Monday, December 06, 2010

Think Zakk was having way too good a time on this one?

If you don't know Black Label Society, they are Zakk Wyldes primary band, for the last 12 years or so. They're one of the leading bands in metal, and are holding up the side for metal out in the world as one of the few bands to get mainstream airplay and video play (basically because they're Zakk Wyldes band, though they SHOULD be played just because they kick ass).

If you don't know who Zakk Wylde is... well first, why are you reading this blog?

No, in all seriousness, you SHOULD know Zakk Wylde, being that he was Ozzy Osbournes primary guitarist for 20 years. Zakk was the guitarist on every Ozzy record since 1988s "no rest for the wicked" (and primary songwriter on all but "..wicked") until 2007s "Black Rain" (and did most of the guitar writing and recording for the 2010 album "Scream").

In fact, Zakk Wylde has played with Ozzy Osbourne more than any other guitarist, including Tony Iommi... probably more than every other guitarist combined when you think about it; and certainly he's written more material for Ozzy than anyone.

Zakk was Ozzys guitarist the first time I got to see Ozzy live, at a "warmup" show before the release of 1991s "No more tears"; which, as it happens, Wylde wrote most of (every song on the album is credited to Osbourne and Wylde. Zakk wrote all the guitar for the album, and most of the lyrics). 

..and if you DO know Zakk Wylde, you know the name of the band "Black Label Society" comes from his drinking habits, which are legendary.... and which according to some stories are what ultimately led him to being fired by Ozzy... or to be more realistic about it since Ozzy makes NO decisions for himself, Sharon (you can read about Sharons history of screwing over Ozzies artistic collaborators on Bob Daisleys - the bassist and primary songwriter for Ozzies first six "solo" albums - personal site).

Anyway, according to some stories, Sharon decided that Zakk couldn't continue to play with Ozzy unless he got sober, and Zakk refused... Vehemently... (as anyone who knows Zakk knows, his use of language is... shall we say... colorful, and extremely descriptive...).

The worst part is though, nobody told Zakk. He found out when some guy from a radio show called him up one day and said "hey, Ozzy is saying he's auditioning new guitar players, what's up with that?".  Zakks response was "huh? I'm supposed to do a show with him in a month... What?".

Now... serious dick move, yes; but not exactly surprising for Sharon Osbourne... and frankly, Sharon does have a point. Listen to this radio interview with Zakk from last year (talking about being fired without being told), and you can hear he's clearly drunk.

Yeah, Zakk has (or maybe had...) a really serious drinking problem. I've seen him live a number of times, met him at and after shows, seen him interviewed many times... I don't think I've EVER seen him sober.

He says he went sober in late 2009... If that's true, great, I wish him well... but like just about every other metalhead out there, I'm not sure I believe it.

Anyway, their current album "Order of the Black" kicks ass. If you like hard and heavy music, you should check it out.

BLS gets some criticism from the younger metal fans out there for not being hard enough, or original enough, or somehow being cliche (someone once said "BLS makes big dumb metal, for big dumb metal fans)...

Guess what you ignorant and/or elitist little fuckers, BLS are "cliche", because ZAKK FUCKING WYLDE INVENTED THE FUCKING CLICHE AND EVERY FUCKING BAND IN THE WORLD COPIED HIM...