History

Megadeth is a band with a long and complex history, spanning many years. Here, we bring you an ongoing timeline of the band's history.

Click on a year below to jump to its events:

2011 : 2010 : 2009 : 2008 : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 : 2000 : 1999 : 1998 : 1997 1996 : 1995 : 1994 : 1993 : 1992 : 1991 : 1990 : 1989 : 1988 : 1987 : 1986 : 1985 : 1984 : 1983 : 1982

2011

  • January – The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria DVD and Blu-ray is certified multi-platinum in the U.S.
  • April – The Big Four perform for the first time ever in the United States at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, drawing an estimated 55,000 people.
  • June – The paperback edition of Dave Mustaine's autobiography, Mustaine: A Life In Metal is released in the U.K.
  • July – The Big Four play six dates across U.K. and Europe.
  • July – Megadeth joins the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with Disturbed, Godsmack, Machine Head, In Flames and Trivium for U.S. summer tour.
  • July – Megadeth's platinum-certified, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? is released in a commemorative 25th anniversary deluxe 5Disc+3LP box set.
  • August – The paperback edition of Dave Mustaine's autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir is released in the U.S.
  • September – The new single, "Public Enemy No. 1" from Megadeth's forthcoming album TH1RT3EN is available for streaming at Megadeth.com.
  • September – The Big Four play their second-ever U.S. show at the new Yankee Stadium in New York City.

2010

  • February – Original bassist David Ellefson returns to Megadeth, replacing James LoMenzo.
  • February – Megadeth shoot a video for the song, "The Right To Go Insane", the second single from the Endgame album.
  • March – The 20th anniversary of the Rust In Peace album is celebrated with a U.S. tour featuring openers Testament and Exodus. Final show in Hollywood is filed for upcoming DVD release.
  • April/May – The Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour continues in South and Central America.
  • June – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax - the Big Four of 1980s thrash metal, play together for the first time in Poland and continue to share the stage in Europe throughout the month.
  • June – The Big Four show from Sofia, Bulgaria is filmed for upcoming DVD release and is shown in theaters around the world.
  • August – Dave Mustaine's autobiography Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir is released in North America. Book tour coincides with first leg of American Carnage tour.
  • August – 20 years after the original Clash Of The Titans tour, Megadeth tours again with Slayer and Testament for the American Carnage tour.
  • September – Megadeth continues to tour with Slayer and special guests Anthrax on the Jagermeister tour.
  • December – Megadeth's "Sudden Death" is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category.
  • December – Megadeth headlines six festival shows in New Zealand and Australia as part of the No Sleep Til festival tour.

2009

  • January – Megadeth continues recording its 12th studio album with Andy Sneap returning as producer.
  • February – Megadeth joins Testament as openers for Judas Priest on the Priest Feast European tour.
  • April – Megadeth headlines the Epiphone Revolver Golden Gods Awards, where Dave is presented with the Golden God award.
  • June – Megadeth and Slayer team up for Canadian Carnage, a mini-tour of Western Canada.
  • June – "Head Crusher", the first single from Megadeth's new album is released. The song is debuted live on the Canadian Carnage tour.
  • July – The video for "Head Crusher" is shot in Los Angeles, CA.
  • September – Megadeth's 12th studio album, Endgame is released; debuts at #9 on the Billboard chart.
  • October – Megadeth kicks off the Endgame tour in Australia and New Zealand co-headlining with Slayer.
  • November – Endgame tour continues in the U.S. Megadeth headlines with Machine Head, Suicide Silence, Arcanium and Warbringer.
  • December – Megadeth's "Head Crusher" is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category.

2008

  • January – Chris Broderick (Jag Panzer, Nevermore) replaces Glen Drover on guitar.
  • February – Megadeth continues the Tour Of Duty tour in Europe and kicks off Gigantour 2008 tour in the U.K. with Job For A Cowboy and Evile.
  • March – Megadeth plays India for the first time, headlining the Rock In India festival.
  • April – Gigantour 2 is released on CD and DVD, highlighting the 2006 tour.
  • April – Gigantour 2008 tour begins in North America. Megadeth headlines with In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy and High On Fire.
  • May – Tour Of Duty tour continues in South America with shows in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and ending in Mexico in June.
  • July – Dave Mustaine has new recording studio Vic's Garage built in Southern California to record the next Megadeth album.
  • July – Megadeth performs live at the Mixed Martial Arts event, Affliction Banned.
  • September – Megadeth greatest hits double disc Anthology: Set The World Afire is released.

