Dave Mustaine on Asking Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell to Join Megadeth: “He wouldn’t come without his brother”

Revolver: Dave Mustaine looks back on the making of ‘Rust of Peace’ — and asking Dimebag and Slash to join Megadeth.

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From the Dave Mustaine book, Rust in Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth MasterpieceBUY NOW

DAVE MUSTAINE We needed a guitar player. I called Dimebag Darrell Abbott from Pantera. We knew each other from touring together. The guy had one of my lyrics tattooed on his leg. He made a practice of getting a tattoo from every tour of something that would recall the tour to him. When they went on tour with us, he tattooed a lyric from my song “Sweating Bullets” on his shin. The song talks about a line from one of the spiritual books I read and says something about a black-toothed grin. Someday you too will know my pain and smile its blacktooth grin. He liked that blacktooth grin line, and they invented a cocktail they called the black-toothed grin, which, instead of a glass of Coke with a shot of whiskey, was a glass of whiskey with a shot of Coke.

Those guys were hard drinkers. And he was this great, shredding guitar player. He liked the idea of joining our band; he said he wanted to do it. I thought this would be the greatest thing ever, but then he asked if he could bring his brother. He founded Pantera with his brother Vinnie Paul Abbott on drums. We already had a drummer. That was a deal-breaker for Dimebag. He wouldn’t come without his brother. To this day, I still wonder in wondrous wonder what it would have been like with Vinnie and Darrell.

DAVID ELLEFSON We had reached out to Diamond Darrell from Pantera, who later was known as Dimebag Darrell but at the time was Diamond Darrell. I had met him one night in Dallas in summer 1988 and we had a bunch of drinks. The next night, I went to see them play at his club in Dallas and they were fucking amazing. They were great, super-tight. They invited me to jump up and play “Peace Sells” with them, which I did. Those boys could drink hard and play their asses off. And Darrell was definitely a guitar star. He was a big deal in the guitar magazines, and Pantera was modestly popular on a more regional level.

I talked to Dave about Darrell and we called him up. He basically said his brother Vinnie comes with him or nothing doing. We already had Nick, so we declined and moved on. Also under consideration to be our other guitar player was Jeff Waters of Annihilator. I don’t know that we ever reached him, but his band Annihilator was taking off, getting popular, so he essentially proved unavailable, whether or not we ever really connected with him to make the offer. We’d expressed interest and he declined.

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