A statement from Dave Mustaine:
During the first week of January 2002, while MEGADETH was on hiatus, in Texas, I suffered an injury that caused severe nerve damage to my left arm and hand. It was diagnosed as Radial Neuropathy - specifically, a "compressed radial nerve." My doctors tell me it will take about a year to make as complete a recovery as I can, and even then, we don't know how complete that is going to be. I am working hard with a great team of doctors and physical therapists daily, and God willing, someday I hope to play guitar again.
In the meantime, while I work on rebuilding my arm, I will take this opportunity to reappraise my career and my future. For the time being I have decided to exit MEGADETH, and explore other areas of the music business where I might make a contribution without being able to play my instrument.
I have had a terrific time singing and playing for you while I was in MEGADETH. I am truly grateful for all of the numerous Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum Records I have been awarded, as well as the many International Record Awards. And I can never thank you, our fans past and present, enough for your loyalty and affection over the years.
My immediate goals now are to do what I can to make something good come out of this terrible situation. First and foremost, I want to use this opportunity to devote more time, energy and attention to my wife Pam and my two children, Justis and Electra. Pam has done a wonderful job carrying the load while I was a long-distance husband and father in the studio or criss-crossing the world on tour, but in terms of being a Gold or Platinum parent, I have a long way to go, and I'm eager to get started.
In closing I would like to depart with the beautiful French words I wrote on the record Youthanasia: "A tout le monde, a tous mes amis, Je vous aime, Je dois partir." (To all the world, to all my friends. I love you, I have to leave)
April 3rd, 2002
MEGADETH's career has been one of the most spectacular and musically innovative in the history of heavy metal. For nearly 20 years, U.S.-based MEGADETH soldiered on under the extraordinary vision of founder, vocalist, lead guitarist and principal songwriter Dave Mustaine. Most recently, the achievements of Mustaine, bass guitarist David Ellefson, lead guitarist Al Pitrelli and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso have occurred as an integral part of the Sanctuary Records Group roster. For the past two years, MEGADETH has undertaken a grueling, worldwide tour and promotion schedule.
2001's The World Needs a Hero was MEGADETH's Sanctuary Records debut, and it marked a bold return to the band's powerful style after a few albums of controversial experimentation. The successful world tour generated MEGADETH's first-ever live album the double live CD Rude Awakening was just released on March 19, 2002, and the accompanying DVD and VHS home video hits store shelves on April 9, 2002. Both the Rude Awakening CD and DVD include 24 songs spanning MEGADETH's entire career, including everything from classics like "Hangar 18" and "Symphony of Destruction" to The World Needs a Hero highlights like "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" and "Burning Bridges".
Last year, MEGADETH was the subject of an episode of VH1's enormously popular Behind the Music series, and an expanded edition with more than one hour of bonus footage was released on DVD and VHS. Behind the Music examined Mustaine's well-documented drug addiction, which he ultimately beat.
Mustaine formed MEGADETH in 1983, after he was fired from METALLICA. This would have been a setback for most people, but not Mustaine. He was determined to start his own group. The music would be uncompromisingly heavy with intricately precise guitar lines, and the lyrics would take an unflinching look at serious subjects like the dark side of humanity and politics.
MEGADETH's impressive discography follows:
1985 - Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good!
1986 - Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?
1988 - So Far, So Good ... So What?
1990 - Rust In Peace
1992 - Countdown To Extinction (reached # 2 on the Billboard album charts)
1994 - Youthanasia
1995 - Hidden Treasures (songs collected from soundtracks and tribute albums)
1997 - Cryptic Writings
1999 - Risk
2000 - Capitol Punishment: The MEGADETH Years (greatest hits)
2001 - The World Needs A Hero
2002 - Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good! (remixed/expanded)
2002 - Rude Awakening (live)
MEGADETH alumni include lead guitarists Chris Poland, Jeff Young and Marty Friedman and drummers Gar Samuelson (who has since passed away), Chuck Behler and Nick Menza.
The musical legacy MEGADETH has left behind is impressive. Even mainstream music critics couldn't deny the quality of MEGADETH's output, and this respect resulted in seven Grammy Award nominations for "Best Metal Performance" between 1990 and 1997.
These Grammy nominations include:
1990 - Rust In Peace
1991 - "Hangar 18" (track from Rust In Peace)
1992 - Countdown To Extinction
1993 - "Angry Again" (track from Last Action Hero soundtrack)
1994 - "99 Ways To Die" (track from The Beavis and Butt-head Experience)
1995 - "Paranoid" (track from Nativity In Black - A Tribute To BLACK SABBATH)
1997 - "Trust" (track from Cryptic Writings)
For lovers of heavy metal worldwide, the demise of MEGADETH is sad, but they will have nearly two decades worth of music to enjoy for the rest of their lives, and future generations of music fans not yet born will experience the thrill of discovering MEGADETH.