Slayer's Kerry King Remembers Joining Megadeth in 1984

For the next month leading up to the Big Four show at Yankee Stadium on September 14, Guitar World and Revolver are teaming up to bring you exclusive Big Four content every day for four weeks -- the "Big Four Weeks," if you will.

This latest story comes from Revolver's Big Four issue (which you can pick up here) and recalls the early days of Megadeth when the band's lineup -- if for a brief four shows in 1984 -- featured another young thrasher by the name of Kerry King. You can read an excerpt below.

Kerry played with Megadeth early on. What were those shows like?
DAVID ELLEFSON He played the first five shows with us as our second guitar player. I think Slayer was a little bit on the fence with what they were doing, what their direction was. Kerry always claimed that he saw Dave play with Metallica at the Whisky [a Go Go venue in Los Angeles] and how it changed his life. Playing with us, Kerry was such a natural fit with Dave’s guitar-playing style. He just fundamentally understood how to play those riffs.

Kerry, did you learn a lot from Mustaine about guitar while you were in Megadeth?
KERRY KING Well, if you listen to him, he’ll fucking say, “Yeah.” [Laughs] As far as he’s concerned, he’ll tell you he fucking created me. [Laughs]

Listen, I’ve learned to take Dave with a grain of salt. He means something, and it just comes out different. [Laughs] I think everybody’s learned that over the years. I’m sure I did learn stuff from Dave. I was very young. I think he’s got a couple years on me. He’d been doing it longer than me.

You can read the full article here.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.