Dave Lombardo Almost Joined Megadeth in 1986


Dave Lombardo’s place in the pantheon of all-time metal greats was cemented long ago from his time in Slayer alone. That he’s also played in Suicidal Tendencies, Fantomas, the Misfits, Mr. Bungle and more makes him a metal god amongst men. But did you know that at one point he almost joined Megadeth? Neither did I. And by Lombardo’s own description, it’s possible Dave Mustaine doesn’t either.

During a recent appearance on the Speak N’ Destroy podcast, Lombardo relayed the story of how he was in the running to become Megadeth’s drummer the first time he left Slayer in 1986 (he would have replaced Gar Samuelson at the time). He explained:

“A funny story – I was going to join Megadeth when I left Slayer the first time in ’86. It was very much on the down-low – probably [Dave] Mustaine doesn’t remember this.

“But they had opened up for Alice Cooper during the [1986’s] ‘Peace Sells’ tour, and I went to the Long Beach Arena, and I met with the guys.

“And the main issue at that time was – when I saw the guys, they didn’t look very healthy. I think it was a very dark period for them, and I had heard rumors of drugs and stuff like that. I was no saint, but I kept it in check, and they just didn’t look healthy to me, I didn’t see a healthy path for myself.

“Sure enough, Gar Samuelson died [in 1999] – and he was an amazing drummer.

“Megadeth and Slayer played many times together, and so yeah, I just didn’t see things go well, and then I, of course, rethought my position, and with a little bit of coercion from Rick Rubin, I returned [to Slayer].

It’s hard to imagine a timeline in which Dave Lombardo was the drummer for Megadeth for all those years instead of Slayer, but if that had come to pass we’d be saying it’s hard to imagine a world in which Lombardo hadn’t joined Megadeth. Think of the impact he’d have had on the band’s sound! True, Megadeth have always been the Mustaine show, but Lombardo is a force of his own and there’s no way his creative energy wouldn’t have mattered. Thankfully things worked out rather well for all parties.

Well… mostly. Think on that next time Risk comes up in late-night bar talk: what if Lombardo?

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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