BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 5/7/17
Gus G. is Gone and Zakk Wylde is Back In Ozzy Osbourne’s Band!
Now that the brief, revival of Black Sabbath has reached its end, Ozzy will reunite with former longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde for a summer tour that marks the 30th anniversary of when the two first collaborated together. They first teamed up in 1987 when Zakk replaced Ozzy’s then-guitarist Jake E. Lee. Wylde contributed to Ozzy solo albums stretching from 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked to 2007’s Black Rain, which was the last Ozzy album to feature him.
They will hit the road for a series of Ozzy headlining shows in the U.S. this summer and fall, starting July 14. So far, they have announced four dates together, with “additional dates to be announced in the coming weeks.”
Ozzy also plans to record his 12th solo album, scheduled to arrive sometime in 2018; and at this time it’s unclear whether Zakk will also take part in the recording. But according to speculation it does look likely to be a done deal!
“Gets Me Through” is the first track from Ozzy’s eighth studio album Down to Earth, released in 2001. It is the only Ozzy studio album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo, who left the group to join Metallica in 2003. It was also the first album to feature drummer Mike Bordin, previously of Faith No More. And though he plays on the album, guitarist Zakk Wylde did not contribute as a songwriter for the first time since joining Ozzy’s band in 1988 and this was due to many of the songs being written before Wylde had rejoined the band after a brief split in ‘1996. (More on that later) Ozzy’s previous fill-in guitarist Joe Holmes was involved in the writing process and Ozzy also chose to utilize outside songwriters as well.
“Perry Mason”, was one of three singles released off of Ozzmosis, the seventh solo studio album by Ozzy. All guitars on the album were performed by Zakk, however Steve Vai was originally slated to be the guitarist on the album after writing a number of songs with Ozzy in 1994 (of which only the track “My Little Man” remained). Vai reportedly left the project due to a “falling out” with Ozzy, although this has been disputed by claims that they are still friends. (I personally asked Steve about this when I met him 2 years ago on a Monsters of Rock Cruise, and he denied any so-called falling out! And it’s funny because on that same cruise I met Gus G. and he hinted that Ozzy may eventually work with Zakk again.)
Zakk had split from Ozzy after recording Ozzmosis in ’96 to focus on his solo stuff. He recorded an album called Pride and Glory in the early 90’s, and the Book of Shadows solo album after that. He then formed Black Label Society. Joe Holmes was Ozzy’s live guitarist from 96 till about 2002 when he recorded the Down to Earth album. However Ozzy couldn’t write with Holmes, so he called in a favor to Zakk to help write and record the album. Then Zakk started pulling double duty, playing again in Ozzy’s band and with his BLS during Ozzfest! Writing credits on the album also included Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead.
OH… and what does Gus G. think about all of this? Well, the world-class shredder issued a response on Facebook thanking the Osbourne family for the opportunity, the fans for their acceptance and welcomed Zakk Wylde back to the fold. Offering his thoughts on the reunion, “As a fan, it’s great to see Ozzy and Zakk back together. It’s been long overdue!”