Sammy Hagar Reveals he was Invited to Join the Grateful Dead

SAN FRANCISCO – MAY 23: John Mayer, Sammy Hagar and Bob Weir perform with Dead and Company at The Fillmore on May 23, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ed Perlstein/Redferns/Getty Images).


Following his successful run as Van Halen’s frontman, Sammy Hagar suddenly became the “go to” guy for replacing singers, fielding offers from bands like Aerosmith and Queen. And one offer came from a band most fans would have a hard time imaging him joining: the Grateful Dead.

Bob Weir and the guys in the Grateful Dead, back when they were first becoming the Dead without Jerry Garcia, talked to me about maybe being the guitar player-singer,” Hagar recalls. “I would kind of replace Jerry, and I was so tempted to do that because Bob’s my dear friend, and I’m going, ‘Oh, man, I just don’t want to get caught up in that bag.'”

Although Hagar says he didn’t want to be seen as a substitute performer at the time, he know wonders what his life would be like had he accepted the offers. “Now I look back at my life and go, ‘Man, it would’ve been cool to do The Dead for a couple of years, then do Aerosmith for at least one tour, maybe Queen.’ I could’ve been the most famous singer of all time who never made it on a solo record.”

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