Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine recalled two thought-provoking experiences with Gene Simmons, saying the Kiss icon appeared to enjoy giving him a “hard time.”
In a recent episode of Pandora’s Tales From the Metalverse (video below), Mustaine recalled how he’d been taken aback during a press event when he felt Simmons had insulted the memory of his late Metallica colleague Cliff Burton.
“I’m up on the stage, one of my guys are up on the stage, and Paul [Stanley] and Gene are up on stage,” Mustaine said. “And somebody says, ‘Hey, Gene, how about a Kiss reunion?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, Gene, how about a Kiss reunion?’ And he goes, ‘How about a Metallica reunion?'”
While it’s likely that Simmons was referring to the discontent between himself and original Kiss members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, comparing that to the notorious rift created after Metallica fired Mustaine in 1983, the Megadeth man felt: “Because Cliff had died … I thought it was just not good form.”
He confirmed the incident wasn’t a cause of negativity in the present day, and he wasn’t even sure it had been at the time. It did demonstrate that Simmons knew about Mustaine’s history, though, he observed. “It was really, really … foreign to know that somebody that you’ve looked up your whole life to as a musician knows who you are. It’s really, really a weird feeling.”
A more recent incident left him thinking along the same lines, he said. “For some weird reason, I think Gene likes giving me a hard time,” he said of their encounter at a festival in Spain this year. “[W]e went over to go take a picture with them [and] Gene was in his uniform. And I hear this guy go, ‘Hello, me, it’s me. Hello, me, it’s me…'”
The line was close but not exactly a lyric from Megadeth track “Sweating Bullets.” Mustaine continued: “And I look up and it’s Gene Simmons singing my lyrics. And I thought, ‘What a blast! Who would ever have thought this would happen?'”
But it left him in a quandary: “I thought, ‘Okay … you’re going to tell them the right lyrics and risk getting smashed by the gargoyle boot, or are you going to just let him say it wrong and just ride this one out?'” He decided on the easier course: ‘I didn’t say anything – and that was cool. We’ve always had a fun time when we play with Kiss too.”
Elsewhere in the episode Mustaine discussed his friendship with Stanley and his admiration for the guitarist’s paintings, saying he’d like to have one reproduced on one of his own instruments.
Megadeth’s latest album The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead! was released yesterday.
Watch Megadeth on ‘Tales From the Metalverse’
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