Megadeth Guitarist Marty Friedman Leaves Band

Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman has left the band and will not be completing the group's current tour. Al Pitrelli, whose credits include Savatage and Alice Cooper, will be temporarily filling the void on guitar.

A statement released by Dave Mustaine and his representatives on Sunday night says only that Friedman left "to pursue other musical interests." It includes a comment from Mustaine saying that Friedman was "an incredible player," he had been a "keystone" in Megadeth, and that the band was sorry to see him go and wished him well.

The official statement says that Pitrelli is onboard for the first leg of the domestic tour which runs through January 21. It adds that Megadeth will be heading to Japan and South America and will return to the U.S. for more dates in the summer. The tour is in support of Megadeth's latest album, "Risk."

Friedman, who had been with Megadeth since replacing Jeff Young in 1989, took part in Friday evening's gold record

presentation (see "Megadeth Cancels New Year's Eve Show As "Risk" Goes Gold"), played two concerts at the House of Blues in Los Angeles Friday and Saturday, and appeared with them Sunday night in San Diego. Pitrelli takes over starting Tuesday in Fresno, California.

Pitrelli, whose credits also include Widowmaker, Asia, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has been with Savatage since 1995. That band is currently regrouping for another album and tour, presumably with Pitrelli onboard.

There's no word yet on a permanent replacement for Friedman; stay tuned for updates. The shows with Al Pitrelli are as follows:

  • 1/11 - Fresno, CA @ Rainbow Ballroom
  • 1/12 - Reno, NV @ Kicks
  • 1/13 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
  • 1/14 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theater
  • 1/16 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore/HOB
  • 1/18 - Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
  • 1/19 - Spokane, WA @ Expo Center
  • 1/20 - Idaho Falls, ID

    @ Civic Auditorium

  • 1/21 - Boise, ID @ Bank of America Center