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Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on how Sammy Hagar almost replaced Steven Tyler

Aerosmith
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has opened up about turbulent times in the band back in the late noughties where he wanted to replace frontman Steven Tyler. 

In a conversation with UCR, Perry discussed how at the time Steven had distanced himself from the group, and some of the names discussed to replace him included Lenny Kravitz, Paul Rodgers, Chris Cornell, Billy Idol and Sammy Hagar.

"It was really another one of those times, you don't keep a band together without a lot of bumps," Perry told UCR. "Over the years, everybody has to bust out and do what they want. I remember Steven [Tyler] 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. 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.

"I'm not sure how it got out there, but Sam I know as a really mellow guy, easy to get along with," Perry said, in regards to Hagar. "And he definitely had the pipes – so I can see why that idea had been floated." 

Hagar previously told the same source: 

"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.

"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.

"But that was real tempting there for five minutes. I got down to Cabo, and I really relaxed and thought about it. I was listening to all of the tunes and all of this stuff. I was thinking, 'Livin' On The Edge, I'll fucking kill that song!’ And then I woke up on the beach and said, 'You know what? I can't do this.' So that was it."

In the end, Tyler stayed on, and the decision worked out well for Aerosmith in the long run. 

"Things went the way they did, everybody got out of the system what they wanted to, and then we slowly glued back together,” Perry told UCR. "We're probably as close together now as we've ever been, and we're looking forward to getting back on the road together. It's a long journey, man, and the steps go sideways – it would have been an interesting thing if it came to pass."

Listen to the full interview below.