News Segment


July 26, 2005

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is banging heads with his former bass player Dave Ellefson.

The singer has hopped into a legal mosh pit of sorts to put his heavy metal foot down on how Ellefson is permitted to make use of the band’s name.

Mustaine filed a lawsuit against Ellefson in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday after Ellefson appeared alongside the Megadeth name in a magazine ad for musical equipment without his former band’s permission.

In his court documents, Mustaine claims that he and Ellefson reached a settlement in February that bans the bassist from using the Megadeth name unless he receives prior written consent.

“Ellefson shall not use, or authorize anyone else to use, the work or mark ‘Megadeth’ to advertise, market or promote any person, band, company, organization, product or services without Megadeth’s prior express written permission,” Mustaine’s lawsuit states.

According to Mustaine, Ellefson appeared in an ad in this month’s issue of Bass Player magazine holding a Peterson Electro-Musical Product’s pedal tuner for bass guitars. The ad copy listed several bands the guitarist has been involved with, including Megadeth.

The singer is asking for unspecified compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages.

Mustaine founded Megadeth in 1983, after he was booted out of Metallica. The thrash quartet went on to become one of the most heralded bands in the speed-metal movement.

In 2002, Mustaine announced that he was disbanding Megadeth after he suffered a freak injury that left his arm and hand with severe nerve damage, meaning he could no longer perform.

After undergoing rehab, Mustaine eventually regained the use of his limb and reformed Megadeth to release 2004’s The System Has Failed–minus Ellefson.

In July 2004, Ellefson filed a $18.5 million suit against Mustaine, alleging that the frontman had unfairly cut him out of the band’s profits and had libeled him.

Mustaine countersued later the same month, alleging that Ellefson had agreed to a settlement in May 2004 in which he gave up his 20 percent interest in Megadeth and released Mustaine and the group from all claims.

Though Ellefson claimed that the settlement was merely a proposal that he signed under pressure and later withdrew, a judge ruled in favor of Mustaine and dismissed Ellefson’s suit.

There was no word from the guitarist regarding Mustaine’s latest court action against him.

Last month, Megadeth released a greatest-hits album, Back to the Start. The band is currently touring with the Gigantour Summer Festival, which wraps up Aug. 19 in Portland, Maine.

Courtesy of