Over the years, many people have written in to the website to ask Bob Daisley about his work with Ozzy and the legal action taken against the Osbournes. Bob has kindly agreed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and a few of my own. It's worth noting that not only does Bob have an amazing memory, he's kept a detailed diary since 1976, these continue to prove useful. The answers in the following interview are an accurate account of what really happened and go some way to setting the record straight until Bob's autobiography reveals the whole story.
1. Who were the original band members and in what order were they recruited?
BD. Ozzy had auditioned Randy Rhoads in L.A. in 1979 but although an attempt at putting a band together was made, it only lasted a day or so. Ozzy left California and returned to Stafford, England where he lived with his wife Thelma and their kids. I had come out of Rainbow and was looking for a work opportunity and used to go to various gigs and venues around London hoping for a connection. That connection came when I went to see a Jet Records band by the name of 'Girl' at a venue called the Music Machine in Camden, North London, on the 22nd of October, 1979. Being that Widowmaker, a previous band of mine, had been on the Jet Records label, I expected people from Jet who I knew to be there. After the show, I went backstage and met up with a Jet employee, Arthur Sharp, who I'd known from Widowmaker days. Ozzy, who had just signed to Jet, was there that night and Arthur introduced us. Ozzy asked me if I'd be interested in putting a band together with him and invited me up to his house in Stafford for a jam. A train ticket was arranged for me and on the 14th of November I caught the train to Stafford station where Ozzy met me. I went to his house where he had a home-rehearsal studio and we jammed with a couple of other local musicians, a drummer and a guitarist, friends of Ozzy's. During a tea break I said to Ozzy in his kitchen that I thought the other two were nice chaps and good players but not what I considered 'world class' and if he wanted to get serious about the band I'd be interested but we'd have to find top-notch players. He immediately went in and told them to pack up and go home, that it wasn't working out. Then he phoned Arthur Sharp at Jet and told him, "Bob and I get on like a house on fire, the fire brigade's just left." I remember those words as if it were yesterday. Then he told me that he knew a guitarist in Los Angeles who was a guitar teacher at a music school, a great player by the name of Randy Rhoads. David Arden at Jet Records arranged for Randy to be flown over to England and on the 27th of November we three met at Jet Records in London, then caught a train up to Ozzy's to start writing and auditioning drummers. After a long search and dozens of unsuccessful drummers, we finally found the perfect drummer for the band - Lee Kerslake - who joined on the 5th of March, 1980.
2. Before Blizzard of Ozz, many thought that Ozzy's career was over, he'd been fired from Black Sabbath in April 1979 and was reputed to be an unreliable, unprofessional pisshead with very limited capabilities. Why did you decide to get involved with Ozzy when few people took him seriously at that time? Also, when you were invited to Ozzy's house in Stafford, was it to jam or for an audition?
BD. Although I found out later that Ozzy had auditioned various guitarists in California before returning to England, I wasn't actually auditioned. It was more a situation of an invitation to his house and a question of if I'd be interested in putting something together with him musically. When I first mentioned the possibility of working with Ozzy to others in the business the general opinion wasn't very high, he had a reputation that didn't command much respect after he was fired from Black Sabbath for being a lazy drunk. I liked Ozzy as a person and we got on well together. I was also into the musical direction we were to follow so I made my own decision without listening to outside opinions and warnings. I suppose you could say we auditioned each other in a way with us both deciding to work together. To be honest, I don't think Ozzy would have gone far in the music industry in the state he was in without surrounding himself with professional, competent and talented people.
3. Did the band have a name or was it an Ozzy Osbourne solo project?
BD. It had never been considered a 'solo project', it had been a band from day one when Randy, Ozzy and I began working together writing songs and auditioning drummers. When we finally found the right drummer - Lee Kerslake - Randy, Lee and I insisted on having a band name rather than the suggestions coming from the record company to call it 'The Ozzy Osbourne Band' or even just 'Ozzy', which we rejected. We were all doing too much in writing the songs, arranging them and then producing the album to take a back seat in a 'backing band', so when the suggestion of 'The Blizzard of Ozz' was made we agreed on that one because it at least sounded like a band name. Ozzy had used that name, which had been suggested by his by-then deceased father, when Ozzy left Sabbath in 1978 to form his own band, which didn't last and he went back to Sabbath. All promotional posters, photos and press referred to us as 'The Blizzard of Ozz'. We told the record company that we didn't mind if they utilized his name on the record sleeve to feature him, such as 'Featuring Ozzy Osbourne' etc. but when the album was released the words 'Ozzy Osbourne' were in bigger print than 'The Blizzard of Ozz' which made it look like an Ozzy Osbourne album called 'The Blizzard of Ozz'. Randy was never one to rock the boat, he knew he was in a situation which was a good opportunity for him being relatively unknown, so when Lee and I were ousted, Randy had no allies and the act became 'Ozzy Osbourne' and no longer a band.
