MARTY FRIEDMAN Nearly Auditioned For MADONNA: 'I Would Have Played With Her In A Heartbeat'

January 2, 2019

In a brand new interview with The Metal Voice, former MEGADETH axeman Marty Friedman confirmed that he once nearly tried out for the guitarist spot in pop superstar Madonna's band. "It was gonna happen the same week that I auditioned for MEGADETH," Friedman said. "So it obviously didn't happen. I mean, I would have played with Madonna in a heartbeat. At that time, I was really borderline homeless. I was living with various chicks — typical Hollywood sponger type of dude and really nothing to be proud of, but that's just the way it was back then. And I always liked Madonna. And, actually, Madonna has a great guitar player now — a guy named Monte Pittman. And this dude is full metal. And he's an excellent guitarist."

According to Friedman, he is the one that reached out to Madonna's camp about trying out for her band. "It wasn't that they knew about me; it was I knew about the audition," he said. "It was like a casting-call thing. And I lived in Hollywood, so I definitely had my ears to the ground about any single thing that was going on. And I'm sure I heard about other things that I don't remember now, but I was always trying to move into some kind of band situation back then and trying every possible thing. So, Madonna was… When I heard about that… Usually bands, or artists, would do auditions and rehearsals in the area where I lived — I lived right downtown in Hollywood — so word would spread around about those type of things. So that's how it was… I called whoever you call, and [they told me], 'Yeah, come in on the weekend,' or whenever the audition was. And that's how it worked."

A few years ago, Friedman gave an interview to the "Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More!)" book author Greg Prato in which he said that he was thrilled when he initially landed the guitarist gig in MEGADETH.

"I had a mutual friend with the management of MEGADETH, and they'd gone through like sixty guys — to no avail. My friend said, 'Why don't you audition?'… At the time, I was really happy to have any gig, but even more happy to join MEGADETH, because it was very similar to what I was already doing in the '80s — not so much CACOPHONY, but my previous band, HAWAII, was like a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal/thrash band, but with way more intense guitar. So that fit right in with MEGADETH, and it was a very lucky time, because I was eating lollipops for lunch and shit like that. It was lucky timing."

In early 2015, Friedman stepped away from a planned reunion of MEGADETH's "Rust In Peace" lineup — also featuring drummer Nick Menza — because he didn't feel inspired to re-team with his one-time bandmates.

Friedman's new live album, "One Bad M.F. Live!!", was released in October. The effort was recorded in Mexico City in April 2018 during the final concert of Friedman's world tour in support of his 2017 album "Wall Of Sound", which debuted on Billboard's Heatseekers chart at No. 12.

Joining Friedman on "One Bad M.F. Live!!" are his bandmates Kiyoshi on bass, Jordan Ziff (RATT) on guitar and Chargeeee on drums.

Friedman will kick off an American tour in support of the album in San Diego, California on January 23. The Texas-based "super metal" group IMMORTAL GUARDIAN will open.

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