Rumors of guitarist Zakk Wylde's dismissal from Ozzy's band have been kicking around for like ever. Well at least it was all handled with dignity and grace as befitting a longtime employee and supporter. Oh wait scratch that. Ozzy to Classic Rock:
Well, I’m getting a new guitar player as we speak and everyone has been saying to me for a long time, ‘Get Johnny 5!’ And I tried him at one time and I didn’t really give him a chance. We’ll see, I don’t know. I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk’s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like Black Label Society. I just felt like I wanted a change, y’know?
To which Wylde replied:
I’m doing Blizzcon with him in August and supposed to finish up the cd in September. This is news to me. I haven’t heard anything about this. Until I talk to the Boss I don’t know. I love Ozzy.
So Ozzy publicly blames his guitarist for Down To Earth's miserable shittiness. But keeps him on for festivals just in case John 5 is wise enough to avoid avoid avoid Sharon. Look, this is low for even the Shosbourne Camp; BLS records can't possibly suck as bad as Ozzy records. Nor do I suspect that BLS favors glitzy ballads and tone deaf non-rock. It's hard to care but let's give Wylde some credit here. After joining Ozzy's band (at 19), he introduced himself with mega-riffs, a proto-Dimebag tone, and three of Oz's best singles.
But as the Osbourne was dropped from his boss's name, Wylde's awesomeness stopped (though he nearly triumphed over shitty synths and a ghastly mix on "No More Tears"). He was stunted and it happened to Eddie Van Halen too, though unlike EVH's unceasing praise, for Wylde it's the futility of effort spent on a fucking Ozzy solo record. That'd be like a public library with a really nice bathroom so weirdos have a safe, sanitary place to bang homeless people. Well that's what Ozzy records make me think of anyway.