4. In his book 'Gods, Gangsters & Honour', Steven Machat gives his thoughts and observations on events surrounding The Blizzard of Ozz...
'Blizzard of Ozz' came out in 1980 in the UK and 1981 in The US, where it would eventually sell more than four million copies. Although it would be billed as Ozzy's first two solo albums, the real creative power behind the throne lay with a trio of musicians: guitarist Randy Rhoads, Rainbow bassist Bob Daisley, and drummer Lee Kerslake, who was with rock group Uriah Heep. I made sure CBS signed Ozzy on a solo deal because I didn't want to waste my time negotiating with the lawyers representing other members of Blizzard. The irony was that CBS made this easy for me because they didn't realise where the creative drive lay.
Sharon wasn't happy that Kerslake, Rhoads and Daisley had such a large creative input into Ozzy's music. More accurately, she wasn't happy for them to share the credit. I found this kind of funny, because the truth was that Ozzy was barely capable of making the studio recording sessions, he was in such a bad state. At the time it was too much drugs and booze for Ozzy. He depended on his bandmates for much of the creative input.
But when Sharon took control of Ozzy's career, she seemed to take against anyone who threatened Ozzy's image of creative genius or, more to the point, threatened her meal ticket.
Sure enough, both Kerslake and Daisley were fired in the summer of 1981 and their names were erased from the album as if they'd never existed. Ozzy's career would never again touch the heights of Blizzard of Ozz, despite his best efforts to drum up publicity.
Who is Steven Machat and how does he know so much about what went on?
BD. Steven Machat was born into the music business in the 1950s as the son of Marty Machat, a high-level music industry lawyer. The Machat family were close friends with the Ardens, Don in particular, and Steven became a show business lawyer and entrepreneur himself. Both Marty and Steven Machat represented Don Arden and Jet Records in contractual and legal matters over many years. Steven's recently-released book 'Gods, Gangsters and Honour' contains the most accurate, honest and truthful account of what happened in regards to The Blizzard of Ozz, the band's members, Don Arden, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, the details of our lawsuit and its outcome that I've seen in print to date. He saw at first-hand all that went on within Jet Records, the Arden family and the Osbourne connection. This is a book the Osbournes would not want people to read; I highly recommend reading it.
5. Who managed the band from day one and when did Sharon get involved?
BD. Don Arden had signed Black Sabbath to his Jet Records label but when the Sabs fired Ozzy for being 'out of it' and non-productive, Don decided to keep Ozzy. Don's daughter Sharon phoned me in London from L.A. to see if I knew any guitarists for Ozzy's band which was being planned. Sharon was taking care of her dad's investment and looking after Ozzy's needs, whatever they were. Don's son David Arden took care of Ozzy's management when Ozzy returned to England from America during the second half of 1979, through the formation of 'The Blizzard of Ozz' and then through the recording of the first album; Sharon was still in America. The London Jet Records office/David Arden managed Ozzy/The Blizzard of Ozz from conception until after the first album was recorded and released. I think it was August 1980 when Sharon returned from America and got involved with the 'bandwagon' that was already well and truly rolling. When she and Ozzy got romantically involved during the first U.K. tour in late 1980, she took over the day-to-day management and eventually, later, exclusive management in 1982.
6. It's been insinuated that you and Lee Kerslake were only interested in making money. Is it true that when the band was asked to do two shows in one day, at the Palladium in New York, you demanded double pay and double travel expenses, and was this the reason you were both fired?
