July 10, 2004

MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has posted the following message on the band's web site:

"After I found out that I had to make a MEGADETH record instead of a Mustaine record, I contacted the 'R.I.P.' lineup to make the record.

"I was going to still use Vinnie Colaiuta and Jimmy Lee Sloas to make the record, and then bring it out to Phoenix to save me the hassle of rehearsals with everyone, pre-production, the plodding pace of studio time with these guys, since I don't really know Nick's current ability anymore, and have watched the last three records producers say, 'Get a session bassist in for [David] Ellefson.'

"I told Nick [Menza] what I was going to do simply, and he didn't need a lot of details. He just wanted to play with me again. I offered Nick cash, a set percentage of the record, and told him the salary that I was going to offer him if we ever did shows again. He accepted, no questions asked.

"I told Marty what I was going to do and he wanted to know what the recording budget was, what the recording fund was, what the marketing plan was, touring plan was, and so on, because he had worked so hard to get his career going in Japan with his J-pop that he didn’t wanted to do this half-assed. Somehow, he missed that I said it was just a record and that it was not a reunion. I offered Marty cash, a set percentage of the record, and told him the salary that I was going to offer him if we ever did shows again. Communications stalled and I started talking to Ellefson. I still am trying to talk to him just on principle and that he is rad and will always be part of the MEGADETH legacy.

"I told Ellefson what I was going to do and he wanted to know what the budget was, what the fund was, and what the splits were; that's it. I told him that they were the same splits that were in force in the contract with Sanctuary, which was that he got 20%. He then started arguing about the splits that applied to when Jimmy and Al were there. I told him that, 'I don't know what to tell you, but Pam just got back from LA and I am going to have to get back to you.' Management called and tried to talk to him.

"He wanted 35%, and they told him that, 'Dave Mustaine's offer is 20%, just like it says in the contract.' They went on to say, 'Look, we really want you back in the band, but you have to be ok with things, because if you are not, then we don't want you here. Just take some time to think about it and get back to us.' He then told him the deadline that we had set.

"Ellefson blew off the first deadline and after having to fly out to LA to meet with the business manager, personal manager, and attorney, we wrote him a letter saying something to the fact that the deadline has passed and that we accept his 'not replying' to be his indication that he was not interested. We also told him that we were going on without him.

"30 minutes later he was on the phone saying, 'Can't we work this out? I still want to be in.'

"I said of course we can, but I don't appreciate him fucking around with my patience. Tell him that the deal is the same and that he has until a specified date to give us his answer. The second deadline.

"Meanwhile, when the management had talked to him they told him that he was really lucky that I had given him my publishing money over all of these years and that I did not have to do this. Ellefson allegedly said, 'I agree.' They went on to tell him the terms that he was asking for were out of the question. He asked that I allow him to continue his current commitments with Peavey and F5 to which I said, 'It would be unfair of me to expect him to forget all of the hard work that he has done in the break.'

"He also wanted the same salary as me and I agreed because I wasn't taking one, although I offered him $2,500 a week while we were on the road. And I only wanted MEGADETH to have priority with his work and there not to be a conflict of interest. He supposedly agreed to this.

"And he strangely said that he knew that he wasn't entitled to any of my publishing, but that would I give him an advance of the money that I was going to get for myself, since he is not recouped, or not repaid with the publishing company, nor the record company. I agreed to give him an additional $50,000 of my own money as an act of good faith and brotherly love.

"He then disappeared until the day before the deadline and when I called and asked my attorneys for an update, which is when they dropped the bomb on me. They said, 'Ellefson says he wants you to accommodate his schedule,' which is fine but the language was pretty aggressive. He then told me that, 'Ellefson doesn't accept your salary as a producer and . . .' and I cut him off. I said, 'Forget it, tell him . . .' and he cut in and said, 'I didn’t even tell you that he wanted some of your publishing again.'

"I was so done I couldn't stand it.

"The deal was non-negotiable. The record was completely written, and there was none of his songs on there, and wouldn't be. This was the second deadline that was passed when he did not accept my offer.

"He then said that I made him 'an unacceptable and offensive offer.' Which was the first time either one of us had spoken badly in the press about each other. He drew first blood.

"I told the management and legal team of MEGADETH to send a letter to Sanctuary requesting that he be taken off of the contract, to which they did without any question.

"I also asked that he be made an offer based on what he would be entitled to of all of the money left over after the recording. Which would equal, based on his percentage around $50,000, plus the $50,000 publishing advance from my personal money, totaling $100,000, but that he needed to be done and have a signed and fully executed settlement in my hands by a specified time and date.

"Now remember, he has gone to Metal Sludge and said, 'I only know what he told me,' about me arm when he saw it, and said, 'I never said no to Dave's offer, and that I am ready to go,' or something like that, which he has clearly said no to.

"I had every right to be mean to him, but I was not. Add to the fact that MEGADETH owed Sanctuary about $2,000,000 and that his 20% of that was $400,000 would mean that I was going to eat his debt, and pay him to go away a total of $500,000.

"Well, the deadline came and 15 minutes later he faxed the contract into my attorney's office, and he knew it needed to be in 'my' hands, not the attorneys. The third deadline passed.

"Although I didn't have to, I accepted this third offense and said, 'Now let's take over the world,' to my crew.

"You can imagine all of our astonishment when we got a call from Ellefson's attorney the next Monday, stating that Ellefson had fired his attorney, and he was backing out of the negotiations. I was staggered by this stupidity.

"Here we have a signed and fully executed document, the guy has been lying about not saying 'no' to my offer, lying about my arm, and implying that I am greedy and cheap, on top of trying to make us all, including you Droogies look stupid.

"David got a new attorney and he sent a letter saying that 'he was engaged by David Ellefson' to basically go after Dave Mustaine and MEGADETH, thereby requiring me to hire a litigator. In other words, I am being sued.

"Now you know why I don't want this guy in MEGADETH anymore. Are we clear here?"

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