September 24, 2005

MEGADETH bassist James MacDonough has posted the following message in the "Forums" section of the band's official web site:

"I would like to thank all the members and crew from DREAM THEATER, ANTHRAX, FEAR FACTORY, NEVERMORE, LIFE OF AGONY, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SYMPHONY X, DRY KILL LOGIC and BOBAFLEX. You guys made [Gigantour] work like a machine. It was a pleasure and honor to share the stage with you every night. Everyone got along and respected each other with no egos getting in the way at all. Thank you, and I'll be looking forward to crossing paths with you in the future.

"Starting this tour at pre-production I got a real slap in the face. Looking down at all the busses and semis made me remember going to the big metal shows when I was a kid, huge lighting rig, lots of gear and on top of all that, PYROS. This was another dream come true. Pyro Rob was awesome and caught on really quick. I looked forward to those down beats which coincided with the concussion bombs. I knew when they were coming but the only way to avoid jumping myself, was to look up at the reactions. The jumping flames were great too, matter of fact the last show I think Rob made up these long bbq skewers and the crew flamed marshmellows and hot dogs during 'Set the World Afire'.

"During the first week I was what you called, 'Bobaflexed'. It's where the members, after a few beers, will kidnap someone and take them on their bus, sit you down and blast their new album, 'Apologize for Nothing'. You're then slapped with a BOBAFLEX bumper sticker somewhere on your body and allowed to leave. I loved these guys, excellent bassist.

"I have to jump to the softball game. That was a blast, played on a small field in the middle of New York. The infield was sand instead of clay so the ball bounced when you didn't want it to but it was a lot of fun. Shawn [Drover] played shortstop, Dave [Mustaine] was second and I played third. The score was a little outrageous but it was amusing none the less. I say next time we do something like this it should be a paintball game. I don't know when this will air on TV yet.

"At the Long Island show my buddy Richard Christy [ex-ICED EARTH, DEATH drummer] came out to the show. It was a pleasure playing music with him and I'm very happy that he's got his dream job with 'The Howard Stern Show'. Rich and Mike Portnoy [DREAM THEATER] are good friends as well and played a long drum solo that night, all improv. That was filmed and will probably be on the DVD. I've never seen anything like that, amazing.

"I always mention this or that being a dream come true, well another one happened in Montreal. It's right up there with the Donnington show.

"I was watching NEVERMORE from side stage early on and watching the crowd gave me chill bumps. It was like jumping right back to the mid-Eighties when I was a kid watching acts like IRON MAIDEN. I think it was close to ten thousand but everyone was so energetic. I think that has got to be one of my best gigs ever. I know that was the perfect place to film. It was also a really big night for the Drovers, playing their home town to a crowd like that.

"Thanks for making that night such a memorable experience.

"The last night in Portland was fantastic. As far as the antics, I think Shawn played laser tag with some guys during the FEAR FACTORY set. Glen got a hold of this little gun that shot rubber discs and assaulted ANTHRAX. The last night with DREAM THEATER, Mike played 'Peace Sells' with us and when he got off the kit, he dumped baby powder on the snare drum. Needless to say when Shawn ripped into 'Holy Wars' it looked like he had his own smoke machine back there, it went everywhere. I think he could of used an oxygen tank for a couple minutes. Jumping back to the end, I mentioned the little BBQ snack the crew did. Dave thought it would be a good idea to play 'Back in the Day' that night. There were extra mics set up across the stage and a bunch of the bands graced the stage and sang the back ups. I couldn't help but feel sad when I got to the last few bars of 'Holy Wars', knowing that this adventure was at its end. I forgot to mention that during the day ANTHRAX came into our dressing room and jammed on the practice gear. They played an old song for Dave's birthday, they seriously jammed hard. I was so stunned that I didn't even pick up my camera but the documentry people caught it. After the encore that night Shawn talked the audience into singing 'Happy Birthday' for Dave which totally caught him by suprise. We all spent a couple hours saying our goodbyes and feeling happy that we were going home for a bit.

"Next up on the agenda is South America. I've heard all the stories and talked to some really cool people from different areas down there. I can't wait to experience the beauty of these countries, people and scenery alike. See you soon friends.

"I have to mention the disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the wake that it left behind. If you can understand this plight and can donate anything at all, please do so. Dave also mentioned this right before 'Tornado of Souls' every night. Thank you.

"P.S.: The very first outing on the 'Blackmail the Universe' tour I had a childhood buddy, Jeff Quann, who had a relapse with his battle against cancer. The doctor gave him a couple months to live. I talked to John Leeder and Dave about this. My friend needed that inner peace before he passed on. When I told Dave this he immediately called him and we had a little conference call. I don't know if he'd like me talking about it but that's the type of caring guy he is. I found out the next day from his brother Jason that, that call made a serious impact on Jeff. Within days he came to terms with everything and wasn't afraid anymore. Jeff died the day before I was to come see him. Jeff was a good person and an excellent friend. He was surrounded by very loving friends and was happy at the end. Today is his birthday. Rest in peace, brother! Jeffery Wayne Quann."

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