Slayer axeman Kerry King is scheduled to perform alongside Megadeth on stage tonight (October 21) at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California. They will collectively perform the Megadeth classic, "Rattlehead." Tonight's performance marks the second time King has performed the song with Megadeth. The first performance was 26 years ago, in February 1984, during which time King played as the band's second guitarist.
Tonight's performance is part of the final show for the Jägermeister Music Tour, which features 1991's original Clash of the Titans lineup: Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.
During an interview with Decibel magazine in 2006, both Slayer guitarists - King and Jeff Hanneman - discussed King's decision to play with Megadeth over 20 years ago:
Hanneman: "I thought [Kerry] was an ass for doing that. [laughs] I remember talking to Tom [Araya] about it, like, 'I guess we're gonna get a new guitar player.' I thought he was kissing Dave's [Mustaine] ass or something, and I thought it was kinda fucked up. I think he was gonna join. Kerry will probably tell you something different, but why do that if you're not thinking about joining? I'm a loyalist, you know, and I thought Slayer was the best thing going. Why go hang out with somebody else? If Dave would've asked me to do it, I would've told him to fuck off."
King: "I did it because I admired Mustaine — I'd seen him play with Metallica. He'd be up there drunk off his ass, just ripping, not even looking at his fingers. Me and Jeff didn't know how to do that yet. [laughs] When he got kicked out and was sniffing around for a guitarist, I figured I'd do it because I thought I would learn something. The other guys in Slayer were probably unhappy, but we weren't really known back then, and the way I looked at it was that if people saw me playing in Dave's band, it'd be more publicity for Slayer. Now you look back and you think 'supergroup,' but back then, absolutely not. I played their first five shows, and then I was like, 'Man, this is taking too much of my time.' I can't speak for Dave, but I don't think he would've been unhappy if I stuck around."
Below is a video featuring former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson discussing King's time with Megadeth. Also below is footage from the 1984 performance of "Rattlehead." An image from Megadeth's official Twitter feed is included as well.