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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Run It Back: Dave Mustaine's Short-lived "Punk/Metal" Megadeath Side-project MD.45's The Craving (1996 Lee Ving Version)


"Mustaine & Ving created the band name by reversing their initials. Dave Mustaine's reversed are "MD" and Lee Ving's are "VL," which is 45 in Roman numerals, hence, the name MD.45... The initials, also, stand for members of the band: Mustaine, DeGrasso, Ving, and LeMieux," according to an answer given on Megadeath's website. MD.45 was, in fact, a short-lived Punk/Metal side-project of Megadeath guitarist and frontman Dave Mustaine, along with FEAR's founding guitarist Lee Ving, Electric Love Hogs and future Goldfinger bassist Kelly LeMieux, and former Suicidal Tendencies drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. DeGrasso would, later, join Mustaine's Megadeath between 1998-2002 for Risk, The World Needs A Hero, and Rude Awakening; in-between his time spent with Electric Love Hogs & Goldfinger, LeMieux was, also, briefly a member of FEAR from either 1995-97 or 1997-98. Lest we forget, FEAR were one of the first and only Punk/Hardcore bands to play Saturday Night Live (SNL) for about 25 years! Championed by then-cast member and early supporter of Punk/Hardcore music, John Belushi, FEAR played the Halloween 1981 episode of SNL; along with them, traveled a crew of DC-based slam-dancers, which included Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, Tesco Vee of The Meatmen, Harley Flanagan & John Joseph of The Cro-Mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach. FEAR and their slam-dancing cronies' raucous display, ultimately, resulted in the aired TV performance being cut short and caused somewhere between $20,000-500,000 worth of damage to the SNL/30 Rock set.


MD.45 was only briefly active through 1996, released one album, The Craving, and, supposedly, only played one live show together. The Craving was originally released in Japan first on May 29, 1996 and saw a release in other nations across the world a few months later on July 23, 1996. However, unfortunately, the original Lee Ving-fronted version of The Craving has become widely unavailable in recent years, as when Capitol Records re-released The Craving (Remastered) in 2004, it was then, suspiciously realized that both Ving's vocal AND harmonica tracks were missing. Dave Mustaine, of course, decided to re-record the "missing" vocal and harmonica tracks himself (simulating the harmonica parts on his guitar.) In his book, Mustain off-handedly mentions he chose to replace Lee Ving's vocals to appease the Megadeath audience and hopefully, have better sales. I, personally, think Lee Ving's original 1996 vocals on The Craving sound phenomenal and far superior, but I've, admittedly, never been much of a Dave Mustaine/Megadeath fan, so, maybe, that's why... although, you can decide for yourself, as we've included Lee Ving's original version of The Craving down below—thanks to YouTuber Anti-Patriot009's 40-minute CD rip/stream—and I'm sure Mustaine's 2004 The Craving Re-mastered is now-widely available on digital streaming services. FEAR & Lee Ving, as they're now billed, have recently reunited with original line-up members Philo Cramer & Tim "Spit Stix" Leitch, as well as former AFI/Tiger Army bassist Geoff Kresge and former The Henchmen/Viva Hate guitarist Eric Razo. FEAR & Lee Ving recently opened for also-newly-reunited Punk/Hardcore pioneers, The Original Misfits and are gearing up to unleash a brand spankin' new 7-inch single on Atom Age Industries entitled "FUEL TO THE FIRE."

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