• Axl Rosenberg


Just about a year ago I took it upon myself to offer Ozzy Osbourne five tips to record a good album again. And my very first tip?

  1. FIRE ZAKK WYLDE. I’ve made this suggestion before, and I know it’s a controversial one; Zakk is, undeniably, the best guitar player Ozzy has worked with since Randy Rhodes’ untimely passing. And at his best, Zakk is a brilliant, brilliant guitar player. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, Zakk seems to have decided that he needs to release every semi-coherent riff that pops into his beer-soaked brain. If Zakk can’t or isn’t willing to work his ass off like he was 19 again, step up to the plate, and knock one out of the park, it’s time to explore other options. Ozzy could comb the known world looking for the next Zakk Wylde – lest we forget, Zakk was just some unknown teenager when Ozzy originally discovered him – or, if that’s too risky, I’m sure there’s only about 18 trillion famous axe masters (How about Jerry Cantrell? Pepper Keenan? Ozzy’s already got one former member of Faith No More in his ranks – maybe he can steal Jim Martin away from his pumpkin farm? I know Ozzy almost hired Buckethead a few years back) who would be willing to give the job their best shot.

And, hey, lookit that! Ozzy has revealed to Classic Rock magazine that he is, indeed, parting ways with Wylde.

The Ozzman sayeth:

“Well, I’m getting a new guitar player as we speak,” said Ozzy, “and everyone has been saying to me for a long time, ‘Get Johnny 5!’ And I tried him at one time and I didn’t really give him a chance. We’ll see, I don’t know. I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk’s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like Black Label Society. I just felt like I wanted a change, y’know?

“I’ve got a guy from Greece coming in – not the musical, the country of Greece – but I’m not going to say too much about it, cos I don’t know myself at this point. I’ve got a new album, I’m working on it as we speak. I’ve got a studio at my house and I’ve got a guy called Kevin Churko, the guy that did the last album [Churko also worked on Ozzy’s Under Cover album, produced Cheap Trick’s highly rated 2006 album Rockford, and has credits on releases by Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Shania Twain] – he’s great to work with.

So, obviously, I think is great news. Wylde is a brilliant guitar player who seems to have lost any motivation to make something memorable at least a decade ago. And in case we needed any more evidence that Wylde needs to do some soul searching, Black Rain was the weakest Ozzy offering yet.

Of course, the flipside of this is that Ozzy could very well end up making a terrible decision – like Kevin Churko. Churko has done Ozzy no favors, and needs to get kicked the curb, like, five years ago.

On the other hand, I think John 5 is an excellent choice (But only if Ozzy stops calling “Johnny 5.” He’s a guitar player, not a fucking robot, dude.). Monsieur Cinq is a really, really talented guy, capable of shredding his ass off and playing a wide range of diverse material, and, frankly, he’s gone to waste working with the Marilyn Mansons and Rob Zombies. I’m not 100% sold on 5’s songwriting chops, but I’d be wwwaaaayyyy more curious to hear a new Osbourne album with John 5 playing leads than with Wylde back on board.

In other news, I guess Vince and I will really never get to hear Wylde and Ozzy play “No More Tears” live. Oh well.


[Thanks, Blabbermouth!]


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