Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar have relayed the same story, revealing Hagar could have replaced Steven Tyler as Aerosmith’s singer.
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Aerosmith were going through a turbulent period. Tyler was seriously injured after falling from a stage and was focused on a solo project along with being a judge on American Idol.
“It was really another one of those times, you don’t keep a band together without a lot of bumps,” Perry tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “Over the years, everybody has to bust out and do what they want. 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.”
Perry continues, “So the band wasn’t that tight, there was talk and there were so many people involved – lawyers, different managers… I thought Steven wants maybe to take four years off, do what he wants to do. And so the whole looking around for another lead singer thing, just as soon as that happened, that raised its head.”
Some of the names thrown around by the Aerosmith band members were Chris Cornell, Billy Idol, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Rogers, and Sammy Hagar.
“I’m not sure how it got out there, but Sam I know as a really mellow guy, easy to get along with,” Perry says. “And he definitely had the pipes – so I can see why that idea had been floated.”
Hagar also previously spoke with Ultimate Classic Rock, confirming that Joe Perry had floated the idea of Sammy joining Aerosmith. “The Aerosmith hint came around that time when Joe Perry tried to get me to join that band, and the management asked me to go to South America and try it out.”
Hagar continued, “The problem is, I would have taken the toxicity out of the whole thing [laughs]! It probably would have bombed because I’m not a toxic kind of guy. When the arguments start, I’m outta here. I can’t be in a bad situation like that.” [via Louder Sound]
Check out UCR’s full interview with Joe Perry below.
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry: The Complete UCR Interview, 2021