On the eve of 'The Big Four's performance at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011 rumors were flying around that the all-star bill might not actually feature four bands.
Megadeth—it was rumored—was possibly not going to perform, due to frontman Dave Mustaine's battle with neck injuries. Mustaine battled through the pain though, and the legendary show went on just as planned.
In a recent interview on The Jasta Show podcast though, Mustaine revealed just how close he was to cancelling the band's appearance. In fact, Mustaine says, a taunt from Metallica's co-manager—Peter Mensch—was the only reason he performed at all that night.
"When I did the 'Big Four' concert at Yankee Stadium and had my neck in a neck brace riding on a golf cart to the stage, I had tape all over the stage that said, 'Don't headbang,'" Mustaine said. "I would have died if I headbanged that night because I was in an emergency surgery room two days before, ready to have my neck operated on. And I called up my manager, Mark Adelman, at the time, and I said, 'Look, I played with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer before, I've played New York before, I've played a baseball stadium before, so none of this is new to me. And I have to cancel because I need emergency surgery.'"
"So, allegedly, Adelman tells this to Metallica's management—whatever the guy with the name of a penis, whatever his name is, it was Dick or Peter or something... Peter! So [Peter] said I was a pussy." And so I went, 'Okay. All right. Wrap me up. I'm going to New York.' So they gave me a bunch of injections in my neck and put me in a neck brace and I flew out there and I played the concert and I came back. And I figured, nobody else knows about this except for him, and who's the real pussy now?"
You can listen to the entire interview below.