Did Metallica ‘Steal’ Cliff Burton From His Band Trauma? Dave Mustaine Says They Did

Cliff Burton: Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live) [Cliff 'Em All] - YouTube, Metallica / Dave Mustanie: Megadeth Facebook
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During a recent conversation on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine spoke to his efforts trying to find David Ellefson‘s replacement.  Back in May of 2021, Ellefson was let go from the band following a sex scandal he was involved in.

Mustaine shares that the time period associated with Ellefson being let go and trying to find his replacement was “a little touchy”; he also goes on to share that finding a replacement felt difficult. Per Mustaine (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“I think the band and everybody that’s associated with us, that period that we went through was a little touchy. So we wanted to do the right thing. And trying to find the replacement for anybody, I think, wasn’t the right thing to do at the time because nobody really knew all the facts and I certainly didn’t want to poach anybody. Not from Testament — they’re my friends — and I don’t think from anybody.”

For Dave Mustaine, it was important to him that he did not “poach” anyone from another band – that he didn’t “steal” someone from another band. Apparently things must have worked out, because back in March, Mustaine shared that Testament’s Steve Di Giorgio would be the bass player on the band’s new album.

All this talking about poaching artists brought up a memory from Dave involving the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. Specifically, Mustaine speaks to how Metallica poached Burton from his band at the time, Trauma.

“As great as Steve is, I remember what it felt like when we [Metallica] went up and poached Cliff [Burton] from Trauma. I mean, granted, the band Trauma wasn’t that good, but there are still guys in the band and their lives were changed when that happened.

“I tend to believe that… You’ve gotta ask yourself, ‘Did he jump or was he pushed?’ And I like to make sure, if I was gonna hire somebody, that I wasn’t stealing him from anybody.”

What do you make of this story involving the late Cliff Burton? You can check out the music video for the latest Megadeth song below, “Nightstalkers: Chapter II.”