Megadeth's Dave Mustaine: My Life in 15 Songs

Singer/guitarist reflects on nearly four decades of thrash-metal masterpieces

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"A Secret Place"

Cryptic Writings (1997)

"A Secret Place" is one of the last songs we wrote on Cryptic Writings and we were out at this place that used to be Al Capone's getaway. It was a hand-cut stone castle, and he would take people out there to go gambling and he'd shoot a plug in them and bury 'em in the backyard. One day this dog comes running up and it had what looked like a human leg bone, because there were a lot of unmarked graves behind the studio. I never knew for sure. 

At the time I was having trouble writing lyrics and I had one more song left to go. When I saw this dog, I just went, "Whoa, man. This is a really secret place." And I was in there singing and I hear this footprint go across the roof [imitates sound] and there's nobody else in the building except for me and the guy on the other side of the glass in the control room. We didn't know if it was the wind creaking or if it was some ghost up there 'cause the place is supposed to be haunted. It's pretty cool.

We did a lot of strumming on this record, and a lot of pop stuff. We had management at the time that was trying to get us to write songs that were more geared toward being popular – something that could get on radio or MTV – instead of being songs we like. But this was a radio hit, like "Trust," and that was great.

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