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Zakk Wylde Praises Randy Rhoads, Talks Black Sabbath + Recalls Funny Ozzy Osbourne Moment

Zakk Wylde
Jo Hale, Getty Images

Black Label Society recently wrapped up a Canadian tour, and Rock Cellar caught up with frontman  for a wide-ranging conversation about those shows and numerous other subjects.

Wylde talked about the influence the late guitarist Randy Rhoads had on him. “One of the biggest things I learned from him is construction, and where you can go with a solo by playing Randy’s music. He was a brilliant soloist who had such a melodic sense — there’d be a beginning, middle and end, as he could tell a whole story in a song.”

When Wylde joined Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1987, he said his aim was to remain faithful to Rhoads’ guitar playing as much as possible. “Even those very first shows, everyone was rooting for me because they knew I was on the team, and loved Randy Rhoads as much as they did. They could see I played Randy’s stuff exactly his way, and had the highest respect for what he did. There’s no way you can fill his shoes, so you just have to give respect to his music and play it accurately. You have to, because this is the house that Rhoads built. And without Randy Rhoads, there never would have been a Zakk Wylde.”

A huge fan of Black Sabbath, Wylde and his wife recently had a son and named him Sabbath. He gave his take on the new album Sabbath is in the midst of recording. “Put it this way – if anybody’s going to be working on the new Sabbath record, it couldn’t be in better hands than [producer] Rick Rubin,” Wylde said. “Father Rubin is a massive Sabbath fan as well, and if anything Rick is going to make sure it turns out to be an awesome Sabbath record.”

The interview also features Wylde recalling a funny encounter that happened when Ozzy Osbourne visited him at his studio. “He looks up at this poster I have on the wall of Aleister Crowley, and he goes, ‘Zakk [assuming Ozzy’s voice], who’s the fucking bald-headed c–t on the wall?’ And I’m just f—ing cracking up.  So Ozzy says, “What the f—’s so funny?” And I said, ‘Dude, you don’t know who that is?’ Ozzy goes, ‘Why the f— should I know who he is? Who the f— is it?’ So I said, ‘Ozzy, you’ve only been singing about him for the last 30 f—ing years! It’s Aleister Crowley, bro!’ There’s a pause, then Ozzy says, ‘Oh, is that what he looks like?’ I kid you not.”

In addition to being a guitar wizard, Wylde is a man of many other talents as well. He has a line of signature hot sauces, hosts a sports talk radio show and wrote the book ‘Bringing Metal to the Children‘ that was released earlier this year.

Black Label Society head south for a tour that begins Nov. 11 in Mexico, which will also take them to Argentina and Brazil.

Next: Zakk Wylde to Host Sports Radio Show

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