In a recent guest appearance on Speak N’ Destroy, legendary SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo unfolded a captivating narrative detailing his almost-foray into MEGADETH when he initially departed from SLAYER in 1986.

The departure from SLAYER during the Reign in Blood tour was prompted by Lombardo’s financial concerns, as he candidly expressed, “I wasn’t making any money. I figured if we were gonna be doing this professionally, on a major label, I wanted my rent and utilities paid.” The void left by Lombardo was temporarily filled by Tony Scaglione of WHIPLASH, a change that didn’t sit well with Lombardo. Producer Rick Rubin, sensing the essential nature of Lombardo’s presence, persistently reached out, urging his return. Initially resistant, Lombardo eventually succumbed to the persuasion and rejoined SLAYER in 1987.

Delving into the intriguing twists of fate, Lombardo disclosed a hitherto undisclosed chapter in his musical journey: “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.” Lombardo elaborated on a clandestine meeting with the MEGADETH members during their opening stint for Alice Cooper’s Peace Sells tour. However, Lombardo’s observations raised concerns as he remarked, “And the main issue at that time was  when I saw the guys, they didn’t look very healthy…I didn’t see a healthy path for myself.” Troubled by the apparent darkness surrounding MEGADETH during that period, Lombardo opted for a different trajectory.

The prescient decision proved crucial as events unfolded tragically with the demise of MEGADETH’s drummer at the time, Gar Samuelson, in 1999. Reflecting on this twist of fate, Lombardo remarked, “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].” Lombardo’s journey, filled with pivotal decisions and unforeseen turns, highlights the intricate tapestry of the music industry and the profound impact of individual choices on the course of musical history.


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