Original Metallica bassist Ron McGovney has responded to fellow former member Dave Mustaine's claim that he's "clearly the alpha male" of the founding members.

Mustaine, the longtime leader of Megadeth, asserted as much in a recent interview when comparing his early leadership to that of Metallica's figureheads, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. (Guitarist Kirk Hammett replaced Mustaine in Metallica in 1983.)

In the Sept. 9 discussion with Classic Rock, Mustaine was prompted by the interviewer who said, "The guys who founded that band, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, are such alpha males." But Mustaine didn't jibe with that remark.

"I am clearly the alpha male between the three of us," he replied. "Why did I have to do everything when I was in the band? Why did they always ask me to talk to the promoters and collect the cash? Why was I the one who had to do the fighting? Why did I have to talk in between songs?"

Yet, McGovney, who joined Metallica in 1981 but was out the following year, disagreed with the characterization. (The late Cliff Burton took McGovney's place in Metallica in 1982.)

Replying to a news article summarizing the interview last week, McGovney wrote on Twitter, "Dave talked to the promoters? Collected the cash? James didn't play guitar before Metallica? That's not how I remember those days. Just the opposite actually."

McGovney's and Mustaine's tenures in Metallica overlapped before both musicians were supplanted by players who'd mount longer tenures. Hammett remains lead guitarist to this day. Metallica's current bassist, Robert Trujillo, joined in 2003.

To Classic Rock, Mustaine continued of Metallica, "I love those guys. I sent a text message to James just a couple of days ago after he admitted onstage that he was insecure about his guitar playing. I said, 'James, I love you and I really like your playing.' He didn’t answer. Of course not. Why would he? The point is I wanted him to know that."

Metallica recently finished the bulk of their 2022 touring; they'll play New York's Global Citizen Festival later this month. Get Metallica tickets here. Megadeth are currently touring North America. Get tix to that show here.

In July, a Metallica song inclusion in Netflix's Stranger Things gave the group a boost in popularity. In the season finale, the character Eddie Munson performs the band's "Master of Puppets" in a pivotal scene. Metallica subsequently welcomed new fans before some of them seemingly attempted to "cancel" the group.

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