2007

  • January – Dave Mustaine signs with Dean Guitars, debuts his new VMNT guitar at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, CA.
  • March – Megadeth opens for a reunited Black Sabbath (Heaven And Hell) on their Canadian tour.
  • March – That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires, filmed in Buenos Aires, is released on DVD. The 2CD set follows in October.
  • April – The Heaven And Hell tour continues in the U.S.
  • May – Megadeth's 11th studio album, United Abominations, featuring the singles/videos "A Tout Le Monde" (with Christina Scabbia) and "Never Walk Alone" is released; debuts at #8 on U.S. charts.
  • June – Megadeth's Tour Of Duty tour begins in Europe with summer festivals and headline shows.
  • September – Tour Of Duty continues in the U.S. and Pacific Rim.
  • October – Megadeth releases Warchest, a 4CD/1DVD career-spanning box set.
  • November – Gigantour 2007 tour kicks off in Australia with Static X, Devildriver, Lacuna Coil and Bring Me The Horizon.

2006

  • March – The two-disc DVD anthology Arsenal Of Megadeth is released.
  • March – James LoMenzo (Black Label Society) replaces James MacDonough on bass.
  • March – Megadeth headlines the United Arab Emirates' Dubai Desert Rock Festival.
  • April – Megadeth begins recording a new album at SARM recording studios in England.
  • May – Megadeth signs with Roadrunner Records.
  • July – Megadeth plays Spain's Metalway Festival in Gernika and Jerez.
  • August – Gigantour's inaugural festival tour is released on 2-CD and 2-DVD sets.
  • September – Gigantour 2006 tour begins in North America. Megadeth headlines with Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity and the Smashup.
  • October – Megadeth tours Japan and continues Gigantour tour in Australia with Soulfly, Arch Enemy and Caliban.
  • October 31 – Megadeth takes part in launching the Gears Of War XBOX 360 game with a mini-concert at Six Flags theme park in Springfield, MA.
  • December – Dave Mustaine announces his departure from ESP guitars.

2005

  • February – Megadeth continues its Blackmail The Universe tour worldwide with Diamond Head and Dungeon opening.
  • June – More worldwide shows and European festivals; Megadeth plays Iceland, Romania and Bulgaria for the first time.
  • June – Greatest Hits: Back To The Start is released.
  • July – The first Gigantour festival tour hits North America all summer. Megadeth headlines with Dream Theater, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Dillinger Escape Plan, Nevermore, Life Of Agony, Symphony X, Dry Kill Logic and Bobaflex. Footage is shot for an upcoming CD and DVD.
  • October – Dave Mustaine announces his decision to keep Megadeth together at a concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The show is filmed for a live album/DVD.

2004

  • January – Dave Mustaine makes an announcement about his good health, the future of Megadeth and upcoming releases.
  • July – Megadeth's back catalog is re-mixed and re-mastered with bonus tracks.
  • A new Megadeth album is recorded with drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist, Jimmy Sloas and guest soloist, Chris Poland.
  • September 14 – The System Has Failed is released.
  • August – The new touring lineup is announced including guitarist, Glen Drover (King Diamond/Eidolon) and bassist, James MacDonough (Iced Earth).
  • October – The Blackmail The Universe tour begins in North America with Exodus opening. New drummer, Shawn Drover joins the band the week before.

2003

  • February – Dave Mustaine announces his departure as an endorsee for Jackson Guitars.
  • April – Mustaine performs four Megadeth songs acoustically at a benefit for John Calleo.
  • July – Mustaine attends the summer NAMM convention in Nashville to unveil his new signature ESP guitars.
  • October – Peace Sells ...But Who’s Buying? is released as an audio DVD presented in Dolby 5.1 surround.

2002

  • February – Killing Is My Business ...And Business Is Good! is re-mixed, re-mastered, and released
  • March – the double live album Rude Awakening is released.
  • April – Megadeth disbands after Dave Mustaine suffers a nerve injury in his arm, leaving him unable to play guitar.
  • September – Still Alive..And Well? is released.

2001

  • March – Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli begin a world press tour for the new album.
  • April – Megadeth shoots a video for "Moto Psycho" in Simi Valley, CA.
  • April/May – Megadeth begins a short U.S. acoustic tour sponsored by local radio stations.
  • May – The World Needs A Hero is released by Sanctuary.
  • June – Megadeth spends the summer on a world tour playing festivals, opening for AC/DC
  • September – Megadeth tours North America with Endo and Iced Earth.
  • October – Megadeth’s VH1 Behind The Music special is released on DVD.
  • November – Megadeth plays last two shows of TWNAH tour in Arizona, films both for a live album and DVD.

2000

  • January – Al Pitrelli joins Megadeth mid-tour.
  • April – Megadeth starts work on its 9th studio release.
  • June – Megadeth plays the Maximum Rock festival with Anthrax and Motley Crue.
  • July – Megadeth leaves Capitol Records.
  • October – Megadeth releases Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years.
  • November – Megadeth signs with Sanctuary Records.
  • The band returns to the studio in L.A. to finish recording their new album.
  • New Year's Eve – Megadeth closes out the millennium in Anchorage, Alaska; broadcasts the concert on its website.

