Written By Braddon S. Williams

Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tears

And then there was Zakk…No More Tears (1991) was the second Ozzy Osbourne album to feature the Viking biker madman man mountain known as Zakk Wylde.

Additionally, Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead wrote the lyrics for 4 of the songs, helping Ozzy to score one of the biggest successes of his career.

The title track was a spectacular epic of a song, beginning with that tricky little bass guitar intro, and featuring some dramatic keyboards and a monster solo from Wylde. Mama I’m Coming Home, Road To Nowhere, and Time After Time were 3 huge power ballads with great choruses and more signature melodic mayhem from the Zakk attack. Hellraiser, Mr. Tinkertrain, I Don’t Want To Change The World, Zombie Stomp, and Desire were all suitably full of hard rock madness from the Prince of Darkness, and Ozzy proved once again that he could literally succeed with any guitar slinger he chose to work with.

No More Tears came out at the same time as the Use Your Illusions albums from Guns ‘n Roses and the Ozz man did just fine in the competition, as if any of us had any doubts.

https://youtu.be/CprfjfN5PRs

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Ozzy Osbourne: The Ultimate Sin

Following the tragic death of Randy Rhoads, Ozzy eventually recruited a new band featuring lead guitarist Jake E. Lee. Their first record was Bark At The Moon, and it had some classic songs, but the followup, The Ultimate Sin (1986), was the best offering from the mid ’80’s version of Ozzy’s solo band.

The title song, Killer Of Giants, Never Know Why, Lightning Strikes, Thank God For The Bomb, Secret Loser, and the incredible Shot In The Dark were all highlights of the album. Lee’s guitar work blazed all over the place, and Ozzy sounded reinvigorated after one of his stints in rehab.

The Ultimate Sin had a couple of high profile videos that received a ton of MTV air time, and a pretty sweet looking album cover, too.

https://youtu.be/O_ypaOIVmaA

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of a Madman

Blizzard Of Ozz was Ozzy Osbourne’s first post-Black Sabbath solo album, but 1981’s Diary Of A Madman was my favorite of the short but monumentally influential Randy Rhoads era.

I feel that Randy’s best recorded work occurred on Diary, from the absolutely face shredding Over The Mountain, to the long and elegant solos in Tonight and You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll, and culminating in the hypnotic, mesmerizing dissonance of the Diary Of A Madman solo, which is a true masterwork of guitar brilliance.

Ozzy was so inspired by Randy’s playing that he contributed some of the best singing of his illustrious career.

Bob Daisley (bass/songwriting) and Lee Kerslake (drums/songwriting) brought tons of creativity and flawless playing of their own, even though their parts were falsely credited to Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge (who comprised the touring band’s rhythm section).

Diary Of A Madman remains as testimony to the incredible talents of a young man who was taken far too soon.

I was fortunate to see Randy twice with Ozzy, and those performances rank among the finest I have ever heard in concert.

https://youtu.be/TGgECvDBDCU

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

On this date in history, 9/23/2018, Ozzy Osbourne brought his No More Tours 2 show to Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. Reunited with the formidable Viking/Biker/Shredder Zakk Wylde on guitar (and wearing a kilt), Ozzy came out with a vengeance like a man on a mission.

I noticed right away that the instruments were tuned super low to facilitate Ozzy’s diminished vocal range. This had a two-fold effect; making the music crushingly heavy and foreboding (think Black Sabbath) and managed to keep Ozzy more or less on pitch and able to sing quite strongly for the entire set.

The opening song was the explosive Bark At The Moon, and other highlights included Shot In The Dark, No More Tears, Mama I’m Coming Home, I Don’t Know, and a handful of Sabbath classics (Fairies Wear Boots, Paranoid, and a ballistic 15 minute War Pigs, featuring a long guitar solo where Wylde walked out into the crowd and shredded various audience members’ faces off).

The rhythm section consisted of 2 former Rob Zombie band members, Blasko on bass, and Tommy Clufetos on drums. Clufetos was the touring drummer for Black Sabbath on their final couple of tours, so his style was perfection on the songs by the venerable British godfathers of metal.

Osbourne’s energy was pretty outstanding for a man pushing 70 years old (and surviving all the hard living he has endured).

He wasted no time in letting the capacity crowd in on the news that the “No More Tours 2” title was indeed, bullshit!

We roared our approval as Ozzy added that he intends to continue his career in a more stripped down form of performing shows.

What it amounted to was that he won’t be doing any more long world tours. A staple of every Ozzy show I have ever seen (13 and counting) was a superior light show, and this one was no exception.

Corey Taylor’s “other” band, Stone Sour, opened the show with a solid, energetic, and rocking set.

Taylor was suffering from allergies, and appeared to be losing his speaking voice, but his singing was roaring and soaring, prime Corey Taylor.

They were much improved over the previous time I had seen them a year earlier, but I will likely prefer Slipknot over Stone Sour forever.

All in all, Ozzy exceeded all my expectations, and delivered a fantastic concert experience.

https://youtu.be/xnsP4WNHrmo

On This Date in History

Guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) recently guested on SiriusXM‘s “The Jenny McCarthy Show”. The full interview can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow below.

