Here’s something else Zakk Wylde can hear about for the first time over the internet.

In case you’ve been in a coma, here’s a quick “Last time on…” for ya. During a recent interview, Ozzy said the following:

“Well, I’m getting a new guitar player as we speak… 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.”

Of course, the reference to this mysterious “guy from Greece” led some fans to speculate that Ozzy might be working with Firewind guitarist Gus G. And now Blabbermouth is reporting that Gus G. may be performing with Ozzy at Blizzcon.

And while Blabbermouth is (rightfully) still treating this as rumor pending confirmation by someone from Team Ozzy, no one should be shocked if it ends up being fact. I would put money on Gus G. having the job.

So what does this mean for the world of metal? Well…

  • THE END OF THE ZAKK WYLDE-OZZY OSBOURNE SAGA WILL BE A SAD ONE. Zakk’s been saying that he an Ozzy were finally gonna hash things out at Blizzcon; obviously, this is not going to be the case.
  • FIREWIND RECORD SALES ARE ABOUT TO HIT AN ALL-TIME HIGH. The benefit of being Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar player is that you join a lineage that includes Tony Iommi, Randy Rhodes, and, oh yeah, Mr. Wylde. Of course, it also includes Jake E. Lee and Joe Holmes, so… either way, you know the world will be watching for the outcome. I guarantee you, a lot of people are reading about Gus G., wondering who the fuck he is, and they are going to find out (which also means a lot of MySpace traffic and illegal downloading, but, hey, welcome to 2009). Gus G. is already way more famous today than he was yesterday, and he hasn’t even appeared on an album or toured with Ozzy yet. Which leads us to…
  • EXPECT FIREWIND TO END UP ON OZZFEST. Assuming there ever is another Ozzfest, which I’ll wager there will be, Firewind will get the Black Label Society spot: late on the second stage or early on the main stage. Either way, Firewind continue to get a lot of exposure. That in and of itself actually makes me happy for Gus G., regardless of what the outcome of his collaboration with Ozzy ends up being. Speaking of which –
  • IF OZZY IS EVER GONNA MAKE A GOOD ALBUM AGAIN, THIS IS HIS SHOT. The thing is, both Vince and I idolized Zakk Wylde. No More Tears is still our favorite Ozzy album. I’m actually rocking that shit right now as I write this, and it still kills. So I’m sorry that Zakk’s departure after all this time is so bittersweet. But for whatever reason, Zakk seems to have lost that fire that made him so great. And given that Ozzy’s sound is always incredibly dependent on his guitar player, some fresh blood means he actually has a shot of making something worth caring about again. Gus G. is a great guitar player, and I think his style should fit really well with Ozzy. I’m already incredibly curious to hear this new album. Except…
  • OZZY PROBABLY WON’T MAKE A GOOD ALBUM AGAIN. And this part kills me. Kevin Churko – the same guy responsible for Black Rain (as well as material for Celine Dion and Britney Spears) –   is producing again, and Wylde has been saying he was supposed “finish” the album in September, suggesting they’ve already done a good amount of work. If Gus G. is ostensibly being brought as a session guitarist who won’t be allowed to make substantive creative contributions, then we’ll probably get a lot of awesome guitar solos on what is otherwise, and for the third or fourth time now, a completely mediocre and forgettable Ozzy album.

In conclusion: the new Ozzy album is suddenly at least potentially worth caring again. Which is a huge step. And, hey, if Dave Mustaine can make a cool record again, then anything is possible.

Sorry, Zakk. We’ll always have No More Tears.


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