David Ellefson

David Ellefson of Megadeth, portrait for Hartke Amplifiers. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

I don’t remember exactly what age (about 12 years old), but my love for rock music was growing and I had just bought my first electric guitar… with my own money that I had saved. Purchased at a music store in Reno, NV for $125 (with an amp!). I was becoming obsessed with music, and there were four bands constantly shuffling in and out of my tape deck and CD player that made me want to learn how to make some of those noises myself: Nirvana, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Megadeth.

David Ellefson is one of the founding members of Megadeth (along with Dave Mustaine). I was always well-aware of his name and his playing, having read through album liner notes over and over, gawked at any band photo I could find on the fledgling internet… hell, the first band I played in was even attempting to cover some of Megadeth’s material in our rehearsals for fun.

So it was super weird that one day I found myself trading emails back and forth with David, discussing photos I had taken at a recent Megadeth show.

We stayed in touch, and one day I get a text message from him asking if I can be at a local arena in the afternoon to do some promotional photos. Apparently they were to be used for the company that sponsors him, Hartke. The funny thing is I don’t remember giving him my phone number. I must have, somewhere along the line.

Megadeth was on tour with Scorpions, and soon I found myself hanging out in the bowels of the arena, watching the Scorpions’ road crew load in their drum set while I ate the band’s catering.

Ellefson arrived, and we did a quick session with a single strobe. He’s a really cool guy, and very down to earth. Great with communication, and chats and gives hugs like he’s known me for a while. The previous time I saw him in person, we discussed the new stage lighting, the photos I had just taken of the show, and made a selfie video for my now-wife where he congratulated us on getting engaged. I surprised her with that video a few months later when I proposed.

Thanks for always being rad, David! Makes my job a lot easier.

Clay Lancaster and David Ellefson. Photo by David’s bass tech.
I can’t believe I don’t remember his name…
Fred! It’s Fred.

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