On the last time he was clean-shaven:

Zakk: “Probably after I did that ‘Rock Star’ movie. I had to shave every day when we did the movie, but at the end of the movie, they did this thing of, ‘Where are they now?’ I had this big beard I had to wear — just, pretty much like what I got now. I remember doing it, and I just go, because I had to put it on every day for the scenes, I was, like, looking at myself and I go, ‘I look like a complete jackass with this thing on. I’m definitely going to grow this out once this movie’s over.'”

On BLACK LABEL SOCIETY‘s new album, “Grimmest Hits”:

Zakk: “The lyrics are grim, and there are no hits. People ask me, ‘Is this a greatest-hits record?’ I go, ‘No. In order to have a greatest-hits record, you’ve had to have hits.’ We don’t have any hits, so therefore, it can’t be. But you shoot low, so this way, if people listen and go, ‘This is horrendous,’ you go, ‘Well, I told you going in.'”

On his memories of joining Ozzy Osbourne‘s band:

Zakk: “I was 19 — right before I turned 20. That’s when my drinking problem began. I drank until then, and then it was just double-fisting from that point on. When I first started with [Ozzy], I remember Sharon [Osbourne] — who I lovingly refer to as Mom, because she’s been, like, my mom since I was 19 years old — she called [Zakk‘s wife] Barbaranne up and goes, ‘Excuse me, Barbaranne…’ I would be the only one that would hang out with Ozz, because everyone else was, like, ‘I don’t want to get stuck in the web and get, you know, canned over here because I’m the one enabling him.’ But I would always hang out with him, because I was just like, ‘Man, how come nobody wants to hang out with Ozzy?’ Then they go, ‘Jackass, you must be a rookie, and you have no idea what’s going on around here.’ So anyway, I’d hang out with [Ozzy] all the time and we’d be drinking, but the whole thing is, she’d go, ‘Barbaranne, does Zakk have a drinking problem?’ [Barb] goes, ‘Oh, no, no. He drinks milk.’ [Sharon] goes, ‘Not anymore, he doesn’t.’ A lot of my friends went to college, and I went to Ozzy Osbourne University, which was like ‘Animal House’ on steroids.”

On sneaking Ozzy beer while on tour:

Zakk: “That was the best. That wasn’t that long ago — that’s when we were doing ‘Live At Budokan’. Ozzy‘s like, ‘Zakk, you got any beers?’ I’d always have them in my backpack. I go, ‘What, are you trying to get us both fired?’ I was like, ‘I’ll meet you in the bathroom.’ I kid you not — I’m in the bathroom, then he goes in. I was in the bathroom stall and I heard him come in. He was right next to me, shut the door and goes, ‘Okay, Zakk.’ I just slid it over. I hear him crack open a can of Sapporo and then just guzzle it down, and then [he] sneaks and just pushes the empty can back to me, so I can throw it in the garbage as responsible booze-hounds.”

On what makes a BLACK LABEL SOCIETY fan a “berserker”:

Zakk: “That’s [how] we lovingly refer to our BLACK LABEL family, if you’re a berserker. It’s an all-or-nothing mentality — either you’re all in, or you ain’t, so you live like a berserker. Whether you’re fondling the genitalia or whether you’re going to learn how to play the guitar or whether you’re going to have a tomato garden outside, it’s all-in — it’s all-in or nothing.”

On Ozzy Osbourne‘s farewell tour:

Zakk: “The game plan is to go out on this one. It’s great being with [Ozzy] again. It’s hysterical as always. We go out for this thing until 2020, and then we start the ‘Bad Investment Tour’. Basically, the whole reason why we’re touring right now is because Ozz told me, ‘Everything you’ve got, everything you’ve made since you started with me, put it all down on Conor McGregor to win this fight against Mayweather. He did, and I did — and that’s the reason why we’re getting back together to do this tour. We’re broke — we both live in a box down by the river. Hopefully he’ll get better advice from 2020 onward.”

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY‘s 10th full-length album, “Grimmest Hits”, will be released January 19, 2018 via Entertainment One (eOne).

Wylde reunited with the iconic BLACK SABBATH frontman for this past summer’s tour that marked the 30th anniversary of when the two first collaborated together.

Wylde originally joined Osbourne‘s band three decades ago and backed the legendary frontman from 1987 to 1995, then again in 1998, from 2001 to 2004 and also from 2006 to 2009. His guitar playing can be heard on Osbourne‘s studio albums “No Rest For The Wicked”, “No More Tears”, “Ozzmosis”, “Down To Earth”, “Under Cover” and “Black Rain”. The first album with Wylde went double platinum and “No More Tears” remains Ozzy‘s most successful album, going four times platinum in the United States with four Top 10 songs on the U.S. Billboard chart. Wylde also appeared with Ozzy on three live albums.

