which was fine.
It was interesting because it was the first time I ever sat down with the bass. I went, ‘I don’t know, maybe I should learn a couple of Metallica songs’ because Dave called me. He said, ‘Hey, Lars called me, and they’re putting a list together. You might be on it. And I want to let you know that if you get the call, you have my blessing to take the gig. As your friend, I couldn’t possibly hold you back from an opportunity like that.’ I thought it was very admirable of him to do that, especially given his past, that that was his band at one point. But it never came my way, and it’s okay.”
You can watch the interview below.