Dave Mustaine Blames Megadeth’s Former Management for Marty Friedman’s Departure
Sometimes musicians simply move on from the band that they're in, but other times, there was a catalyst that caused the split. Such was the case with Marty Friedman and Megadeth. Apparently, he reached a breaking point that caused him to quit the legendary thrash group.
The story doesn't come from Friedman himself, though. The band's leader Dave Mustaine recalled the falling-out during a new conversation with Guitar World, stating that it was the result of a disagreement over a guitar solo on their Risk track "Breadline."
“I’ve always believed we should give the guitar player an opportunity to do a solo that he feels is right for the song,” Mustaine affirmed. “If someone plays something that doesn’t work for the part, then I may make some suggestions. If it’s still not happening, I might say, ‘Okay, this is what I want you to play here.’ If a lead totally doesn’t work then I’m going to do the part myself. That’s what happened [on] 'Breadline.' And Marty Friedman quit over the solo in 'Breadline.'”
Their management wanted "Breadline" to be a single, so they didn't think that Friedman's solo was a good fit. Mustaine agreed to do the solo himself if management explained the situation to Friedman. Thus, the frontman played the solo, but no one told Friedman why.
“So we’re in there listening to the finished album and the solo comes on. It’s my solo, not Marty’s," Mustaine continued. "I looked at him as tears ran down his face and I knew right away that nobody had told him. I knew that was probably going to be the end of Marty Friedman... Having been a partner with Marty for so many years, as much of an enigma as he was, I could tell he was really upset and he had had enough."
Mustaine acknowledged that the circumstances were "definitely not okay," but blamed management for how it all went down.
"I think that was a terrible thing to do to him,” said the Megadeth frontman.
Friedman announced his departure from Megadeth in December of 1999, and played one final show with them in January of 2000 and was eventually replaced by Al Pitrelli.