Published May 08, 2020This past February, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine announced that he was officially cancer-free following his July 2019 diagnosis. In reflecting on his fight and recovery, Mustaine has revealed that cannabis played an important part in the process.
In conversation with Metal Hammer, Mustaine recalled contemporaries, including Metallica's James Hetfield, Paul Stanley of KISS and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, offering best wishes and support.
Dickinson, in particular, was able to offer MegaDave some valuable perspective on what to expect in recovery, having beaten throat cancer himself in 2015.
"[Dickinson's] biggest advice was to listen to the doctors and don't rush to get back onstage," Mustaine recalled. "My last treatment was in September and I made plenty of time to rest, exercise and eat right before we went back out on tour. We did 22 dates overseas, and I feel great now, except for the fatigue. But I think a lot of that might be due to um, extracurricular activities. Staying up late. Not sleeping. Maybe a little, you know…"
Mustaine then made it very clear just what exactly he was talking about:
Thumb and forefinger to his lips, Dave inhales sharply, making the universal symbol for partaking of the herb. Could he be referring to the alleged medicinal benefits of CBD oil? "Don't screw around with the oil, man," he growls in the same gravel baritone as his crushing thrash classics. Our eyes go wide as the voice from sixth grade Headbangers Ball comes to life.
While he won't be looking to make a purchase from Bif Naked anytime soon, Mustaine advised, "If you're gonna do it, get the good stuff."
"I think the world is just now finding out the beauty of cannabis and everything it can do for you," he continued. "I hear people talk how it's good for cancer patients. C'mon, it's good for any fucking patient! The radiation zapped my salivary glands so I couldn't make spit, which made it really hard to swallow and get food down."
Expanding on how the leaf helped with his appetite, Mustaine recalled, "They gave me this crazy mouthwash to use that had Benadryl and lidocaine in it, but I still couldn't eat. So cannabis helped with that, except I got a terrible craving for kiddie cereal. I went to the store and got, like, 20 boxes."
But what were the Megadeth leader's munchies of choice?
"Trix with marshmallows. Froot Loops with marshmallows. Frosted Flakes. The kind with little marshmallows. You get the idea," he admitted. "My cancer team told me to try and watch the sugar intake, but they said, 'Dave, if you can eat — then eat.' The doctor threatened to put a feeding tube in my gut if I lost too much weight. Well, they scared the shit out of me with that one, but it worked."
Mustaine and his Megadeth bandmates are currently recording a follow-up to 2016's Dystopia. He's also set to recall the recording of the band's iconic Rust in Peace album in a new memoir this September.