Megadeth's Dave Mustaine: My Life in 15 Songs

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

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"Peace Sells"

Peace Sells ... but Who's Buying? (1986)

I was living in a warehouse at the time I wrote "Peace Sells." We were homeless, and I wrote the lyrics on a wall. I didn't even have paper. I had a pen and I wrote 'em on the wall. And I'm sure once we moved out of there somebody probably carved that wall out and took it.

I wrote it because I was tired of people mocking metal in general and mocking people who are metal fans. It was hard for me to watch the way we were stereotyped on TV, just as dumbasses. For the most part, I think that a lot of musicians are very intelligent and very talented. It's a bummer the way people had been stereotyped.

I knew when I wrote that song that I was onto something because prior to that song, everything was just shred-festing and just playing really fast, aggressive stuff. But as soon as "Peace Sells" came out, it was like, "Wow this is really a song-song," something that, unbeknownst to myself, would stand the test of time, something that would be my friend forever. Never had I gotten that feeling from our previous songs. I never thought, "Hey, you're gonna be playing this song every night for the rest of your life."

MTV News used the bass line for a while, but they did it minus one note so I wouldn't get paid for it for years. We stopped sending Christmas cards to each other a long time ago, MTV and myself, though Headbangers Ball was great for us.

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