BD. That little insinuation is utter nonsense. I remember exactly what happened for that accusation to have come about. It all started when we were still recording the 'Diary of a Madman' album at Ridge Farm Studios in England, in 1981. Ozzy got a phone call from Sharon, who was setting up the American tour, telling him that shows on the forthcoming tour could involve 'doubles', that is, two shows in one day - maybe an afternoon show then an evening, or an early evening and a late one. Ozzy was freaking out because he said his voice would never hold up doing two shows in one day and came to us and said, "Fellas, ya gotta back me up on this one, Sharon wants me to do two shows on some days and my voice won't hold out." I remember his words distinctly. We knew that he was right so we said we'd go along with him and say that we couldn't do any 'doubles'. Lee and I have of course done many 'double shows' in our time but we stuck up for Ozzy at his request because it could have jeopardized future shows if his voice was blown out had he done two shows in any one day. As for the reason Lee and I were sacked, I'd say first of all that it was because we weren't green, inexperienced or 'yes men'. We knew the business and what we were entitled to and that sometimes rubbed both Ozzy and Sharon up the wrong way, especially with Lee as he and Sharon didn't always see eye to eye. When we were auditioning drummers before Lee got the job, Ozzy had favoured drummer Tommy Aldridge who wasn't available. During the U.K. tour in 1980 after the release of the first album, and when Sharon had become part of the scene, Ozzy and Sharon began asking me to agree to getting rid of Lee and have Tommy Aldridge in the band but I would never agree; they were trying to fix something that wasn't broken. Out of principal and knowing I was right, I refused every time they pulled me aside to bend my ear in the direction of getting rid of Lee. Anyway, as history shows, Lee and I were used, abused and fired after the recording of 'Diary' without receiving our proper accreditation for performance and co-production. As history also shows, I was asked back time and time again. Need I say more?
7. Yes!.:-) Why did you go back to work with Ozzy time and time again?
BD. First and foremost, we were still good friends and Ozzy and I worked productively well together. I liked the musical style and direction and his vocal melodies, and he liked my lyrics and playing; we got on personally very well too. The first time I went back was to write and record for the 'Bark at the Moon' album, at a time when Lee and I were suing Don Arden and Jet Records for non payment of performance royalties from the sales of the 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' albums and lack of due accreditation on 'Diary'. Ozzy and Sharon were helping us in our lawsuit against her father, Don Arden, as she was by then estranged from him, so naturally it was in my interest to work with them again.
8. What was the outcome of your case against Don Arden and Jet Records?
BD. Our case went to High Court in London in 1986, with Lee's and my victory resulting in a payout from Don/Jet. We subsequently thought the royalty payments would continue and that the erroneous credits on 'Diary' would be corrected; neither happened.
9. The fact that Sharon and Ozzy helped you suggests they believed your claim against Don Arden and Jet records was justified. Why did you and Lee sue the Osbournes and what did you sue them for?
BD. Lee and I found out during the 1990s that the Osbournes had bought the rights to the Ozzy Osbourne catalogue from Don Arden/Jet Records in July of 1983 and that from then on they were receiving our performance royalties from the sales of 'Blizzard' and 'Diary'. I sought legal advice from a law firm in L.A. who told us we had a good case and so legal action was taken to bring the Osbournes to justice. Ozzy and Sharon had been helping us in our original case against Don/Jet from 1982 and continued 'helping' us knowing full well that they owned the rights after July 1983. When they took ownership of the name and catalogue of Ozzy Osbourne, they also inherited the liability of paying us, which they've never done to this day.
10. Both you and Lee must have been confident that justice would prevail in the US courts, particularly when Don Arden offered to help you in your case against the Osbournes. In his book 'Gods, Gangsters & Honour', Steven Machat writes about Don Arden's intention to tell the truth:
Don agreed to do the right thing by the boys and tell in his testimony the whole unvarnished truth: Daisley and Kerslake had been royally screwed. Affidavits were drawn up which said that Blizzard was a group recording with Ozzy as a vocalist and the group should split the royalties. Daisley and Kerslake were not sidemen or session musicians playing for a fee. They were equal members of the group and co-owners of the proceeds.
Even with such a promising case, taking legal action in the US can be a lengthy and very expensive business, how many times did the case go to court and what was the outcome?
BD. Sharon hadn't spoken to her father Don Arden for almost twenty years so when Steve Machat contacted Don about our case he offered to help, knowing that the Osbournes had bought the rights to the Ozzy catalogue from him in 1983, hence inheriting the liability to pay us our royalties that Don knew were due. Lee Kerslake and I met with Don in London on the 12th of September, 2000 and all was discussed and agreed by the three of us that Don would help in our case. By that time our case had been reviewed at least twice in court by a judge via a 'summary judgement' - which is a procedure where a case is analysed to decide if it has merit or not - and ours was deemed credible and with merit by the judge with most issues/claims remaining intact after the first judgement but we lost a few with the second. As for the expense of our lawsuit, our Beverly Hills lawyers were so confident of our case that they took it on under a contingency basis, that is, if we won they got paid, if we lost, they got nothing. Lee and I still had to pay the ongoing incidental costs which were considerable and Lee almost lost his house because of the expense.
