"The Big 4" concerts are still buzzed about today by metal fans, six years after they took place, but for one really special on the show on the run, it came very close to being "The Big 3."

During an appearance on The Jasta Show podcast (heard below), Dave Mustaine spoke with Jamey Jasta about "The Big 4" and revealed he almost wasn't part of the historic Yankee Stadium show in New York, having neck and spine issues that required surgery. Mustaine revealed that he was prepared to sit out the show, but an offensive remark from Metallica's co-manager Peter Mensch irked him to the point that he decided to play through the pain.

The Megadeth leader explained, "When I did the 'Big Four' concert at Yankee Stadium and had my neck in a neck brace riding on a golf cart to the stage, I had tape all over the stage that said, 'Don't headbang.' I would have died if I headbanged that night because I was in an emergency surgery room two days before, ready to have my neck operated on. And I called up my manager, Mark Adelman, at the time, and I said, 'Look, I played with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer before, I've played New York before, I've played a baseball stadium before, so none of this is new to me. And I have to cancel because I need emergency surgery.' So, allegedly, Adelman tells this to Metallica's management — whatever the guy with the name of a penis, whatever his name is... It was Dick or Peter or something... Peter! So [Peter] said I was a pussy. And so I went, 'Okay. All right. Wrap me up. I'm going to New York.' So they gave me a bunch of injections in my neck and put me in a neck brace and I flew out there and I played the concert and I came back. And I figured, nobody else knows about this except for him, and who's the real pussy now?"

When asked about how he's doing now, several years removed from his operation for the issue, Mustaine stated, "[My] neck is okay [now]. The range of motion — because you have a plate in there, the bones that were fused together has lost mobility — so, consequently, the joint above and below are taking more work than necessary, so I have to be careful. 'Cause I have arthritis degenerative disc disease and stenosis in my neck besides the fact that I had that fusion done. So it's just… You know, almost 40 years of headbanging, it's gonna do something to you."

Megadeth have continued to tour in the years since Mustaine's operation and the band has enjoyed a lengthy run in support of their Dystopia album. The band will get a lengthy break from the road to start 2018, with their first dates coming in May. See all of their scheduled stops here.

Listen to Dave Mustaine on The Jasta Show Podcast

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