Former WHITESNAKE and DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich says that he nearly auditioned for MEGADETH in 1989. At the time, MEGADETH had just parted ways with Jeff Young and was preparing to go into the studio to record the now-classic “Rust In Peace” album.
“Dave [Mustaine] and I are friends now — Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson, we’re all friends,” Doug said during a recent appearance on “Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon” (hear audio below). “I love those guys. But at the time Dave [Mustaine] called me, he was talking to me for a minute, and then he hung up. I didn’t know what happened. I forget who told me, ‘Okay, Dave‘s gonna call you, so be home. Make sure you’re home. This was before I had a cell phone or anything. It might have been [master luthier] Grover Jackson that set it up, or whatever, recommended me. And he just got done talking and hung up. And I never told Dave about that, so it’ll be funny if he ever hears this interview…”
After host Mitch Lafon told Aldrich that Mustaine would catch wind of the chat through one of the metal news sites that regularly report on his interviews, Doug said: “And the headline will be, ‘Doug Aldrich Turned Down Megadeth.’ And it’ll be, like, no, I didn’t. And I didn’t say that. What happened is we talked on the phone. Somebody put my name in. And the conversation just ended abruptly. And I don’t know what happened. Maybe the line got disconnected. But he didn’t call back, and I didn’t try to call him back. I just let it be what it was.”
Originally hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Aldrich has been an icon of the Los Angeles rock scene going back to the mid-1980s, first gaining attention as a member of LION, who did the theme to the original animated “Transformers” film. He went on to perform with bands, including HOUSE OF LORDS, HURRICANE, BAD MOON RISING, BURNING RAIN and others while also establishing himself as a solo artist. During this time, Aldrich was one of the leading guitar instructors in Los Angeles, teaching upwards of 70 students per week.
In 2002, Aldrich was selected for the coveted spot as guitarist for DIO. Later that year, he joined up with singer David Coverdale, and eventually took over guitar duties for WHITESNAKE, playing alongside his future bandmate in THE DEAD DAISIES, bassist Marco Mendoza. Doug is currently preparing to go on tour with THE DEAD DAISIES, supporting their 2018 album “Burn It Down”.