Eventually in late 2001, Sharon made up with her father who signed an affidavit saying that Lee and I had offered to bribe and pay him to be a witness for us, which of course we most certainly had not. The same judge who had previously judged our case as having merit, announced that now we didn't have a case. Our lawyers went to the Appeals Court which denied our case a hearing and then the same thing happened when they tried the Supreme Court.
In 2002 the Osbournes went to the trouble of taking the original tapes of 'Blizzard' and 'Diary' into the studio and re-recording Lee's and my performances with other musicians. We expected, or at least weren't surprised that they would insult us but to insult the memory of Randy Rhoads and disregard the record-buying public was a low act that showed their true colours.
11. Did Don Arden actually sign an affidavit supporting your claim against the Osbournes? If so, why didn't you and Lee pursue Don for perjury when he withdrew his evidence and then signed a further affidavit for the other side after making up with his daughter Sharon?
BD. Don Arden was in the process of helping us and meeting with our lawyers in preparation of his statement/affidavit when Sharon found out. It was then that she decided to make up with him and after they'd made up, I knew Don wouldn't be able to stay involved in helping us. What we didn't know was that Sharon's lawyers had worked on Don and come up with a contrary affidavit to his original statement for us, which technically is perjury. Our lawyers, Freund and Brackey, wanted to pursue Don for perjury but the only true witnesses to that fact were Don himself, Sharon and Steve Machat - Don's friend who'd put us in touch with Don. Steve wasn't prepared to act as a witness in pursuing Don for perjury as they'd been friends for many years. Here's what Steve Machat said about it in his book, 'Gods, Gangsters and Honour':
"Don was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's and he knew his days were numbered. So did I. I was asked by people on my side to pursue Don for perjury but I refused. From the start, I'd wanted to do the right thing by Don and if that meant walking away from the (legal) action, then so be it."
So after that we didn't have a chance of nailing Don for perjury and his reversed affidavit which erroneously stated that we'd offered him a bribe to be our witness, further damaged our case. This is a very brief description, a detailed account of the full history will be included in my book.
12. The following is an extract from an article published in the News of the World in which Sharon's brother, David Arden, states why he believes that his father, Don Arden, changed his mind about helping you and Lee in your case against the Osbournes:
The ice between Sharon and Don did not thaw until 2001 — and only then because it suited her. In her book Sharon claims the horrific loss of life in the 9/11 terror attack on New York's World Trade Center prompted her to make peace.
But brother David sees it differently. He recalls how Sharon desperately needed help in a US court case to save her and Ozzy from possible bankruptcy.
Two former bandmates were demanding £10million in unpaid fees and had signed up Don as a witness on their side. David said: "Their case was looking good. They got Dad to confirm Sharon was responsible for their missing cash.
"Then Sharon rang me, saying, 'I beg you to ask Dad to reconsider. He has to withdraw his testimony. We could lose everything.'
"For Sharon to use the word beg was unheard of, she was in dire straits. Dad had only signed up with the other side as a poke in the eye to Sharon, so I spoke to him and he agreed. Then Sharon went crazy with delight. And I'm positive that was the only reason she got back with my dad. Sharon and Ozzy rang him immediately they got the news and left a message. I heard Ozzy say, 'Hi Don, thank you so much for helping us out, can't tell you how much it means to me.'
"Then Sharon came on the line and said, 'Hi Dad, I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am for your help. I hope I'll see you soon.'
"Sharon paid for us to fly first class to LA, put us up in the Four Seasons hotel and lawyers worked with Dad on the court statements over two days.
"The court case was eventually dismissed and Sharon never once mentioned it again".
Did Don Arden ever contact you to explain his change of heart?
BD. I phoned Don after I'd heard that he was no longer an ally for us, and had made up with Sharon. I told him I understood his reasons and that I hoped he'd get happiness from his decision, but that was before our lawyers were served with an affidavit signed by Don from the other side stating that Lee and I had offered Don money to be a witness for us, which of course was a lie. I understood Don making up with Sharon because he'd never seen his grandchildren and I knew he missed his daughter but I was surprised that Sharon had made up with him, until of course, the arrival of the affidavit which explained everything. Several times over the years while working with Ozzy, I'd mentioned to Sharon that it would be good for her to consider making up with her dad, that blood and family are important but she was stubborn and remained estranged from her father. I didn't know the full story behind why she refused a reconciliation or why she had been estranged in the first place. It soon became blatantly obvious that the motives behind her agreed reconciliation with her dad, when it eventually took place, were of a mercenary, ulterior nature which served her selfish agenda.
