Friedman addressed the reunion conversation in Dave Mustaine's new memoir, Rust In Peace: The Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece, which arrived this week.
The Megadeth gig was Friedman's first big break in music. In the band from 1990 - 2000, he quickly established himself as one of heavy metal's greatest guitarists and laid the groundwork for his successful solo career.
Despite the band's ongoing success, Mustaine has famously struggled to maintain a steady lineup, beyond himself and co-founding bassist Dave Ellefson. With another shakeup in 2014, Megadeth had an opportunity to remake its most coveted lineup, bringing back Friedman and drummer Nick Menza, who passed away in 2016.
Friedman recalled meeting with Mustaine and Ellefson in early-2015 to discuss the opportunity. But the math just didn't add up.
The guitarist was open to revisiting one of the most consequential albums of his career, but he had misgivings over whether Megadeth really had a future as a collective.
"My main thing was — I'd be happy to do it, but I'm not going to take less money than I'm already making to do it," Friedman said.
Megadeth has always been Mustaine's band, after all.
"Had it been more of a band situation and not such a one-man, Dave Mustaine main-man party, I might have considered doing it for a little less," he continued. "But at the end of the day, Megadeth is so much Mustaine because that's the way he engineered it.
While Friedman questioned Megadeth's relevance at the time, the flirtation eventually paid off for the band. The lineup Mustaine established after discussing a reunion helped Megadeth capture its first-ever Grammy award in 2016 for its Dystopia album.
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