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Before founding Megadeth, veteran thrash-master Dave Mustaine (born September 13, 1961, in La Mesa, currently living in Fallbrook) was Metallica’s original lead guitarist before getting replaced by Kirk Hammett in 1983. These days, Mustaine has been breaking in his new SD studio, “Vic’s Garage,” with work on Megadeth’s 12th studio album, due next year. He’s also tweaking the forthcoming Megadeth DVD release Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego, filmed last May at Cox Arena (premiered on HDNet television in early November).

Mustaine this year solidified Megadeth’s popularity with a specific demographic: fans of the National Hockey League’s notoriously scrappy Philadelphia Flyers. Ever since the team’s ’70s heyday as the fight-prone “Broad Street Bullies,” the Flyers and their fans have been perceived as goonish, even brutal. In April, during an NHL playoff series between the Flyers and the Washington Capitals, Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise wrote, “Flyer fans didn’t want to beat Washington as much as see…[the Capitals] bludgeoned…emasculated… [M]any of the women and children looked as if they could work security for Megadeth.”

Mustaine, a fan of ice hockey and, particularly, the Flyers’ hard-hitting physical style, stepped forward with the band to do a pep video to show at Flyers’ home games. Clad in team jerseys, he informed, “Hey, Flyers fans, we’re Megadeth, and I read what they said in the Washington Post about you — and you can ‘work security’ for us anytime! Now kick ass, it’s time to crush ’em!”

Another rock-rink connection comes from British Columbia punk band NoMeansNo, who have a long-running alter-ego band, the Hanson Brothers, that celebrates old-school NHL rowdiness and “enforcer” players like the Flyers’ infamous Dave “the Hammer” Schultz and their hometown Vancouver Canucks’ Dave “Tiger” Williams, the league’s all-time leader in season and career penalty minutes.

The Ramones-esque Canadian “puck rock” band takes its name from the three Hanson brothers in the 1977 hockey movie Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman. Pro players in real life, the bespectacled Hansons were cast as violent but dorky tough guys who help a minor-league hockey team survive through tough play and surging ticket sales.

The Hanson Brothers play Brick by Brick tomorrow, Friday, December 5.

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