13. Sharon Osbourne made the following press statement in 2002...
"Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake have harassed Ozzy and our family for several years. Because of their abusive and unjust behavior, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums."
Did you or Lee ever 'harass' Ozzy, Sharon or any member of the Osbourne or Arden family?
BD. Never. First of all, I'd had no contact of any kind at all with Ozzy since late 1997 and the last contact with Sharon I'd had was before then. The only member of either of the families Lee and I had contact with was Don Arden, Sharon's father, during the time he'd agreed to be an ally and help us win our case against the Osbournes. Don offered though, he didn't have his arm twisted, but it was more for him to stick a finger up at Sharon, who hadn't spoken to him in almost twenty years, than to help us. He was genuinely willing to aid our cause though, as the meeting Lee and I had at his house in London proved. Don also welcomed our lawyers into his house to go through documents he had which would serve a vital cause. No one was ever harassed. I always had to laugh at the part of Sharon's statement where she said, "We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." So insulting the memory of Randy Rhoads, the record-buying public and ruining classic albums is a 'positive'? What constitutes a 'negative' in their world then? The mind boggles...
14. Did you or Lee ever try to get other musicians involved in your legal action against the Osbournes?
BD. Most certainly not. Neither Lee nor I contacted or approached any former or current musicians or staff within the Osbourne camp prior to or during our lawsuit against them. As our case against them progressed, former bassist Phil Soussan began a lawsuit against them for unpaid royalties in regards to the song 'Shot in the Dark' which appeared on the 'Ultimate Sin' album but I/we had no contact with him. There was a mention in the press that Soussan had 'joined forces' with us but his lawsuit was launched independently of ours. I don't even know what the outcome for him was. Carmine Appice sued them in 1984 after being fired from the 'Bark at the Moon' tour when he'd been contracted for the whole world tour. I'm not sure when his case was settled but Carmine won the case and was paid by the Osbournes but I/we had nothing to do with that either.
15. Did you or Lee ever sue the Osbournes for any reason other than for non payment of performance royalties from the sales of the 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' albums and for the lack of accreditation for your performances on 'Diary'?
BD. No, the only time we took legal action against the Osbournes was when we finally found out where our royalties for 'Blizzard' and 'Diary' were going - into their pockets. There was an incident in 1986 when the album 'The Ultimate Sin' was released without my credit for writing on it, with the first 500,000 pressings omitting my name. I threatened to sue but the credit was corrected so no further legal action was taken. I'd co-written much of the music for that album with Jake E. Lee and then had written all the lyrics for the whole thing and didn't get credited on the first 500,000 released. There are no other incidents of legal proceedings having been launched against the Osbournes by Lee and/or me at any other time.
16. In 1997 the album 'Blizzard of Ozz' went Quadruple Platinum in the US, having sold four million copies. 'Diary of a Madman' went Triple Platinum in 1994, having sold three million copies in the US. Did you and Lee receive your Gold and Platinum discs in recognition of your writing and performance contributions to Blizzard and Diary?
BD. Well I'd say that those sales figures from back then and from the U.S. only, would be much higher by now, certainly into double figures for current times in world-wide sales. To this day, Lee has never received even one gold or platinum award disc. I've had quite a few, mostly from Canada and the U.S. but they only started flowing after I'd returned to the fold in 1983 to write and record for the 'Bark at the Moon' album and other subsequent albums, which was before I knew where our money was going. From the release of the first album in 1980, I'd received nothing until my return in 1983 so I would suggest that if I hadn't come back to the Osbourne stable I would be in the same boat as Lee.
17. Why is there no credit for keyboards on 'Diary of a Madman' and who played them on that album?
BD. As history and evidence have shown, the credits on 'Diary' were inaccurate and blatantly misleading with Kerslake's drumming performances being credited to Tommy Aldridge and my bass performances going to Rudy Sarzo. Kerslake and I were supposed to be credited with co-production on 'Diary' as we had been on 'Blizzard' but instead were omitted. As for the keyboard player, he was meant to receive full accreditation and payment for his session performances and neither happened. Many people think it's Don Airey because Don played on 'Blizzard' but it's Johnny Cook, the keyboard player I'd worked with in Mungo Jerry during 1973/4. Johnny had to get the Musician's Union involved just to get paid for his session performances on 'Diary' and was completely omitted from any mention on the credits. Maybe they didn't credit him because he forced their hand for payment. Paying people what they're owed seems to rub that lot up the wrong way.
