“This is where the real politics takes place – on the streets!” What happened when Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine became a political correspondent

Dave Mustaine standing on the street with a microphone in 1992
(Image credit: MTV via YouTube/WV Monster)

Dave Mustaine has never been shy about his political opinions. Megadeth’s first true hit, Peace Sells, takes a satirical swipe at war profiteering, while Holy Wars… The Punishment Due was inspired by the troubles in Ireland and Set The World Afire contemplates nuclear holocaust. By 1992, MegaDave’s music was so tethered to the US political landscape that MTV hired the singer/guitarist to cover the Democratic National Convention for them.

Dave reported on the DNC to promote MTV’s Rock The Vote campaign: a movement the TV station was using to encourage younger viewers to vote in the then-upcoming presidential election. Although the convention was being held inside famed New York arena Madison Square Garden, the frontman starts outside, interviewing protestors.

“As you can see, this is where the real politics takes place in the United States Of America,” he says, walking past signs and picket lines. “People can get their voices heard, but it’s only out here on the streets!”

With an anti-abortion protest taking place outside the DNC, Dave interviews both pro-life and pro-choice people on the street, as well as a woman hoping for the US to change their foreign policy towards South Korea. In between, while presenting a piece to camera, MegaDave gets heckled by a passer-by.

“Get a haircut! Hippie-boy!” the man shouts, but Dave takes it in stride: “See, he knows his rights! Obviously he knows where to get beer, too.”

Dave also makes a joke at the expense of some protestors who are smacking bongos and shouting into megaphones to make their voices heard. “These guys need to take drum lessons,” he quips.

Later, Dave interviews Bob Kerrey, the former governor of Nebraska, before heading into the arena and talking to Hollywood director Oliver Stone. He finally interviews a series of young delegates and gives a closing talk encouraging the MTV viewership to vote in the impending election.

“There are still a lot of problems in the United States,” MegaDave concludes. “Hopefully we can get some of these issues taken care of. This convention is taking place until Thursday, and God willing we’ll get some solutions by then. Until then, this is Dave Mustaine for MTV News, reminding you: register to vote.”

Dave’s brief journalism career ended after this broadcast, but luckily his band climbed to a whole new level of popularity when that autumn’s Countdown To Extinction album reached number two in the US. Megadeth have still kept an eye on politics throughout their music, though, from The System Has Failed to Dystopia.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.