The long-running feud between former Metallica bandmates Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield has taken a new twist - the Megadeth star has alleged he was kicked out of the band for fighting with the frontman after he kicked his pet dog.
In a new interview with Norwegian rock blog Lydverket, Mustaine has opened up about his dismissal 26 years ago, revealing there was much more to it than an issue with the rocker's heavy drinking, as has been reported.
He alleges an altercation with Hetfield was the last straw for the singer - but that fight started when the Enter Sandman star attacked Mustaine's dog during a row.
The Megadeth star reveals, "He kicked my dog. I was selling pot. When I would go play in concert, people knew that my pot was sitting in my apartment just saying, 'Go ahead and keep me company.' So I was broken in on. People stole everything that I had; all my stash. And I figured, screw this. I'm gonna get some dogs to stay in the apartment when I leave.
"So I got two dogs and I took one of them up to a rehearsal one time and she put her paws up on Ron's (bassist MCGovney) car. And James kicked it right in the side. I was like, 'What did you do? It's a dog, it's what they do. You don't kick animals.'
"So we went into the house, and we started arguing some more. And I ended up punching him in the face and I think that was the root of why I lost my job."
Mustaine, who was left out of Metallica's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony celebrations earlier this year (09), admits he regrets brawling with Hetfield - but still feels sore about the way he was dumped out of the band.
He adds, "I hated that. I didn't wanna hit him. I cared a lot about James; I really liked him. I still like him.
"I was so hurt by the way that happened (he was fired). I said, What? No second chance, no warning? C'mon.' And (they were like), 'No, that's it. You're gone.'"