18. What was the story and significance behind the solo song 'Dee'?
BD. As most people know, Randy was studying classical guitar and wanted to express his love of that genre of music with a piece he'd written in the key of 'D' to honour his mother Delores, hence the title 'Dee'. After he'd recorded the piece, Ozzy wasn't sure if he wanted it on the album and neither were the record company reps. They thought it might be a bit out of context and not quite suitable for a rock album. I was there the day Ozzy came into the studio control room at Ridge Farm Studios and announced to Randy that 'Dee' could be included on the album; Randy was ecstatic.
19. On the subject of lyrics, when asked about 'Suicide Solution' and the controversy connected to that song when a teenager killed himself after allegedly listening to it, Don Arden is on record as having said...
"To be perfectly honest, I would be doubtful as to whether Mr. Osbourne knew the meaning of the lyrics, if there was any meaning, because his command of the English language is minimal."
Many would agree, and yet Ozzy has said on several occasions that he wrote the lyrics to 'Suicide Solution'. Would you like to comment on this?
BD. Ozzy has often said that he wrote Suicide Solution about Bon Scott, AC/DC's singer but first and foremost Ozzy didn't write it, I did. Bon Scott was a good friend of mine, I would be the first to say if it had been written about him. I wrote the lyrics as a warning of drinking yourself to death, inspired by Ozzy's heavy drinking at the time and that the 'solution' - as in 'liquid' - is not the solution to the problem. I would like to add that in no way were the lyrics meant to encourage the act of suicide, on the contrary, they meant the opposite.
20. Given Don Arden's statement that Ozzy's "command of the English language is minimal" and Ozzy's own admission that he can't play an instrument, how is it that Ozzy is the only person credited for songwriting on 'Bark At The Moon'?
BD. There were complicated situations for Jake E. Lee and me at the time regarding publishing contracts and song registration so we agreed to do a 'buy out', that is, we were paid a lump sum for our contributions both for playing and writing. I co-wrote the music with Jake and I wrote all the lyrics with the exception of a line or word or two from Ozzy. Jake and I couldn't be credited for the writing for that reason, although we did get our performance credits. It was very frustrating to put so much work into a recording and then see someone else take all the credit for the writing but that's what we agreed to so there's not a lot we can do now. Besides, with that lot, even without doing a 'buy out' there was never ever any guarantee that you'd be credited properly and accurately anyway. The one thing that stands out in my mind from when the record was first released is an interview Ozzy did with the magazine 'International Musician'. When asked how he'd written all those songs alone he told them that he'd done it on a piano using one hand. I wonder where the other hand was.
21. You worked on six albums with Ozzy, which songs did you write the lyrics for?
BD. I go into specifics and detail with the songs and each album when talking about them in my book but as a brief description and explanation, the following gives you an idea...
Blizzard of Ozz
I Don't Know: I think the title was Ozzy's but I wrote all the lyrics of the song except one line - 'ya gotta believe in foolish miracles' - which was also Ozzy's.
Crazy Train: The title was mine and 99% of the lyrics were mine. I think a word or two came from Ozzy.
Goodbye to Romance: Ozzy had a few lines ready for this one, including the title but I wrote most of the lyrics. My message was directed at Ozzy to 'look ahead' and not get stuck in the past regarding his dismissal from Black Sabbath, which was still bothering him. I wrote the outro lyrics in the control room of a Birmingham demo studio when we first recorded the song as a demo for the record company. I still have that demo. Incidentally, the title is a line from an Everly Brothers' song 'Bye, Bye Love'.
Suicide Solution: My title and all my lyrics except the first line which was Ozzy's - 'wine is fine but whisky's quicker' - and that was his whole and sole contribution, other than his usual vocal melody.
Mr. Crowley: The title was Ozzy's, an ode to Aleister Crowley. Ozzy also had a couple of lines within the song but again most of the lyrics were mine. Being that Crowley was reputed to be a black magician, I didn't want to make it a negative message and turned it into a 'Crowley, what were you thinking?' theme.
No Bone Movies: Title and lyrics all mine. Ozzy, Randy, Randy's girlfriend Jody and I had been to see a porn flick in Soho, London and Randy called it a 'bone movie' which I don't think I'd ever heard.
Revelation (Mother Earth): When it came time to write the lyrics at Ridge Farm during the recording of the album, I was reading parts of 'Revelations' in the bible. I read a lot of philosophy and all sorts of schools of thought, which influenced the lyrics and message in the song. Ozzy did come up with a couple of lines in this one too though.
