David Ellefson is best known as the bassist for Megadeth, but he has recently left the band, and they do not plan on rehiring him. It is not the first time that he has left the band; the first time, he accused the band co-founder Dave Mustaine of not paying him royalties, and the amount he was seeking was $18.5 million. They buried the hatchet, and in 2005, Ellefson rejoined Megadeth. Mustaine seems tired of the band member constantly shedding a negative light on the band, so the new sex misconduct allegations are the last straw. There is still a lot to know about the bassist, so here are ten facts to get you started.
1. He Has Been Ousted from the Band Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
A band’s reputation is on the line when one of its members is accused of sexual misconduct. Therefore most prefer to fire the accused member as Megadeth did with Ellefson. According to The Wrap, videos showing Ellefson masturbating and texts between him and a 19-year-old woman were leaked on social media. However, the band member said the woman was not underage, as most people assumed, and he was not grooming her for sex. It was consensual, and the woman made a statement clearing the air.
2. He Started His Sobriety Journey in 1990
When he agreed to do a show with Iron Maiden, he would finish it then return home to start rehab. He followed through with the agreement and went back home in December 1989. His father always went to church, so he went with him. While there, the message for that day inspired him to become sober; therefore, after around two months, the bassist began the 12-steps program, and the obsession with drugs disappeared.
3. He was in a Seminary for a Year
Ellefson was raised in the Lutheran Church, per the interview with Cross Rhythms. He joined the Lutheran seminary for a four-year training program but only did one year. The inspiration to go to the seminary came after graduating from college- the musician did not know what else to do with his life. He had become so used to reading books, and when he picked the bible one day, he wanted to learn more thus joined the seminary, studied theology from 2011 to 2012.
4. He Met Mustaine After Graduating High School
When Ellefson graduated high school, he never knew anything about heavy metal. Growing up in rural Minnesota, he said new music was a bit slow getting to such places. Upon moving to California, he and his friends rented an apartment, and Mustaine happened to be living upstairs. As he practiced in his room, Mustaine yelled from upstairs for Ellefson to stop making noise, so the bassist and his friends tried socializing with their neighbor. They pretended they wanted to buy beer from Mustaine, and he invited them into his apartment, which became the start of a new friendship.
5. His Favorite Megadeth Record
In an interview with Wikimetal, Ellefson revealed that his favorite Megadeth album is “Countdown to Extinction.” His son seems to love it so much and praised it, saying it is hard to believe it is over two decades old. Ellefson’s son said it was a timeless record, and the bassist agrees, remarking that no other band he has ever listened to has such a record.
6. His First Memoir Was Difficult to Write
Ellefson wrote his first memoir, “My Life with Deth,” with Joel McIver, and he said it was the first time he shared his actual life story. As with memoirs, one has to be careful about what they are willing to make public because of the weaknesses and strengths that the audience can read. The personal frailties made it difficult when writing the book, but still, he had to do it because without disclosing them, the book would not hold any weight. He has written other books, including a guide for musicians, which he is proud to have been used in music business classes across the United States.
7. He Opines That Making a Living as a Musician Can Be Difficult
The bassist told AntiHero Magazine that he is among the lucky few who have consistently maintained a good lifestyle. He was blessed to land a record deal as a teenager and has acquired his wealth exclusively from music. However, he thinks it is difficult for the current generation to make money, and once the money stops flowing, most musicians are left in trouble. People like MC Hammer mismanaged funds, employing staff at $500,000 monthly, and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
8. His Chances of Rejoining the Band Are Nil
Mustaine has been very elusive about who the next Megadeth’s bassist is. According to Loudwire, he has been teasing Ellefson’s replacement, who has already helped the band to complete recording a forthcoming album. When asked about Ellefson’s possibility of returning to the band, Mustaine was adamant that it would not happen. He also added that the speculations of Jason Newstead joining the band are unfounded. Newstead is a former Metallica bassist, but he once said he is not in the best physical shape to be playing Metallica’s songs.
9. He Hid His Drug Addiction from His Family
Drug addiction is not something to be proud of, and Ellefson probably knew he would disappoint his parents. His late mother once disclosed that the bassist told them that he was suffering from the flu, and they believed him. When she looked back, she wished that they could have known what was happening to help him. Luckily, Ellefson decided to stay sober later.
10. His Mother Passed Away in 2016
Ellefson’s mother had a few medical issues before she passed away. In 2009, the bassist shared on social media that she would undergo heart surgery, and he asked for prayers and positive vibes to get him through that difficult time. Before then, in 2006, she suffered a serious stroke, and a friend told the metal community, who in turn showed their support. She, unfortunately, she died in 2016.