Former MEGADETH Leader Inks New Guitar Deal, Comes Out Of 'Retirement'

May 16, 2003

Former MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has made a final decision on a new guitar manufacturer to produce his signature model. An official press release will be coming in the next few days detailing where he has gone and what to expect. The new maker is standing by ready to take orders.

As previously reported, The Dave Mustaine Jackson Signature Y2KV guitar, unveiled at the February 2000 Winter NAMM, was withdrawn from the market earlier this year after Mustaine failed to come to an agreement with the owners of Jackson, FMIC (Fender Musical Instruments Corporation),regarding an extension to his previous contract with the company.

In other news, Mustaine made his first public appearance since MEGADETH's breakup last month at a benefit for a former personal assistant (John Calleo) from the "Youthanasia" tour who had died after years of substance abuse.

The following is Mustaine's personal account of the event:

"It was very interesting to head off on April 9th to a venue to play again, (I was asked to play at a benefit for a friend who had died) since it had been almost a year and a half from my last performance. Also, the underlying question of whether my arm had healed, and if I could still play was probably on more people's minds than just mine.

"The person that brought me out of retirement was not any previous MEGADETH member or financial insecurity. Hell, it wasn't even for the guy that died. It was for the wife and daughter that he left behind.

"You see, John Calleo was a personal assistant for me on the Youthanasia tour and had died due to his body finally saying 'enough' to the drug use over the years.

"Arriving at the venue, I went straight into the dressing room and had the smokers abolished *cough* and met with a bunch of the people that were there for the benefit. The songs that I chose to remember him by were all related, but I don't know how many people there knew the correlation.

"As I walked out to the stage, there were some fuzzy dice on the mic stand and when I asked whose they were, someone said a name and I though it may have been someone near to John. I found out it was a dude in the front row, so I took them off, threw them to the guy, and told him 'this is not a fucking Impala!'

"I started the first verse and chorus of 'Symphony of Destruction' to establish respect for the acoustic guitar I held. Next I started with the songs that I chose for Tracy and Kalie, John's wife and daughter. Then I did the two verses and choruses of 'Use the Man', because of the direct connection to his death.

"Next, the first two verses and choruses of 'Promises', because I thought that if he could promise his wife and daughter anything, it would be that he will wait for them in Heaven. And for my finale, the first verse and chorus of 'A Tout Le Monde', because I think he would have wanted to tell them that he loves them still. I set the guitar down on the stool I was sitting on said 'Rest in peace, John,' and left the stage.

"On my way out the backstage exit, I was thanked by the widow, and the promoter asked me if we could talk about doing this again. I agreed, but said, 'I need just a little more time.'

"So, this may be the beginning of a few more impromptu appearances. I guess the surprise of the night was that [former MEGADETH bassist] David Ellefson showed up as I was leaving. It was a nice surprise and he looked like he is doing well."

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