Steal Away the Night: The 'steal away' part was Ozzy's, I think we used it in another song originally but didn't suit it as much as where it ended up. Nearly all the lyrics are mine.
You Looking at Me, Looking at You: Originally meant to be on the album but ended up as a B-side for the single when 'No Bone Movies' which was supposed to be the B-side but made it onto the album. 'You Looking at Me' was one of the first songs we wrote together. The title and lyrics are all mine, Ozzy may have put in a word or two.
Diary of a Madman
Over the Mountain: Title and lyrics were mine. To be fair, Ozzy's melodies and scat singing before lyrics were written sometimes influenced what I wrote, the lyrics were written to fit his phrasing on most songs.
Flying High Again: The title and lyrics were mine, Ozzy may have put in a word or two again. In my book, there's a whole story about how this song came about from an experience I had as a young lad playing in bands in Australia. The title actually came from a very 'straight' bloke who asked me a question about drugs.
You Can't Kill Rock 'N' Roll: Ozzy's title, and a few words were his but the meat and potatoes of the lyrics were mine. I wrote it about being screwed by record companies and being lied to, a premonition me thinks...
Believer: My title and lyrics. I was reading about the power of belief at the time and wanted to convey a positive message. Maybe a word or two from Ozzy and some inspiration from his phrasing but all my idea.
Little Dolls: My title and lyrics. Again, maybe a word or two here and there from Ozzy but totally my idea. A song about Voodoo without mentioning the word. Fuck knows how I came up with that one...
Tonight: Ozzy had originally sung 'just a kiss before we say goodnight' to open the song but I thought that was a bit soppy so changed the idea to someone down and out on the street. I think Lee came up with the 'tonight' where it ended up in the chorus but I wrote almost all the lyrics.
S.A.T.O.: Not my title, Ozzy and Sharon changed it from 'Strange Voyage' which had been mine, to 'S.A.T.O.' after Lee and I were ousted. I wrote the lyrics about how life can be a strange voyage and was inspired by a Buddhist text entitled 'A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering'. The S.A.T.O part is explained in my book.
Diary of a Madman: My title and lyrics. The title came from a movie of the same name which I'd seen starring Vincent price. When I told Ozzy about my idea he loved it and that became the title of the next album before we'd even started writing it. I wrote the lyrics about my own personal experience which I go into detail about in the book. When Randy, Lee and I first worked up the music for the song without Ozzy, he came in the next day, heard what we had and said, "Who the fuck do you think I am, Frank Zappa?"
Bark at the Moon
Bark at the Moon: Ozzy's title, which came from a saying he had, 'eat shit and bark at the moon' but I wrote all the lyrics. Based on a fictitious 'Hammer Horror' type character.
You're No Different: Ozzy's title. He wanted it to be about people judging and criticizing him, which was happening in the press at the time, so that's what I wrote it about.
Now You See It (Now You Don't): My title and lyrics. A simple ditty about hiding a sausage...
Rock 'N' Roll Rebel: Ozzy's title and another one about him being accused of being a devil worshiper. Some of the lyrics were his too but about 90% were mine.
Centre of Eternity: My title and lyrics. A tongue-in-cheek philosophical look at 'time' and our existence in eternity.
So Tired: My title and lyrics. Something quite unusual for me to write - a love song. The idea came from a Kinks' song I heard on the radio one night driving back home from Ridge Farm. Their song was called 'Tired of Waiting' but that's where the similarities end.
Slow Down: My title and lyrics. Inspired by The Beatles' song of the same name but again, that's where the similarities end, the lyrics are very different. I remember Jake E. Lee particularly liked this one.
Waiting for Darkness: Ozzy's title but I wrote all the lyrics. I wrote it about the hypocrisy within organized religion, the brainwashing, mind control, paedophilia and manipulation through guilt, and that if that's what equates to the 'light' then I'll wait for the 'darkness'. When Ozzy was asked what the song was about during his interview with 'International Musician' magazine, mentioned earlier, his answer was, "A witch." It seems he didn't understand the lyrics I'd written and he'd sung, although he took credit for writing it.
Spiders: My title and lyrics. When we were recording 'Bark' at Ridge Farm, there were hundreds of little spiders everywhere. They were harmless but the glut of them inspired the song idea. I turned it around at the end with 'the spider's in your head'...
One Up the B-side: Specifically written as the commissioned B-side for a single release, hence the title. My title and lyrics, a parody containing innuendos on anal sex.
