Megadeth’s David Ellefson Was There the Day Nikki Sixx Died
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson was there when Nikki Sixx was declared clinically dead from a drug overdose before the Motley Crue member was revived by a paramedic after two long minutes back in 1987.
It's a story familiar to The Dirt viewers, and the Megadeth musician recently recounted his peripheral experience of the real-life scene to The Metal Voice. Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post. Ellefson's new book, More Life With Deth, comes out July 16. It's a companion to 2013's My Life With Deth.
In the bassist's first book, Ellefson writes of the fateful night in question when he was hanging out with members of Guns N' Roses. On Tuesday (June 11), the musician again remembered the story that took place not far away from the origin of Megadeth—at the point where the rocker met Dave Mustaine in Los Angeles.
"I was there," Ellefson recalled. "Steven Adler and I were friends, and I didn't really know the other guys too much, I think [I] maybe met Slash once or something. … It was right up the street from where Dave and I met on Sycamore, it was at the Franklin Plaza Hotel up on Franklin and La Brea, and, yeah, I was up there."
He continued, "I'd never met Nikki before, or any of the Motley guys, and we're just partying and Slash and Nikki come busting into the room. I wanted to see if I could wedge some drugs off of them but they didn't have any, so I guess they were looking for some too. That was kinda what happens at the wee hours of the night. They left and went in the room next door and, I mean, literally, I don't know, 15 minutes later, a girl comes running, 'Oh my God, Nikki's dead, get some ice.' You could hear the helicopters, you could hear the sirens. I mean, it was all going on."
Ellefson got sober in late 1989, shortly before Megadeth released Rust in Peace. He's also been a devout Christian ever since. Remembering Sixx's overdose now, the musician expressed the lasting shock of the experience.
"Thank God I really wasn't around it," Ellefson said of the Motley Crue bassist’s death-defying incident. (The two musicians are now friends, and Sixx recorded 17 years of sobriety in 2018.) "I had no part of it or anything, but it was just a brush by a moment in rock and roll. It was a sobering reality, and a wake up."
Ellefson's new book will accompany an album of music encompassing the bassist's career, Sleeping Giants, due July 5 on Combat Records. He'll also be on the "Basstory" tour throughout the year. Megadeth are currently holed up in Franklin, Tennessee, working with engineer Chris Rakestraw on their next studio album.
See Ellefson and Sixx in the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Bassists of All Time