1999

  • January – Megadeth enters the studio with producer Dann Huff in Nashville to record its follow up to Cryptic Writings.
  • Megadeth spends the summer playing festivals, including Woodstock '99.
  • "Crush 'Em" is released on the Universal Soldier 2 soundtrack and eventually makes its way into NHL arenas and WCW.
  • July – Megadeth covers "Never Say Die" for Nativity In Black II: Tribute To Black Sabbath.
  • August 31 – Risk is released.
  • September – Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden on European tour.
  • December – Marty Friedman announces departure from Megadeth.

1998

  • January 28 – Dave Mustaine's daughter, Electra Nicole is born.
  • January – "Trust" nominated for a Grammy.
  • January – Megadeth performs on The Howard Stern Show.
  • July – Megadeth takes part in Ozzfest '98.
  • July – Nick Menza and Megadeth part ways, Jimmy DeGrasso is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
  • October 23 – David Ellefson's daughter Athena is born.
  • New Year's Eve – Megadeth opens for Black Sabbath along with Soulfly, Slayer and Pantera.

1997

  • June – Megadeth releases Cryptic Writings; launches new official website Megadeth.com.
  • June – The Misfits open for Megadeth on summer U.S. tour.
  • June – Chaos Comics release The Cryptic Writings Of Megadeth comic books.
  • October – Remix of Megadeth's "Almost Honest" included on Mortal Kombat Annihilation soundtrack.
  • December – Megadeth plays its first all-acoustic show in South America.

1996

  • January – "Paranoid" nominated for a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category.
  • Dave Mustaine collaborates with Lee Ving of Fear on MD.45, The Craving.
  • February 2 – David Ellefson's son, Roman Alexander is born.
  • September – Megadeth begins recording new album in Nashville, TN.

1995

  • January – Megadeth's "Diadems" featured on Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight soundtrack.
  • January – "99 Ways To Die" nominated for a Grammy.
  • January to February – Youthanasia worldwide tour with Corrosion Of Conformity.
  • March – Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in Europe.
  • May – Evolver: The Making Of Youthanasia video is released.
  • July – Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in USA and Japan.
  • July to August – "Reckoning Day" tour with Flotsam And Jetsam, Korn and Fear Factory.
  • September – Megadeth plays Monsters Of Rock festival in South America with Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper.

1994

  • January – "Angry Again" nominated for a Grammy.
  • October – Megadeth covers "Paranoid" for Nativity In Black: A Tribute To Black Sabbath.
  • October 31 – Megadeth releases Youthanasia, plays on MTV's Night Of The Living Megadeth.
  • October 31 – New website Megadeth Arizona is launched; the first website for a band on the Internet.
  • November – Megadeth kicks off the Youthanasia tour in South America.

1993

  • Dave Mustaine makes a guest appearance on Diamond Head's Death And Progress album.
  • January – Countdown To Extinction album nominated for a Grammy.
  • January – Megadeth tours the U.S. with Stone Temple Pilots. The tour is cancelled along with Japanese dates in May.
  • June – Megadeth plays Milton Keynes Bowl with Diamond Head and Metallica.
  • June Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden and Metallica on their European tour.
  • June – Megadeth's "Angry Again" featured on Last Action Hero soundtrack.
  • July – Aerosmith kicks Megadeth off their American Get A Grip tour after 7 dates; Jackyl takes their place.
  • November – Megadeth's "99 Ways to Die" featured on The Beavis And Butthead Experience soundtrack.

1992

  • January – "Hangar 18" nominated for a Grammy.
  • February 11 – Dave Mustaine's son, Justis David is born.
  • May – Megadeth's "Breakpoint" featured on Super Mario Bros. soundtrack.
  • July – Megadeth releases Countdown To Extinction.
  • July – Dave Mustaine covers Democratic National Convention for MTV.
  • November – Exposure Of A Dream home video is released.
  • Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies open for Megadeth's Countdown To Extinction tour.

1991

  • January – Megadeth plays to 140,000 people at the Rock In Rio II festival in Brazil.
  • January – Rust In Peace album nominated for a Grammy.
  • March – Megadeth's world tour beings, with The Almighty and Alice In Chains opening.
  • March – Dave Mustaine gets married to Pamela Anne Casselberry.
  • April – Rusted Pieces home video is released.
  • May – U.S. Clash Of The Titans tour featuring Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth and opener Alice in Chains.
  • July – Megadeth's "Go to Hell" featured on Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack.
  • September – Megadeth performs at the '91 Foundations Forum, wins awards for "Hangar 18" and "Rust In Peace".

1990

  • February – Marty Friedman is hired as Megadeth's lead guitarist.
  • September – Megadeth joins Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Testament for Clash Of The Titans world tour.
  • October – Megadeth releases Rust in Peace.
  • October – Megadeth opens for Judas Priest in support of their new album Painkiller.