The Ultimate Sin
Ozzy (or someone other than me) came up with the titles for all the songs on this album, including the title track. I had co-written a lot of the music with Jake E. Lee in Palm Springs while Ozzy was in The Betty Ford Clinic there. All the vocal melodies were Ozzy's and most likely the song titles. I was dismissed after a little tiff between Ozzy and me and then called back to write the lyrics for the album a month or so later, so things developed while I was gone. Bass player Phil Soussan used some of my bass lines on the album but I'm glad I didn't play on that one, I think it's Ozzy's worst album. Even he didn't like it and referred to it as 'The Ultimate Din'. But yes, I wrote all the lyrics for that album except for 'Shot in the Dark'.
No Rest for the Wicked
Miracle Man: I can't remember who came up with the title for this one, maybe Ozzy. I wrote all the lyrics which were about a controversial character in the news at the time by the name of Jimmy Swaggart, a bible-punching, hellfire-and-brimstone-threatening evangelist who got busted with a hooker in a cheap motel. I was proud of my ridiculing lyrics on that one, I'll probably go to hell now...:-)
Devil's Daughter: I think the title was Ozzy's but I wrote nearly all the lyrics, maybe Ozzy came up with a few words, to be fair. The 'holy war' part was inspired by a familiar cry during strife in the Middle East at the time but I made it about an exorcism, to make it more commercial and less offensive.
Crazy Babies: Ozzy's title, mostly my lyrics, some of which I'd had since Rainbow days. Ozzy did contribute a few lines here and there but the bulk of it was mine. A simple 'young rebels' theme.
Breaking All the Rules: Ozzy's title and a few lines were his but I wrote a lot of it, more than half. The idea was a 'thinking outside of the square' theme with the obvious rebelliousness.
Bloodbath in Paradise: Ozzy's title and for a while I didn't know what I was going to write it about, he just wanted that particular title. The full story of this is detailed in my book but as a quick explanation, I thought of California being the 'paradise' and then the obvious 'bloodbath' which came to mind was the Charles Manson Family murders in the late '60s, I wrote all of that one.
Fire in the Sky: Ozzy's title and a few of the lyrics were his but 90% were mine. I thought of writing it about a U.F.O. sighting or experience, but Ozzy wanted it about an 'inner child' situation so that's what I wrote it about and included a bit of 'me' in there too.
Tattooed Dancer: I can't quite remember whose title it was but the inspiration for the lyrics came from a strip bar on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood named 'The Seventh Veil' where we used to sometimes ogle the dancing tattooed crumpet. A few lines are Ozzy's but again the bulk of it was mine.
Demon Alcohol: I remember this one well, it was my title and all the lyrics are mine. I wrote it from a standpoint of the 'demon alcohol' singing the song to a weak alcoholic.
No More Tears
I didn't actually write any of the lyrics for 'No More Tears', I only played on it. I was called in at the last moment to play on the album and then when I'd finished recording all my bass parts I stayed on in L.A. to write the lyrics. I got as far as six sets and was then told I'd done enough for the moment. I had asked to be able to retain my publishing rights this time instead of doing a 'buy out' so I could receive royalties... that's when I was sent home.
22. It was recently announced that the original recordings of 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' are to be released as a 30th anniversary package with your and Lee's performances restored in all their glory. If this is true, it's very good news for the fans. Have you and Lee been negotiating and come to an agreement with the Osbournes? If so, can you tell us about the 'bonus material'? And finally, are you going to receive royalties for your performances from the sales of this special edition?
BD. Neither Lee nor I have been contacted, considered or consulted in the decision to re-release the original recordings. I haven't a clue as to what the 'bonus material' might be. As for royalties, we have not been approached for a reconciliation and have been offered and promised nothing.
Thanks for giving us the facts, Bob. The vast majority of messages we receive at the site, are about the 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' albums and the trials and tribulations that surround them. It may be almost 30 years since they were first released but people continue to write in to express their anger and disgust at the sub-standard re-recordings of these two classic albums and at the way you, Lee and they have been cheated and disregarded by the Osbournes.
Needless to say, by focusing on the most frequently asked questions, we've only mentioned six of around sixty albums that you've worked on, so far, in your extraordinary career alongside many of Music's legendary performers. Judging by the messages that are flooding in to the website, MySpace and Facebook pages, we're all looking forward to reading a whole lot more about your remarkable life in your forthcoming autobiography.
Interview by Troy for the website, July 2010