Musicality aside, in his autobiography Dave is able to look back on all the debauchery, 17 rehab stints, fist fights, general assholeness, and being in Metallica's shadow and laugh about a lot of things, which not many who hold grudges can say. He can take it all in stride, and be thankful for what he has, and write about all of it in a humorous and sarcastic way, which makes the book worth reading. Reading a few passages, you can definitely tell it's Mustaine, especially if you have ever heard any interviews with him.
|Dave with his hot wife, Pam|
From around 2003, to last year I was in a band, that I don't care to mention because to do so would give unnecessary publicity to an undeserving entity. The other guitar player was a pretty weird guy, and when the accusations came that he did something heinous--not quite as heinous to land him in jail, but pretty fucking close enough to call him a pedophile--I was pretty shocked.
I was intent on moving in with this guy and being his friend, until word got out about his insidious way of being. What made it all worse, was that the band was at a high point, something which was a long time coming for us, especially after every fucking set back and personal conflict we dealt with. It was then I had to decide what kind of man to be. In psychology there is a term called "Cognitive Dissonance." This is the type of thing that happens when you generally ascribe to a type of belief and act a different way. Usually, people do this with no problem. The problem arises when they become aware, and now they can't figure out how to reconcile beliefs and actions.
Fearing change as much as I did, I told the guy to get help, and I would stick around. He agreed, and as with so many other things, he did not comply. As his resistance to comply with that simple task strengthened, my grew more depressed and my training suffered. Here's where my cognitive dissonance kicked in. I feared change so much, that I stuck around against my beliefs, and it fucked with me badly. I generally felt the way one does after they get hit in the testicles.
To alleviate the dissonance, I dissolved my friendship, quit the band, and moved out. The last move crippled me financially for a while and I was a step above homeless most of the time until a few months ago. For the better part of that time I wanted nothing more to see the former band fail, and for the few friends I did have in the band to get the fuck out.
Both of these things happened. Or atleast one is apparently happening and the other has happened. My friends got wise and left--I suspect that they didn't quite know how fucked the unsavory guitar player is, and had not endured like I had, so they stayed longer.
I got over most of the demons involving the split because harboring that kind of anger isn't entirely productive. It is not wholly unproductive either. The anger fueled Dave to stay alive through things that should have killed him, and lead him to his success, which was hinged on being better than Metallica.
Having your life get fucked the way mine did also makes you feel like what you do is never gonna be as good as what you did, something which Dave mentions a lot of in his autobiography. But with time you look back, and you get over these things and you can channel the aggression you had to do better things than before.
My training has gotten better, my guitar and piano playing have improved exponentially, and I am in the process of starting another band that will put to shame my previous efforts. This was perhaps the greatest part of Mustaine's book--relating to it, and knowing somebody had it worse than I did on a large scale. I highly recommend that book if you hold grudges easily, or you are a fan of music.
In light of writing this, I would like to thank the people who were there for me in 2009--those of you who made me laugh, who housed me, and were there for me. And thanks to any of you who read what I write here. You all know who you are. Thanks for reminding me that it's the times that kick the shit out of you that make you realize if you are fit to live, and ready to accept change.