1989

  • July – Nick Menza is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
  • Megadeth covers Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" for Wes Craven's Shocker soundtrack, the band's only song recorded as a three-piece.
  • Mustaine is arrested for impaired driving, forced to clean up in 12-step program.

1988

  • January – Megadeth releases So Far, So Good... So What!.
  • Megadeth opens for Dio on North American tour.
  • June – Megadeth featured in acclaimed documentary, Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years.
  • June – Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden on their Seventh Son tour.
  • August – Megadeth plays Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donnington along with KISS, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, David Lee Roth.
  • August – Megadeth drops off the Monsters Of Rock tour after one show. Jeff Young and Chuck Behler are fired soon after.
  • Dave Mustaine produces Sanctuary's debut album Refuge Denied.

1987

  • February – Megadeth opens for Alice Cooper's Constrictor tour.
  • March – Megadeth's first world tour begins in the UK.
  • Dave and David appear on Malice's License To Kill album.
  • Megadeth re-record "These Boots" for the Dudes soundtrack.
  • May-June – Megadeth tours the U.S. with Overkill and Necros.
  • Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson are fired after last show of tour in Hawaii.
  • Gar's drum tech Chuck Behler is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
  • Jay Reynolds of Malice leads Megadeth to their new guitarist, Jeff Young.

1986

  • Capitol Records signs Megadeth, gets rights to Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? from Combat.
  • Megadeth opens for King Diamond and Motörhead in the U.S.
  • September – Cliff Burton dies in bus accident.
  • November – Megadeth releases Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?.
  • Megadeth shoots first video for the song, "Peace Sells".

1985

  • May – Megadeth releases its debut album, Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!.
  • Summer – Megadeth tours the U.S. and Canada with Exciter, Mike Albert takes over for Chris Poland.
  • October – Chris Poland rejoins band.
  • October – Megadeth begins recording new album, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? for Combat Records.
  • December – Megadeth plays New Year's Eve show in San Francisco with Metallica, Exodus and Metal Church.

1984

  • Megadeth cuts a three-song demo with drummer Lee Rausch, who replaces Carruthers. Songs recorded are "You And Me", "Rock Me" and "The Mechanics".
  • Kerry King steps in as Megadeth's second guitarist for the band's first five live shows and then returns to Slayer.
  • Lee Raush is replaced by jazz/fusion drummer Gar Samuelson.
  • November – Megadeth is signed to Combat records.
  • December – Chris Poland is hired as the new guitarist.
  • December – Megadeth plays its first New York shows with Slayer.

1983

  • March – Cliff Burton's first gig with Metallica.
  • April 11 – Dave Mustaine is fired from Metallica while in New York; Kirk Hammett leaves Exodus to replace him.
  • April – Mustaine buses back to Los Angeles, set on forming his own band. While on the bus, Dave writes the first lyrics to a song called "Megadeth".
  • April – Dave assembles his band Fallen Angels, with vocalist Lor Kane, rhythm guitarist Robbie McKinney and bassist Matt Kisselstein. Dave has no drummer and the band never plays live.
  • While in Fallen Angels, Mustaine writes his first songs, "Devil's Island" and "Megadeth", which later appears as "Set The World Afire".
  • June – Dave meets bassist, David Ellefson and guitarist, Greg Handevidt at his West Hollywood apartment. Both join Dave's new band, replacing McKinney and Kisselstein.
  • Summer – Lor Kane suggests using Megadeth as the band's name, knowing that Mustaine had written a song of the same name.
  • Summer – Megadeth records its first demo with David Ellefson, Greg Handevidt and drummer Dijon Carruthers. Soon after, Handevidt is let go and Dave takes on lead guitar.
  • Summer – Metallica's first album, Kill 'Em All is released. Mustaine is credited for writing "The Four Horseman" (formerly "Mechanix"), "Jump In The Fire", "Phantom Lord" and "Metal Militia".
  • December 31 – After a series of unsuccessful vocalist auditions, Mustaine becomes Megadeth's singer.

1982

  • Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield form Metallica.
  • Dave Mustaine leaves Panic and joins Metallica.
  • Ron McGovney is hired as Metallica's bassist.
  • March – Metallica's first gig at Radio City in Anaheim.
  • March – Metallica opens for Saxon on its Denim And Leather tour.
  • April – Brad Parker (a.k.a. Damian Phillips) is hired as Metallica's second guitarist. He leaves band after one gig; Metallica's only day as a five-piece band.
  • May – James Hetfield takes up rhythm guitar in addition to vocals.
  • June – "Hit the Lights" is included on Metal Massacre compilation.
  • Rare demo album No Life 'Til Leather is released.
  • December – Cliff Burton leaves Trauma to replace Ron McGovney.