Ex Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland found himself working nights in a diner after he left the band in 1987.
The experience offered many opportunities for encounters with bewildered fans, who wandered into the branch of Denny’s where he was trying to make ends meet.
“I was bussing tables from midnight to 8am,” Poland told The Metal Voice. “I would be bussing tables on a weekend, and some guy would go, ‘Dude, you’re Chris Poland!’ And I'd have to go, ‘Yeah, I am!” And it was so weird, because he just looked at me, like, ‘Dude, what the fuck are you doing here?’ And I would just say, ‘Hey, man, I’ve gotta eat. I’ve gotta pay the rent.’”
He added: “When you think of it now, it is pretty crazy, because at that time Megadeth was beyond gold – Peace Sells was really like a train. And here I am bussing tables in the middle of the night at Denny’s.”
Poland also recalled meeting people in Megadeth shirts on the street while he was out with his girlfriend. She’d ask: “Hey, you guys. You know who this is? This is Chris Poland.” They’d respond: “Yeah, right – fuck off,” and walk away. He reflected: “I’ve had every little version of weirdness from being in that band, let me tell you.”
He revealed he hadn’t spoken to band leader Dave Mustaine since 2004, adding that he might consider working with Mustaine again if a solo project was underway, but he had no interest in relearning Megadeth songs.
Asked if he regretted his acrimonious split during a period when the band were mired in drug issues, Poland replied: “It was just meant to be. It got to the point where it was just time. It wasn’t working for anybody any more.
“Who knows what would have happened if I stayed in the band? It was probably best that I didn’t. Probably drugs would have killed somebody, or all of us. Who knows?”
Poland reported that he’s planning to regroup with fellow former members David Ellefson and Jeff Young for an event in November, after the latter pair began working on a project together.
Megadeth will release their newest album, The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead! later this year, and play Download Festival this weekend.