Classic Uriah Heep and original Ozzy drummer, Lee Kerslake, recently discussed the early days of Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, telling Eddie Trunk:
“[Sharon’s brother] David Arden couldn’t run us, he found me and Bob [Daisley, bass] too strong, too knowledgable… We’ve been in the business for 20 years, so we knew everything that was going on and what was bad.
“‘Oh, here’s your contract,’ the size of the bloody Bible. And I said, ‘No, I don’t want a contract. I’m not signing that, it’s a load of crap.’
“And in the end, Sharon came over and started looking after us. And she was a sweetheart, at the start! Really, really lovely. She just got us all together and said, ‘This is it, we’re going to America.’ I was happy!
“And Ozzy said, ‘Yeah, OK.’ She said, ‘You’re going to have to do two shows a night, to start with.’ And Ozzy looked at her and went, ‘Huh…’ And then we went to the bar and he said, ‘I can’t do two shows, Lee, I can’t do two shows.’
“Two shows, back-to-back, from 7:30 to 9 and then from 9:30 to 10:30.”
Focusing on the band’s first lineup, Lee said:
“There was incredible magic between me, Randy [Rhoads] and Bob, and it suited Ozzy like a glove. What we wrote and what we came up with, the way we wrote and produced it…”
I have to ask you – what were your impressions of Randy Rhoads when you met him?
“Can I swear?”
“Fuck me, what a player! I didn’t know what I was in for. … I just looked at Bob and went, ‘This guy, the fuck is he?!’ And Bob’s going, ‘Yeah…’ That sound we had [at the first rehearsal] – goosebumps, I knew we had magic.
“And then in the studio, we were given all the freedom we wanted. No one was there. We were left just by [Sharon’s father] Don and David Arden. Sharon wasn’t involved then – for the [1980 debut] ‘Blizzard of Ozz.’
“They came up and said the album turned out great and, ‘What do you want to call the band?’ And Bob said, ‘Blizzard of Ozz.’ Great name! He always came up with great ideas, Bob. And then, when that was finished, Don Arden went to America and it just took off…
“And then Don said, ‘You gotta go in and record another one. Right away, now. You’re gonna be working so hard.’ I said, ‘Whoa, great!’ I was loving that, ’cause I could feel the popularity and fame coming back.”