Ozzy Osbourne was interviewed on the September 24 edition of “Whiplash”, the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie.
Full Metal Jackie: When it was announced that Zakk Wylde was playing with you again — [it was] such exciting news. He’s sort of been your go-to guitarist for much of your career. What makes the two of you work so well together?
Ozzy: “Well, I first met Zakk… It’s gotta be thirty years [ago], [or] twenty-five. But when Jake E. Lee and I [went our separate ways], I went on a quest to find another guitar player, and I must have had ten thousand resumes and tapes sent in. Believe it or not, the only one I picked up was Zakk Wylde. My wife said to me, ‘You’ve gotta go through these,’ and I said, ‘I can’t go through ten thousand. That would be insane after the first hundred.’ So the only one I really looked at was Zakk Wylde, and he had a photo, and I thought, ‘Oh, another Randy Rhoads clone.’ So when I met him, we just hit it off. It’s not like having a bandmember so much as a family member — I mean, we’re like family, you know. It was inevitable that Zakk would do his own thing eventually, but we have always remained very close friends — we talk to each other, go out socially from time to time. But I have just done a few gigs over the last couple of months, [and] his playing has improved unbelievably. My jaw dropped at how good he’s got. He’s really come on since I have been playing with him before.
Full Metal Jackie: He’s an unbelievable guitar player. It’s amazing to watch.
Ozzy: “I’m onstage at a show… We did a show when the eclipse happened the other week, on the eclipse, somewhere in America, I don’t know where it was. But he was playing, and I thought, ‘Is that him?’ I mean, his speed is mindblowing; he is so fast with his fingers on the fretboard.”
Full Metal Jackie: And he’s hilarious.
Ozzy: “He is a great guy. He’s family.”
Full Metal Jackie: Ozzy, BLACK SABBATH played its final show [in February]. Now that it’s sort of sunk in, what will you miss about SABBATH?
Ozzy: “Well, you know, it’s not that I will miss… I mean I was out of SABBATH thirty-five years, ’cause Ronnie James Dio replaced me in 1979. So the one thing that I’m happy about is that we all became friends again. I mean, it’s kind of like a fairytale come true, how I got started off [with] an interest in music when I first heard THE BEATLES and I wanted to be a Beatle, you know. So I went to school with Tony [Iommi], same school as Tony, I was in a band with Geezer [Butler]. It was just one of those things, rags to riches, our lives were forever changed. It was like we ended the SABBATH thing in Birmingham, where we started in England, and it was a very emotional time for me, ’cause we had gone full circle. I believe there is a video of the last show. It would have been nice to end it next year; we would have been around for fifty years. But I’m not retiring. I mean, how can you retire from anything [like that]? It’s not a job. You don’t have to work with someone that you don’t really wanna be around or do any job just for the paycheck. It’s fun.”