ALICE COOPER, K.K. DOWNING And MICK BOX Among Musicians Wishing DAVID ELLEFSON Happy 58th Birthday (Video)
November 12, 2022
Former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has shared a series of messages from some of his fellow musicians wishing him a happy 58th birthday. Among the fellow rockers featured in the 14-minute video, which can be seen below, are Alice Cooper, K.K. Downing (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, KK'S PRIEST),Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO),Whitfield Crane (UGLY KID JOE),Jeff Young (ex-MEGADETH),John Tempesta (THE CULT, ex-WHITE ZOMBIE),Michael Angelo Batio (MANOWAR),Mick Box (URIAH HEEP) and Frédéric Leclercq (KREATOR, ex-DRAGONFORCE).
Ellefson left Jackson, Minnesota in the early '80s to move to Los Angeles, where he met former METALLICA guitarist Dave Mustaine, and the pair launched the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning hard rock act MEGADETH, going on to become one of the "Big Four" of thrash metal. Ellefson's smalltown Jackson roots have been immortalized in MEGADETH lore as the subject of classic songs including the smash hit "Foreclosure Of A Dream" and the underground classic "Mary Jane".
Ellefson, who has lived in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1994, was fired from MEGADETH in May 2021, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter. At the time, Ellefson released a statement on Instagram denying all social media chatter that he "groomed" an underage fan. He also filed a report with the police department in Scottsdale, Arizona alleging unlawful distribution of sexually explicit images of him by unknown offenders. In the report, Ellefson admitted that he had been exchanging sexual text messages with a Dutch teenager, who captured a video of several of their virtual "masturbating encounters" without his consent and shared them with friends. (According to Ellefson, the woman was 19 at the time of their first virtual sexual encounter.)
David, a Christian who launched the Mega Life Ministries worship group in 2007, studied for a year at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis a decade ago.
In October 2021, Ellefson told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that there is a perception that people of faith must set a higher standard of how they live with and treat others. "It's almost like you're this entity that's floating up toward the heavens: 'Oh, he's such a wonderful man. He's a man of faith. He's got his family. And then this happens.' It's, like, 'What the hell is this?'" he said.
"I mean, look, admittedly I've sort of trained the public to think that I'm one of the more well-behaved rock stars out there, and for the most part I have been," he continued. "But at the same time, and this isn't to claim anything other than just, oops, shit happens. That is what it is."
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest exit.
In July 2021, Mustaine addressed the possibility of Ellefson returning to MEGADETH while filming one of his own video messages on Cameo. Asked by Rock Feed if Ellefson could once again play with MEGADETH at some point down the line, Mustaine said: "Any chance on Ellefson coming back later on? The answer to that is no."
In June, the MEGADETH frontman alluded to the 2004 lawsuit Ellefson once filed against him for what the bassist claimed at the time were millions in outstanding royalties (the case was later dismissed),telling Metal Hammer magazine: "I've forgiven him before when he sued me, and I'll forgive him a thousand times. I just won't play music with him anymore."
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