“It depends on which time period [of the band] you’re talking about,” the frontman said during an appearance on The Jeremy White Show podcast. “There’s a lot of different ‘activities’ that everybody would do.
“When we would come offstage during the first lineup, it was mostly alcohol. The hard stuff didn’t come around until the end of their time with us. … The next lineup, we would party but it was a totally different thing. It was during kind of a plague that hit California and Los Angeles,” he continued, seemingly alluding to the crack and cocaine epidemic of the mid-’80s. “The next lineup after that, it was definitely the brownstone stuff [heroin].”
Even though Megadeth’s drug choices would change, Mustaine explained that a common characteristic remained. “The behavior was always the same,” he noted. “We’d get off the stage and we would be completely overwhelmed with adrenaline. And you get people that are adrenaline junkies and having a lot of people around them that are really excited about what they just did, that makes for a party all of its own.”
Still, back in those days, drugs were just part of the equation, Mustaine said.
“The point of the whole partying was to reach the ultimate pinnacle, which was being able to find somebody really attractive and take them home,” he explained. “Take them to your hotel room. Take them to your bus. Find a dressing room somewhere.”
Dave Mustaine Has Been Sober for Years
Although he’s been open about his hard-partying past, Mustaine has proudly been sober for years. Getting clean wasn’t easy; he went through many trips to rehab to get to this point. He mentioned the calming effect marriage and family life has had on the members of his band.
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“As we all got serious with our relationships and settled down, most of us took that kind of lifestyle and put it on a shelf,” Mustaine said.
“It takes what it takes,” he noted regarding sobriety. “I always said that getting loaded was like having sex with a gorilla … you’re not done until the gorilla’s done.”
2023 Rock Tour Preview
Reunions, farewells and long-awaited shows are on the horizon.