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05 June 2003
Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Sep 97) #8

As last month in my column I strung along a list of unrelated ideas from the road, this time I?ll do the same from home, which for me is in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. It?s very hot here, about 40 degrees now in September. I love it!! One of the great things about Arizona is the fact that you can pretty much plan that the weather will be good every day. The sun comes out strong over 300 days a year. One day, years ago when we all had homes in L.A., the other band members and I were on the tour bus in Spain admiring the gorgeous Spanish countryside and we started talking about where the ultimate place in the whole world to live would be. We have all been just about everywhere and seen just about everything so a lot of exotic places came up but when we started talking about Arizona, 3 out of 4 of us (all but Nick) started talking kind of seriously about living here. I had visited Arizona when I was a little kid and I remembered the fact that one could go swimming almost any day of the year. This leaves quite a good impression on a kid from Washington D.C.! Megadeth had played in Arizona many times, in Phoenix and Tucson so we all knew a little about the place and eventually living here became a reality. I?ve been here since the recording of Youthanasia and I think it?s great place to come off tour to.

The U.S. tour ended a few days ago in Chicago at a place called the World Amphitheater. It is a massive complex where we played to over 30,000 fans. Some of the other bands on the bill that night were Joan Jett, Veruca Salt (who have been becoming quite popular in the U.S. lately) and Faith No More. I watched some of the Joan Jett show with my guitar tech and we were amazed at how far her guitarist could throw his guitar pick into the audience! It came out of his hand like a bullet! I talked to the two girls in Veruca Salt for a while and they were cool chicks, in a good mood. I told them that they reminded me somewhat of the Runaways who I?ve been a fan of since I was a little kid.

There is something about girls in rock bands that is strange. On one hand, it seems that they just don?t have what it takes to rock. Maybe that?s because their original reason for playing rock and roll is different from guys--guys pick up guitars because they want to get chicks. I don?t really know why girls pick up guitars--maybe because it?s fun?! Maybe they want to get guys? I?ll tell you one thing-- it sure is intimidating to be a guy and your girlfriend is a better guitarist than you are! Anyway, on the other hand, there is something incredibly sexy about girls banging on drums, beating on guitars, sliding their hands up and down the guitar necks, sweating and shaking their bodies. After playing guitar for most of my life, it?s really cool to see girls play guitar. It?s like when a girl plays guitar, she can relate to something that?s been very intimate for me for most of my life. I believe that someday, there will be the female equivalent to Jimi Hendrix. Not that I?m even much of a Hendrix fan, because I?m not really, but I mean that someday a female guitarist will have the impact on the music world that Hendrix had. It?s just that it?s hard for female guitarists to get respect in this male dominated field. But if you are a girl guitarist out there reading this, don?t be discouraged! Actually you have it EASIER than your male counterparts because you have that much less female competition, and if you play good guitar, you will stand out. I believe that males and females have EXACTLY the same capacity to become great at their instrument; just look in any orchestra, pretty much men and women equal. So with that, I?m waiting for the next FEMALE Jimi Hendrix-- maybe she will be from Japan!

For the last two shows of this U.S. tour, Peoria, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois, we had photographer Gene Kirkland come out on the tour with us and follow us all around all day and night to get not only live shots, but ?secret? private shots to put into the new Megadeth tour program. It was kind of like in our ?Evolver? video where we had the cameras watch our every move. I haven?t seen the pictures yet but it seemed like the flashes were going on all day and night and we couldn?t even get into our beds on the tour bus without his camera snapping away. Gene is a great photographer who has been shooting us for a long time, the earliest that I remember is the cover photos for ?Rust in Peace?. After countless photo sessions with many photographers around the world, our band (and probably most other major bands) has a select few that we have a good vibe with and who come out to all different parts of the world to spend a few days with us and do our photo work. The photographer has to be someone that we can joke around with and someone that we have a history with so we can say, ?Remember that time in Rio...?

So after the last show in Chicago, the next day we did an in-store appearance (sain-kai) in a great record store called ?Rolling Stones?. It was nothing like the in-store that we did in Greece which I told you about a couple of months ago. Nobody got hurt! It was very well organized and the fans waited patiently in a line that circled a few city blocks. We were all anxious to get home, so after the last autograph was signed and the last photo was taken, we jumped in the limo and hurried to Chicago?s O?Hare Airport. Nick flew to L.A. and the rest of us went to Phoenix.

It was a long and satisfying tour. After giving 1000% every night in every city from east to west it is really important to shut the machine off for awhile and seriously recharge the batteries. That?s the secret to keeping a band as powerful as Megadeth as strong as we are. We are taking a three week hiatus from touring now and without breaks like this one strategically placed throughout the one year or two year tour for an album, the members of any band would want to kill each other, no matter how popular the band is. When you have been on the road for a long time and you are far away from home in Cho-inaka-town, U.S.A., or worse yet, Cho-inaka-town Europe, on a day off on a Sunday where there is nothing to do, nothing is open and it?s cold and raining outside, telling yourself how popular your band is doesn?t help much.

So I?ve been at home, taking care of my cars, laying out by the pool, doing some interviews and working in my home studio. I don?t have my guitar amp room soundproofed so I?m sure sometimes you can hear my guitar playing throughout the neighborhood. I?ve yet to get any complaints about the volume from the neighbors so I?m gong to keep on jamming. I really sympathize with musicians in Japan because you have very little space to practice and play your music in and I?m sure that high volumes are discouraged. On the other hand, in Japan, music is much more a part of everyday life than it is in America. People are encouraged from a very young age to get involved in music, and people in Japan seem to have music in their soul. What?s good for musicians around the world is Japan?s seemingly unending demand for music of every possible kind. It seems that you could choose even the most obscure form of music, and someone from Japan would be an expert knowing all the details about it. That?s cool!

So I?d like to close with a little encouragement for all the female guitarists out there. Practice hard and give your boyfriends some competition! And to the guys--you?re not going to let your girlfriends play better guitar than you, are you? Get to work!! (It?s funny how this kind of advice only works for guitar-actually only rock guitar-I couldn?t imagine saying this kind of thing about violin, piano or cello!)

Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Sep 97) #8