During an appearance on the latest episode of “The Jasta Show” video podcast hosted by HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta, former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo recalled a particularly crazy incident from the group’s earliest touring days that almost resulted in him and his bandmates being seriously injured. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “There was a period [in late 1984] where SLAYER was driving across country in a [Chevrolet] Camaro and a U-Haul truck. There’s some kind of famous pictures of SLAYER and MERCYFUL FATE together. We had met up in Seattle after a show in Olympia, Washington, at one of their in-stores. We went in there and [we were] just, like, ‘Let’s go crash their in-store.’ So after that, we started heading east, ’cause we needed to go up to Winnipeg. And we were driving across Montana. And I was driving the Camaro. I believe I had the band — I think Kerry [King, SLAYER guitarist], Tom [Araya, SLAYER bassist/vocalist] and Jeff [Hanneman, SLAYER guitarist] were [in the car with me]; Kerry and Jeff in the backseat, Tom in the front, or vice versa — I don’t know. And we hit black ice while I was driving. I tried to take control of the car, but the car started spinning. And luckily, we ended up just in a ditch. But, man, when I got out of that car, I was nervous, I was shaking, I was rattled. I thought we were gonna go off a cliff — ’cause it was night, it was dark, and you can’t see anything out there. And you lose control of the car and you start spinning, and you’re, like, ‘Okay. This is it. All right, man. Take over.'”
Lombardo continued: “Three roadies were in the U-Haul, and the band was in the car. Sometimes we would switch out. Like I said, I don’t know who exactly was in the car. Jeff, I think, might have been in there and Kerry. But I don’t know if Tom was. The U-Haul truck was ahead of us, and we were kind of behind. They didn’t know what had happened until after several minutes of not seeing us, they pulled over and waited for us. So we eventually got the car out of the ditch, but, man, my nerves were shot; I was rattled. Like I say, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. You lose control of the vehicle, and there’s no way of gaining any kind of traction, especially up in Montana. It’s an eye-opening moment.”
The 56-year-old musician, who splits most of his time between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS and hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS, was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the group’s Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other bandmembers. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER‘s drummer from 1992 until 2001.
Lombardo, who was born in Havana, Cuba but emigrated to Southern California with his parents when he was a toddler, finally got a chance to visit his former homeland in May 2018 when SUICIDAL TENDENCIES played two shows in Cuba. The concerts at Centro Cultural Club Bariay in Holguin and at Salon Rosado De La Tropical in Havana marked the first time Dave had ever performed in the Caribbean nation.