Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde recently sat down with Guitar World to chat about the many decades they’ve spent rocking out side by side. During the chat, Ozzy admitted that his first impression upon seeing Zakk wasn’t the best one.
Ozzy began by saying “Here’s the thing with me and Zakk: We never fell out. That’s the truth – we’re close. The Wylde family and the Osbourne family are like relatives. I’m a godfather to his son Jesse. Our wives go shopping together. This goes beyond friendship. I know that I can be anywhere in the world at any time, and if my guitar player disappears, I can phone Zakk and he’ll be on the next plane. And I’ll tell you this: We did some gigs last year, and I was blown away. He’s gotten so fucking good. He plays so fast!”
Zakk added “I pay Oz to say that. He takes all my per diem money in exchange for compliments. [Laughs]”
On whether the two have ever fell out, Oz said “No. Why should there be? Like I said, I can depend on Zakk. No matter where I am, I can call him and he’s there. Does that sound like we’ve got problems?”
Zakk chimed in saying “We don’t have problems. We’ve never had fights – it’s just not like that. People ask me if I’ve got any dirt on Oz, and I really don’t. All it’s ever been is laughing. And listen, here’s the thing: I’m the most grateful fucking guy in the world. Everything that I have is because of Oz and Mom – you know, Sharon [Osbourne]. I’m good with whatever Oz wants. If he needs me to play guitar, or if he wants me to mow the lawn or clean the dog run, I’m there. He knows that.”
On how they met, Ozzy said “Here’s the story: When Jake E. Lee left, I put the word out that I needed a guitar player. You can imagine how many guitarists sent in their résumés – it was fucking mind-boggling. So after a while, Sharon started bugging me – ‘When are you gonna listen to these tapes?’ I just didn’t want to deal with it. I’d tell her, ‘Whatever, whatever.’ So one morning I decided, ‘I gotta do this.’ I stuck my hand in a bag and pulled out a tape, and Zakk’s tape was the first and only one I listened to…. But then I looked at his picture that came with the tape, and I said, ‘Oh… another Randy Rhoads clone.”
When asked if he was aware of this, Wylde said “Oh, yeah. When he met me, he said, ‘Have I met you before?’ He was thinking about the picture. I guess I looked like some kid who loved Randy Rhoads.”
Ozzy added “That’s what I thought. But when I met Zakk in person, he was a lot different than Randy. And then I heard him play, and that was that. He’s been with me longer than any other guitar player.”