Megadeth founder, guiding force, and sole constant member Dave Mustaine has had a far reaching impact on the world of thrash metal. His brief stint with Metallica is well documented, and his time as Megadeth band leader has seen many extremely talented musicians come and go. In 1990 Dave and company released what would go on to become one of thrash's landmark albums: Rust In Peace. The lineup that recorded R.I.P. would become what is considered the classic Megadeth - Dave Mustaine on guitar and vocals, Dave Ellefson on bass, Marty Friedman on lead guitar, and Nick Menza on drums. To this day that lineup stands as the band's longest running incarnation, lasting for 4 studio albums and close to ten years.

But this era in Megadeth's history could have looked very different. In 1989 Mustaine asked Texas guitar wizard Darryl Abbott to be his new guitar player. Abbott was interested in the high profile gig, but on one condition - that Mustaine also hire his brother, Vinnie, to play drums. Nick Menza had already been brought in as Megadeth's new drummer causing Dave Mustaine to reject Abbott's counter offer. Megadeth went on to record the aforementioned Rust In Peace, to this day considered their greatest achievement. In spite of missing out on this potential life changing opportunity, the Abbott brothers' band turned out okay.

Darryl and Vinnie's band at the time was a Texas outfit named Pantera. Not long after the brothers and Dave Mustaine went their separate ways Pantera would go on to record and release another of 1990's seminal albums, Cowboys From Hell.


In hindsight it worked out the best way possible for both bands. Megadeth found the stability their earlier lineups had been lacking and released the most accomplished album of the band's career. Cowboys From Hell was the first in a string of hugely successful Pantera albums. The band would go on to gain a legion of fans and be one of the few heavy metal bands to achieve sustained success throughout the 1990s. While Pantera disbanded in 2003, Megadeth continues to record and tour, and as of this writing are in the studio working on their 14th album, Super Collider.