ZAKK WYLDE: ‘My Friends Went To College. I Went To OZZY OSBOURNE University’

On this date in history, 8/14/2007, Ozzfest made its final stop at Deer Creek. This was the free show that had generated tickets with an online code.  I scored seats on the back row of the center section of the pavilion and they were awesome for both audio and visual enjoyment of the main stage bands. Speaking of bands, this Ozzfest featured Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb Of God, Static-X, Lordi, Black Tide, Hatebreed, Behemoth, DevilDriver, Ankla, Nile, The Showdown, 3 Inches Of Blood, Daath, In This Moment, and Chthonic.

The first band, Chthonic, are from Taipei, Taiwan. They were quite interesting visually and didn’t sound like anything Ive ever heard before. Next up was In This Moment, touring in support of their debut album. Maria Brink was obviously a star in the making, and her vocals have since elevated her band to great success. They played a rock solid set that day.

The next band that I really liked was The Showdown, a more traditional hard rock styled band, but full of attitude and energy just the same. Great vocals and rockin’ tunes gained them some new fans, no doubt about it.

Nile followed with a set of supreme brutality, as the Egyptian themed death metal juggernaut played with crushing precision and confidence, absolutely astonishing technical ability from top to bottom.

I don’t recall much about Ankla, either good or bad, so I’m guessing I must have been distracted or just missed them entirely.

DevilDriver kept the intensity going with their manic metal meltdown providing mosh ready material for their entire set.

The second stage area was a dust bowl that day, and all the really heavy bands had to contend with a continuous white haze of stirred up earth creating a perpetual fog in the air.

I didn’t think it would be possible to be more powerful or heavier than Nile, but somehow Behemoth pulled it off. I can’t even describe how insanely, monstrously METAL their sound was…literally like a seismic, F5 tornado velocity propelling their blackened death metal onslaught.

Hatebreed followed that and suffered somewhat for it. They are always solid, and Jamey Jasta certainly knows how to whip a crowd into a frenzy, but as heavy as Hatebreed is, they couldn’t compete with that performance that proceeded them, in my humble opinion.

All in all, a lot of diversity coupled with some of the heaviest bands ever on the second stage made this final Ozzfest one of the most memorable second stage lineups.

The first band on the main stage was Black Tide, an extremely young band that showed great potential. Nothing exceptional musically, but everyone has to start somewhere, and Ozzfest is a pretty cool place to call a beginning. Lordi were up next, and they were pretty horrible, to be blunt. Borrowing (okay, stealing!) liberally from GWAR, Slipknot, Mushroomhead, and any other band that has ever worn masks, and not bringing anything of musical merit, quickly earned them a hostile reaction from the discerning metal masses.

Static-X set things right with a sizzling performance. Wayne Static led his “evil disco” band through a high energy holocaust of a performance that set the stage for my favorite band of the entire show, the mighty Lamb Of God. LOG crushed all in their path, earning the coveted headliner status and playing directly before Ozzy himself came out and finished the show, and his namesake tour, in grand fashion.

I attended Ozzfest in 10 consecutive years and I have countless memories of those shows. I salute Ozzy for bringing so many great bands on tour and for nurturing so much talent in the heavy metal universe.  Lots of bands that passed through this system became major stars following their association with Ozzfest. That in itself is a pretty amazing legacy.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 8/13/2002, Ozzfest made the annual tour stop at Deer Creek. This time around the metal smorgasbord featured Ozzy Osbourne, System Of A Down, Rob Zombie, P.O.D., Drowning Pool, Adema, Black Label Society, Ill Nino, Down, Hatebreed, Meshuggah, Lost Prophets, Chevelle, The Apex Theory, Neurotica, The Used, Mushroomhead, Seether, Glassjaw, Switched, Otep, and Pulse Ultra.

This show ended up being sort of bizarre for me. First of all, I went alone, because my son went with a bunch of his friends, so I was on my own. No problem there.

A few days prior to the show I had accidentally washed one of my contact lenses down the sink, so I wore my glasses. Again, no problem. I just determined to stay out of the mosh pits and everything would be just fine!

I enjoyed some killer sets by Otep, Meshuggah (unbelievably brutal and fantastic!) and Hatebreed, along with okay sets by Neurotica (who did a pretty cool cover of “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, The Apex Theory (who actually benefited from a brief rain storm that united the crowd in an act of drenched solidarity) and Mushroomhead (who suffered from technical issues that were probably out of their control).

Phil Anselmo and the mighty Down were the headliners of the second stage and I had managed to maneuver my way to the very front of the stage. The first two songs were crazy good, and then the unthinkable happened!  A crowd surfer’s foot made contact with my head, and my glasses fell to the ground, instantly trampled and destroyed! I blindly pushed back through the crowd and found a payphone and called my roommate who was coming to the show later to see Ozzy and System Of A Down.

I luckily got her to bring my one remaining contact to me. While I waited, blind as a bat, I at least got to listen to Black Label Society and Drowning Pool (coincidentally, their lead singer’s last performance before he was found dead on his tour bus the next day) and finally my contact was delivered just in time for me to see Rob Zombie’s final song!

System and Ozzy finished in stellar form and that is my report for Ozzfest 2002. Moral of the story…be careful when rinsing contact lenses!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History