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Dave Ellefson

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Biography

Dave Ellefson is born November 12 1964 in Jackson, Minnesota. He was a bass player in Megadeth from 1983-2002. He is now a currently a member of Avian, Temple of Brutality, F5, and Killing Machine.

Early life

With formal training on keyboard instruments and saxophone as a kid, Ellefson was drawn to the bass guitar because of its presence in heavy rock music. He then became an accomplished rhythm guitarist and honed his songwriting skills while leading several of his own bands through the club scene of North America’s Midwest region.

Throughout his teen years he played bass and rhythm guitar in several bands before moving to Los Angeles in the spring of 1983 at the age of 18 after graduating high school in hopes of attending the Musician’s Institute. According to a VH1 segment, Ellefson was influenced “to pick up the instrument (guitar)” by Kiss records.


Megadeth years (1983-2002)

Other than vocalist and primary lyricist Dave Mustaine, Ellefson was the only constant member of Megadeth from the time of their establishment in 1983 to their disbandment in 2002. To differentiate between the two Davids, Mustaine referred to Ellefson as “Dave Junior”, which was often shortened to “Junior”. He appeared on every album and tour from 1985’s thrash record Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! up until 2002’s Rude Awakening. Ellefson’s original playing style involved using his fingers, however, as Megadeth progressed and the music became more complex, he tended to prefer playing with a pick/plectrum. Towards the end of his Megadeth career, Ellefson was not getting some of his material played for the band, which angered him.

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