Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine reflected on how close Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott had come to joining his band, and how “fate would have completely changed” if he’d done just one thing differently.

The celebrated near-miss took place before Pantera got their first record deal. Mustaine asked Dimebag to join Megadeth, but Dimebag said he’d agree only if his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, could join too. Mustaine wasn’t able to comply, so the arrangement was never made.

“I actually called him up and asked him to play in Megadeth,” Mustaine told the Tampa Bay Times in a recent interview. “Fate would have completely changed if I would have called him before I called [drummer] Nick Menza. I said, ‘Hey, Darrell, I’m looking for a guitar player.’ And he goes, ‘Can I bring my brother?’ And I went, ‘Who’s your brother?’ He goes, ‘Vinnie Paul! Don’t you know Vinnie Paul?’

“He wanted to bring his brother and have him play with us," he continued. "And I go, ‘Oh, man, I just hired Nick Menza.’ Can you imagine what Vinnie and Darrell would have been with me and Junior [bassist Dave Ellefson]? Would’ve been pretty cool.”

Mustaine called Dimebag as the better guitar player of the two.

“Being a band leader, guitar player, rhythm player, lead player, blah blah blah, I don’t have the availability to spend as much time working on my solos as I’d like to," he explained. "But I’m also very satiated with what I’ve done with my career. And with Darrell, when you look at his playing, he’s a monster. … Of course, on the studio releases, there was an additional track going, but live, that’s the real litmus test, right? And he was a spectacle to watch.”

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