MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has posted the following message in the “Forums” section of the band’s official web site:
“I am struggling with the process of growing old. Not about the number of years that I have been here — 48; not the number of mistakes — a gazillion. Not the number of friends — 7 1/2; not the number of enemies a gazillion. Not about the color of my hair or beard — red and white; not the condition of my body or skin — very blue. Not even about the things that are on my bucket list . . . no, not so much about me, but more my only begotten son. My firstborn.; my pride and joy.
“The young man named Justis David Mustaine.
“Where did the time go? Last night I was talking with Justis and he was describing why he wanted to go to college in the city he has chosen — 4+ hours up north, and I just couldn’t understand.
“I don’t know where the time has gone, I don’t know how I could have missed this, and I am so miserable about my choice to be away from my son, because of being a musician. I have missed out on so much of this little boy’s life.
“Looking back at all of the ups and downs; I have been loving and fun, but also over bearing and heavy-handed. I have tried to celebrate occasions or had to discipline from over a telephone, and I have given and taken away almost everything he has ever had because of our predicament and the fact that I have forced him to grow up without a dad in his life, and I’ll be damned if I am not repeating the same thing with my own childhood with Justis.
“The drugs, the drinking, the bad behavior and treatment of his mother and sister, not being there to teach him how to play sports, to wrestle, to fight, for homework, for fun, and for the difficult times like puberty, his first kiss, first beer, first anything . . . how could I have been so blind and so destined to repeat the same thing that my own father had done to me. I am doing the same thing, right down to the last detail of living and dying alone.
“I have met and agreed, but also had problems with his friends, and tried to encourage him, and we have fought and we have loved, and I know that he is proud of me, but I am so ashamed of the way I have been to him. I look at the posts of some of our lovely Droogies here, and just like the times that I have gotten involved in your own lives — like our friend in Philly that was getting assaulted by his dad, or the Aussie Droog who was suicidal that I sat on the phone with, or any of the other times I have been here for you, and I ask myself, ‘Why can’t you be here like that for your own crowning jewel of your bloodline?’ ‘Why can’t you be here like that for Justis?’ and I am not going to have to ever answer that question again.
“This probably seems like it is coming out of left field, but it’s not. I am trying so very, very hard to get my life in perspective, and there have been so many things that have happened over the years that have made me the way that I am. I had to review my autobiography for legal purposes, and while the book describes what made me this way, it also shares how I want to change and what I am doing now to correct these own behaviors of mine and these past transgression or ‘scars,’ if you will, that I have or that I have caused.
“So, today I am going to continue to celebrate his life, and share some of his time off for Christmas break. I look at him and he is so handsome and smart, and I think his mother has done such a great job (anyone that thinks mothers don’t work their asses off are sadly mistaken — unless they are fat slags) with him while I was out doing my job; something that on the outside looking in for so many years appears to be a choice that I made to play the ‘rock star’ over being the ‘dad.’ Of course, one is a role and the other is a gift from God; one is about ego and one is about esteem. And one will pay me now versus one that will reward me forever.
“I guess what I am saying today is if you are a parent; there is golden thread that sews the cloth that we (the parent and the child) are cut from ‘back together.’ These ‘threads’ that I watched held him together in nursery school when we drove away for the first day of school, when he was upset and crying. He didn’t know that I was upset and crying too. They held us together when we first started learning how to do ‘Hooked on Phonics,’ and I started to see how smart he would become. They held us together when he got in trouble, they held when he was doing well.
But most importantly, now it is holding together the pieces of my world as I see my little boy prepare to move away.
“So far the only thing that I know I have done better than my tortured alcoholic father is merely outliving him. I want to be a better dad, to be available to talk or just listen, to show him the answers or just show him how to find them on his own, to play and to celebrate, to work out and to veg, to surf and ski/snowboard, or basically anything to spend time with this wonderful person that God has blessed me with.
“Don’t get this wrong and think this has anything to do with Internet drama or that I don’t feel the same way about my wonderful daughter. Remember, too, that drama starts with ‘der-rama’ and as far as Electra goes, I have made considerably far less mistakes parenting her after learning what to do with her awesome big brother.
“In closing, if you are a Droog and have children, PLEASE do not take for granted a single moment of their lives because they will want to move out soon — it is a natural process called individuation and its funny because everyone that I have talked to that is a parent is the same, either they don’t want them to go as a child and can’t wait for them to leave when they get older, or they want them to go when they are kids and have all of these plans, and once they get ready to go, the parent balks and can’t let go (this is me right now).
“I am really learning so much about myself from my family, from my friends, and from my mentors and guides. I have learned how to deal with the label better (you have got to see that), how to deal with band disagreements (which we barely ever have and usually is about food), how to handle my emotions about the music business and all of the hard stuff like the gossip, the rumors, and the haters (I am doing better with this too, but I have a long way to go). But the most important thing I have learned this last year is that I do not know how to love people, places, or things very well.
“I am going to start trying my best to learn to love. I imagine it will start a lot with keeping my big mouth shut.
“I know he stopped coming here because of all of the negative stuff about his dad, but if you read this, Justis, I love you and I am so proud to be your dad, and I am going to keep working every day for the rest of my life here on earth to be the best dad in the world to you.
“Merry Christmas, son.”