Megadeth singer sues bassist over use of band name in advert

September 2005


In a slightly unsual case Megadeth’s lead singer has accused their ex-bassist of using the heavy metal group’s name without permission. However the use is not as part of a touring band or on an album but as a historical record of the bassist David Ellefson’s membership. Band founder and vocalist David Mustaine claims he and Ellefson had an agreement restricting Mr Ellefson’s use of the group’s name. Mr Mustaine says an advert Mr Ellefson made for musical equipment contravenes this deal. He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. In the legal action filed at Los Angeles’ Superior Court, Mr Mustaine stated that Mr Ellefson “shall not use the work or mark ‘Megadeth’ to advertise, market or promote any product or service”. Mr Mustaine claims that an advertisement in Bass Player magazine, which features Mr Ellefson holding a pedal tuner for bass guitars and includes the names of bands he is involved with – including Megadeth – breaks a settlement agreement both parties entered into which prevented Mr Ellefson using the band’s name – even thought the use is not as a direct endorsement.


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