Dave Lombardo Almost Ended Up in Megadeth
The histories of Slayer and Megadeth are cemented, but there was one moment in the '80s when the fortunes have both bands could have changed with the choice of one musician. Drummer Dave Lombardo recalled with the Speak N' Destroy podcast that he had once considered joining Megadeth during the period in which he first left Slayer.
"I was going to join Megadeth when I left Slayer the first time in '86," explained Lombardo, as transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar. "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."
The drummer recalls, "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 and he was an amazing drummer."
Lombardo says, "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 [producer] Rick Rubin, I returned [to Slayer]."
The drummer split from Slayer in late 1986 after the band released their Reign in Blood album. Whiplash's Tony Scaglione took over on drums for the remaining touring, but Lombardo returned to Slayer for their next album South of Heaven in 1988.
Dave Lombardo on the Speak N' Destroy Podcast