During the early 2010s Steven Tyler nearly had a split with Aerosmith, resulting from a 2009 stage accident and his later decision to join American Idol as a judge without telling his bandmates. According to an interview with the band’s guitarist Joe Perry in Ultimate Classic Rock, one of the vocalists intended to fill in for Tyler was Sammy Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth as frontman of Van Halen during the late 1980s and mid-1990s.
As a band that’s been together for over five decades, Aerosmith has faced numerous rough patches, including the departure of Perry and Brad Whitford during the early 1980s. Like those past events Perry and Tyler were eventually able to reconcile, with Aerosmith releasing their latest studio album Music from Another Dimension! in 2012.
“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,” Perry explained in the interview.
Perry’s statement corroborates with a separate interview Hagar had with Ultimate Classic Rock earlier this year. According to the singer, he almost took up the role, but reflected on the “strange legacy” he would leave behind if he served as a replacement for Tyler, after gaining fame as Roth’s replacement.
“I almost did it,” Hagar explained. “I think if I would have done both those things [joining Van Halen and Aerosmith], I would have been the guy that replaced the guy. You know, always the guy replacing the guy, and that’s a strange legacy for a guy like me, you know what I mean?”
Photo Credit: Marisa Rose Ficara