DAVID ELLEFSON Reunites With Early MEGADETH Guitarist GREG HANDEVIDT For 'Jump In The Fire' Performance In Minneapolis

February 18, 2023

KINGS OF THRASH, the new band featuring former MEGADETH members David Ellefson (bass) and Jeff Young (guitar),was joined by early MEGADETH guitarist Greg Handevidt on stage Friday night (February 17) at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota to perform a cover of the METALLICA classic "Jump In The Fire". MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine co-wrote "Jump In The Fire" during his 11-month tenure as a member of METALLICA, before being fired in early 1983 and replaced by Kirk Hammett.

After the Minneapolis concert, David took to his social media to share a video of the "Jump In The Fire" performance (courtesy of Tim Wimer),and he included the following message: "Had a blast at Varsity Theater tonight in Minneapolis while KINGS OF THRASH broke out a 'No Life Til' Leather' demo deep dive with 'Jump In The Fire' from 1982, including the original arrangement and lyrics... My life-long friend & guitarist Greg Handevidt joined us as we used to play that song (and several others in the earliest inceptions from 'Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!' & 'So Far, So Good… So What!') when we moved to LA in 1983 and got the MEGA train underway..."

Added Jeff: "We had a blast tonight in Minneapolis doing a deep dive with the 'Jump In The Fire' version from the 'No Life Til' Leather' demo...joined on guitar tonight by Ellefson's long time friend Greg Handevidt."

In February 2016, Ellefson was asked by Cranked Up Live about Mustaine's comments to Real Rock 99.3 where the MEGADETH leader implied that Ellefson was not a founding member of the band. Ellefson said: "Now, look, when Dave came home from METALLICA, he had another bass player, kind of a kid he was almost teaching how to play bass, and another guitar player he had been working with a little bit, and a singer, named Lor. And those were kind of the first people that, I think, in April and May of 1983 that Dave was just kicking some ideas around [with], seeing if he could get anything going. But the day me and my friend Greg Handevidt knocked on Dave's door and asked him where to buy some cigarettes and beer, that was the day that there was a unity that moved forward, because me, Greg, Dave, that singer Lor and our drummer Dijon Carruthers, who helped create a lot of the lyrics and the concept of 'Black Friday' on the 'Peace Sells' record, that was… we were the group that were rehearsing for a few weeks, working on these new songs Dave was writing. And one day we came back to… I think it was me and Greg's apartment… And it was Greg who suggested… We were talking about band names, and Greg suggested… There was a name kicking around, FALLEN ANGEL, that I think Dave… That was kind of working title that he had. But he had a song called 'Megadeth', which was later retitled to become 'Set The World Afire'. And it was my friend Greg who suggested, 'I think we should call the band MEGADETH.' And it was decided that day, so, I mean, technically, whoever was in the room that day was a founding member of MEGADETH. And, again, I don't know why there has to be so much importance on that. I know, I was there. And quickly, all those other members either scattered or were let go, and within a month or so, it was me and Dave standing next to each other — Dave and Dave of this new group called MEGADETH."

Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.

Ellefson was fired from MEGADETH in May 2021, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on Twitter.

David was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest exit.

KINGS OF THRASH kicked off its "Thrashin' USA" 2023 tour Thursday night (February 16) at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois.

As previously reported, KINGS OF THRASH will release a live CD/DVD package called "Best Of The West…Live At The Whisky A Go Go" on March 24 via Cleopatra Records. The 17-song set, featuring performances of MEGADETH's classic albums "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!", was recorded and filmed live at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on October 15, 2022 and includes an appearance by another former MEGADETH member, Chris Poland (guitar). The DVD was directed by Michael Sarna for Inmotion Entertainment.

KINGS OF THRASH' "Thrashin' USA" will cross the Midwest, East Coast, and southeastern part of the USA through March 15. As with the band's 2022 warm-up shows, the group, which also includes drummer Fred Aching as well as guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon, is performing "Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!" and "So Far, So Good… So What!" in their entirety.

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