Movie Review: VH1 BEHIND THE MUSIC: MegadethSanctuary

This extended Behind the Music details the tumultuous life and career of hard rock pioneer Dave Mustaine and his band, Megadeth. Kicked out of Metallica, the band he co-founded, in 1982, the guitarist/vocalist got his revenge by forming Megadeth. His mission statement for his new group: “…to be the fastest, utmost furious heavy metal band ever.” But if anybody embodied the philosophy “live hard, play hard” it was Mustaine, who battled heroin addiction for nearly 10 years. Five lineups, 16 trips to rehab, one near-death experience, and more than 20 million albums later, Megadeth have more than made their mark in metal. Also included: “too hot for MTV/VH1” version of the video for “Moto Psycho.”

I’m an admitted pop culture music history and trivia junkie. Have been ever since I picked up my first copy of Circus magazine back in 1988, and the infectious sounds of hard rock and heavy metal began to permeate the very fiber of my gelatinous being. Even the bands and artists I don’t like, I enjoy delving into their back story, getting a glimpse of what drove them, why they became what they are, etc. etc.

So, obviously, VH1’s series Behind The Music was an obvious obsession of mine. Problem was, I never had cable or satellite to watch the cable show. I did catch a few, via friends cable. But even then, I missed out on some of my favorite groups featured. Megadeth was one of them.

With this DVD of the show released, I finally got to watch the trials and tribulations of one Dave Mustaine and his merry band of metal miscreants (sorry…I’ve been reading too much Stan Lee-penned comics recently). His childhood growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father, running away at a young age and starting up with drugs, drinking and metal music, joining up with some band that called itself Metallica, getting kicked out of said band and starting up Megadeth…pretty much stuff I already knew after years of being a fan of the ‘Deth.

And that’s probably the big reason why this DVD falls short for me, 45 extra minutes added or not. Just about every episode of Behind The Music focused way too much on the scandal rather than the inspiration, and that’s really what I’m more interested in. There’s only so much going back to his relapses into drug use that I can take before the “overkill” flag starts popping up in my head. Regardless of my limited (but still impressive) knowledge of the band, there were some things I found interesting…like the misfire that was the original cover for Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (not the band’s fault; I remember buying my first copy and thinking how lame that cover was…glad that was cleared up), how Alice Cooper cautioned the band early in their career about their over excessive party habits, and later becoming a mentor for the recovering Mustaine, and how former Metallica mate Lars “I Sued Our Fans For File Sharing” Ulrich actually held Peace Sells But Who’s Buying? as a brilliant metal album.

The extras, if you want to call ’em that, include the video for “Moto Psycho”, which apparently (if you read the above synopsis I ganked from was too hot for either video channel. I don’t see how, as it’s pretty tame compared to their previous videos. Also included are interview segments from those featured in the show that were cut for whatever reason, a discography, and…other stuff I didn’t feel the need to go through.

For the fans of Megadeth, there’s really not too much here that will shock your socks off. We already know this. And since I’ve never seen the original 1-hour broadcast (give or take a few commercial breaks), I don’t know what was added. This is pretty beefy, and I liked the perspectives of those who were associated with the band at one point in time or another. Saving that, this DVD is really more of a rental that a must-own-at-all-costs.