During a recent interview with UG’s David Slavković, former Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Jake E. Lee talked about still not being credited for his work on the singer’s 1983 album “Bark at the Moon.”
Is it true that you still don’t have the songwriting credits for that album?
“No, I do not. And that is… I’m not going to say a point of contention. I mean, I realized a long time ago that’s just the way that it’s going to be. But the couple of times that I’ve been approached to possibly work again with Ozzy…
“The first time was 2008, somewhere around there. Sharon actually called me and asked me if I would be interested in doing some festivals that they had coming up and possibly another record.
“And they had Zakk [Wylde] in the band at the time but she said Zakk was out of control. She said he was drunk all the time and she didn’t want that around Ozzy. So she asked me if I’d be interested in it.
“And basically I said, ‘That sounds interesting. I would like to get writing credit for my stuff on ‘Bark at the Moon.’ If we can do that, then we can talk some more. I don’t want any money, I’m not gonna go back and get retroactively paid. And I don’t want the publishing.’
“I said, ‘In fact, I don’t care if I don’t get a penny off of it. If we can work it out to where my name is on the music that I wrote, then we’re good and we can discuss this further.’ She was supposed to call back the next day. She never did. [Laughs]
“And then the second time was through [producer] Kevin Churko. Because he lives in Las Vegas and I live in Las Vegas. He got a hold of me and he said he wanted to talk to me, and so we got together. Originally, he was asking me what it would take to work with Ozzy again.
“And I told him the same thing. I said, ‘If I can get my name on the songs that I wrote.’ And I said, ‘There’s no money involved. And I never sued him before, so I’m not gonna sue him now, I don’t do that.’ And I said, ‘If we could do that, I would feel a lot whole better about working with him again.’
“So I think Kevin brought that up to Sharon. And once again it was a ‘no.’ [Laughs]”
You were still in the band when Bob Daisley left the band [in 1985]. Were the tensions high between Daisley and Ozzy at that point? Or Daisley and Sharon?
“I don’t know. I know that Daisley got burned. He got burned on the first two records. And I was surprised to see him come back. I asked him, ‘Are you in the band now?’ And he said, ‘We’re working it out.’
“So we worked on ‘Bark at the Moon’ album, mostly me and him when we wrote the music. I’d have the ideas, I’d present them to him. Like I said, I wrote most of the music but he would put in bits and pieces, little bridges here, or, ‘Why don’t we change the key here?’ He would make the songs more interesting so he definitely contributed.
“He seemed like he was in the band. I was guessing that he fixed everything that was wrong for the first two records. And then he got fired again. I heard it was over money again, and money owed, which is a constant in the Ozzy camp. If he doesn’t have to pay you, he won’t.
“But then after that, Bob Daisley came back again. I mean, he came back again – what – a couple of times? And I don’t understand that unless Bob really needed whatever money they were offering him. But you think, ‘Once bitten, twice shy,’ you don’t keep coming back to the dog that keeps biting you.
“So after a while… I mean, I like Bob and he’s an amazing musician, amazing lyricist. But after a while, you gotta just think that there’s not a whole lot of sympathy when you keep doing it again and again.”