Mustaine took up guitar to escape bullies

Dave Mustaine says he hit back at school bullies by learning to play the guitar.

The Megadeth frontman was picked on as a teenager because of his “strawberry blond” hair, skinny build and freckles.

He tells Seymour Duncan Pickups: “It’s kind of like having someone slam your hand in the door of a car. You can either sit there and do nothing and accept the pain, or you can open the door and go after and kick that guy’s ass.

“That’s basically what motivated me to play the guitar. There was a lot of things in my life I didn’t like. I was getting picked on as a kid and was able to express myself through the guitar. When you’re 13 and you’re strawberry blond and you’re skinny and freckle-faced and you’re going to a school where everybody is surfers, you get picked on.

“You get picked on long enough you either start doing something to defend yourself, which is when I started martial arts, or you do something that helps you raise your value to the people around you.”

Seeing kids playing guitars and winning the adoration of their peers at parties pushed the young Mustaine towards a life in music.

He adds: “I had gone to a bunch of keg parties, beer and shit, and there was people playing there and I was, like, ‘Wow, everybody loves these guys because he’s got a guitar.’ And that’s when I started playing, I was 13.”

Megadeth are currently searching for a new drummer and guitarist after last year’s departures of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover. Marty Friedman, Nick Menza and Dave Lombardo have been linked with the vacant roles.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.