In a recent Metal Hammer interview, Kerry King of former Slayer fame remembered his first time watching Metallica perform. Despite not always having best relationship with Dave Mustaine, King said he was blown away by his fellow guitarist’s performance.
“They were great at that point,” King recalls. “They were ahead of us by at least 16 months to a year. They were doing originals and we were still doing covers. I think we opened for Metallica with Mustaine, I can’t recall, but I know me and Dave [Lombardo, Slayer drummer] definitely saw them in a club and we were blown away by Mustaine.
“Still to this day, he’s a f**king great guitar player,” Kerry added. “It was very awesome, it wasn’t big clubs, you could see from anywhere, and I was very enamoured with seeing Mustaine play these insane leads and James [Hetfield] playing these insane rhythms and barking out these lyrics.
“It was way more extreme than what I thought metal was or could be, it was like another arm of it, so to speak. We all came out around the same time, but Metallica certainly influenced me.”
Slayer and Metallica shared the stage On the 22nd of October, 1982 at Woodstock Concert Theater in Anaheim, California for what happened to be Slayer‘s fourth performance ever.
In 1984, Dave Mustaine extended an invitation to King to join his new band Megadeth. While he accepted and completed a few performances with them, in the end his loyalty toward Slayer won out as he declined the offer.