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Former Nazareth Member Declines Offer to Replace Retired Singer

Billy Rankin

Nazareth may move forward in the wake of Dan McCafferty’s retirement, but at least one former member has declined the offer to step into the longtime singer’s shoes.

Guitarist Billy Rankin, who served a pair of stints in Nazareth during the ’80s and ’90s, has revealed that he recently took a call from bassist Pete Agnew, who, following McCafferty’s retirement, is the band’s sole remaining original member.

Rankin opened up about the exchange to current employer TeamRock Radio: “Pete said, ‘We’d like you to replace Dan.’ I said, ‘No one can replace Dan. Why me?’ He told me, ‘Well, you can sing, and we’ve got history.’ We arranged a rehearsal and blasted through some old hits, and we all had to agree it sounded f—ing great. But there was one thing missing: Dan.”

Showing an admirable lack of ego, Rankin said, “I can’t win with the fans, or the bottles I’d have to dodge. We agreed I’d think about it, and I have. Yesterday I called Uncle Pete and said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.'”

Anyone who decides to step in at this point is bound to have a hard time winning over some of the band’s fans, but for his part, McCafferty is looking forward to seeing Nazareth carry on. “The music we’ve made over the years is more important than any member of the band,” he explained to Classic Rock Magazine following his announcement. “We always felt like that, and I can’t see that’s changed just because I’ve left. I really hope they get someone else. I’m sure they can.”

Next: Top 10 Nazareth Songs

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