Dave Mustaine Delayed Emergency Surgery Just Before ‘Big 4’ Show
As a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Dave Mustaine recalled a critical moment in his career when Megadeth nearly pulled out of the ‘Big 4’ show at Yankee Stadium in 2011. Experiencing serious neck issues, he was advised to undergo emergency surgery and it has been suggested that he may never walk again after the procedure. Instead, he postponed it and played the set!
Obviously things went much better than that loose prognosis and Megadeth got to play the gig, but it was still a pretty heartbreaking moment.
The three-hour podcast found Mustaine touching on all sorts of things, from the two spells he cast on people in his youth, faith and spirituality, addiction and, of course, a bit about the new album by Megadeth, The sick, the dying… and the dead!“, which will be released on September 3.
Nearly two and a half hours of conversation, Rogan inquires about Mustaine’s history of neck injuries and related issues, to which the musician responds (transcribed by Loudwire): “I’ve been headbanging for so long that I have had a degenerative disc disease in my neck. There are two forms of stenosis – one where the bone closes over the nerve and there is another where the nerve swells inside the hole . I had both and they were going to do a frenectomy where they drilled a hole around the nerve.”
He continues: “I was in the ER right next to my birthday and we were supposed to play at Yankee Stadium with the Big 4. I couldn’t move my arm – it had frozen and I walked in and the guy said, ‘ You need emergency surgery right now. You probably won’t walk anymore. I said okay and I told my manager Mark Adelman (we were managed by Irving Azoff’s band in Hollywood) and he called and told Metallica management that I needed emergency surgery on my spine or I probably couldn’t play or walk And the guy called me an asshole and I I thought, “Oh my God.”
Obviously, that was enough to cause Mustaine to postpone the operation as he pursued an alternate measure that allowed him to take the stage for the 10-song set.
“They gave me a chance, they fixed me, I got on a plane, I drove to the stage in a golf cart with a neck brace,” he explains, “Everywhere on the stage there was paper that said ‘Don’t headbang’ because my neck was barely holding up. Then I went home and went to Marina del Ray and had my neck fused.”
“It took a long time,” Mustaine says, presumably referring to the recovery period. He adds: “I still have this neck brace [and] I need it once in a while because my neck leans forward a bit. All the headbutting and stuff made these muscles here [points to neck] really disproportionate. They had to go through the front to get to the bone here [points to left clavicle] and that muscle in the front looks a lot like a corset so they put it aside and on that side [points to left of his neck beneath the jaw] had to cross further because they had to enter here [points near left clavicle again] so when all those muscles grew back, they kind of pushed to the side and then they had to push back.”
Listen to the full podcast episode below.
Find Megadeth on tour in support of Five Finger Death Punch on these dates. For tickets, go here.
Dave Mustaine on the Joe Rogan Experience (2:24:29 for the “Big 4” story)
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