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Put the Cabo Wabo down. Crazy as it seems, legendary rocker and tequila connoisseur Sammy Hagar nearly jumped from Van Halen to Aerosmith. According to guitarist Joe Perry, Hagar was on the short list to replace Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler. Now that’s livin’ on the edge.
At different times, Sammy Hagar was asked to join Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Pantera, Velvet Revolver and The Grateful Dead. pic.twitter.com/djUS3VpzHW
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) August 7, 2021
Perry explained the band’s thinking in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock: “I’m not sure how it got out there, but Sam I know as a really mellow guy, easy to get along with. And he definitely had the pipes so I can see why that idea had been floated. But we also had a shortlist at that point. Things went the way they did, everybody got out of the system what they wanted to, and then we slowly glued back together.”
Lead singer Steven Tyler’s decision to join American Idol prompted the band to consider moving on. “Over the years, everybody has to bust out and do what they want. And I remember Steven doing that TV show, I thought that was great. I just knew he had to do something like that, and doing that solo record that he did. So the band wasn’t that tight, there was talk and there were so many people involved, like I said, lawyers, different managers,” said Perry.
Tyler’s time away created an oft-told story amongst musicians – rockiness within one of the country’s most popular acts. “It was really another one of those times, you don’t keep a band together without a lot of bumps … You know every band has its ups and downs,” said Perry.
Ultimately, Aerosmith and Tyler stayed the course and talks with Hagar never got serious. Fans hoping to hear Hagar croon “Janie’s Got a Gun” alongside Perry will have to dream on.