BraveWords.com's Chat With BOB DAISLEY Continues - "Ozzy And I Had Done A Little Coke So 'Flying High Again’ Was A Bit Of A Drug Song"
June 3, 2011, 7 years ago
BraveWords.com recently caught up with bassist and lyricist extraordinaire Bob Daisley, who boasts a career spanning over 40 years and a resume filled to the brim with such notable acts as OZZY OSBOURNE, RAINBOW, URIAH HEEP, GARY MOORE, BLACK SABBATH and many more. With the anxiously-anticipated Deluxe Editions of Ozzy's first two landmark solo efforts, Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981) in stores now, Daisley spent time with BraveWords.com correspondent Cory Lambert answering a vast array of questions from the past, present and future. We continue now with Part II (check out Part I here) and it’s 1987 and Bob had just finished working with Black Sabbath and the Eternal Idol album to continue working with GARY MOORE.
BraveWords.com: You recorded a great rock and roll album called After The War with Gary Moore.
Daisley: “I thought it was a good record also. I was not a fan of synthesized drums and programmed drums, but it was the times. They would add a little synth bass and a little synth drums but I like human beings playing instruments – you can’t beat that.”
BraveWords.com: How long were you with Gary Moore?
Daisley: “I did a video release with Gary at the end of 1984 and it was called Emerald Isles and I did some tracks for the album Victims Of The Future. In ’85, when I had that fallout with Ozzy, I went back to Gary. Gary had GLENN HUGHES but I knew that was not going to work out. So when Glenn left, I joined. Glenn had just left. So I worked from the end of 1984 up till 1991. He did the Still Got The Blues album which was my idea but I only played on some of the tracks.”
BraveWords.com: How active were you in the song writing process with Gary Moore?
Daisley: “Not very active. Gary was pretty self sufficient in that department. He wrote good lyrics and great music. There were some he co-wrote with Neil Carter.”
BraveWords.com: He’s left quite a catalogue when he passed. It was quite a shock.
Daisley: “Yeah, it was totally out of the blue. I just didn’t expect that one.”
BraveWords.com: What are you thoughts on THIN LIZZY touring without Gary Moore or Phil Lynott?
GARY MOORE and PHIL LYNOTT:
Daisley: “It’s almost like a tribute band isn’t it? Well, they have got Scott Gorham. Is Brian Downey in it?”
BraveWords.com: Not sure, but they do have Vivian Campbell. Odd choice I suppose but by all accounts he does very well.
Daisley: “Vivian’s always been a good player and Scott’s a good player too. Brian Downey’s a really good drummer with a great feel. I suppose it will serve the purpose if you can’t have Phil or Gary, it’s good to have original members who can supply the demand for the people to go along and hear those songs played live. The remnants of what’s left is doing just that.”
BraveWords.com: I was always a John Sykes fan and I loved the stuff he did with WHITESNAKE. Those were great records.
Daisley: “Oh sure.”
BraveWords.com: I heard an interview with Ozzy where John Sykes was auditioned and how Ozzy said he was disappointed he didn’t bring any gear.
Daisley: “Oh I didn’t know that.”
BraveWords.com: So tell me more about MOTHER’S ARMY.
Daisley: “Carmine Appice called me at the end of 1991 and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was going to produce a band called ADDICTIVE in Australia. He said that he and Jeff Watson were going to put a band together. He told me to stop into San Francisco on the way and meet Jeff and jam together. So I did that. The three of us got on OK and we said ‘let’s do something.’ So we started looking for singers and it went on and on and on. Carmine and Joe Lynn Turner and I used to meet up in LA and just talk about getting a band together. Then one day at Jeff’s place, with Carmine, I told them I knew who would be perfect for this and said Joe Lynn Turner. Carmine said ‘yeah, we always talked about that.’ So I phoned Joe and he had his own band and wasn’t interested at first. I kept pestering him and saying ‘just come out here and have a go and see how it feels.’ On the second day - he joined. It was working very well. The three Mother’s Army albums are being re-issued again by a German company called Edel. There’s some great stuff on there and some great playing also. The musical climate at the time was more grunge and alternative so our stuff was not considered in vogue. However some of the stuff was ahead of it’s time. The third album had Aynsley Dunbar who is a great drummer who had played with everyone from JOHN LENNON, FLO & EDDIE to FRANK ZAPPA.”
BraveWords.com: Flo and Eddie? Wow. I love their background vocals contributions to Electric Warrior by T.REX. It’s so smooth and rich it’s amazing. Tony Visconti did an amazing job on that record.
Daisley: “Flo and Eddie sang background vocals on Ozzy’s No Rest For the Wicked.”
BraveWords.com: Really? (laughs) That’s something I didn’t know.
Daisley: “Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman.”
BraveWords.com: From the TURTLES?
Daisley: “Yeah and I wrote all the lyrics for that record also.”
BraveWords.com: Including ‘The Liar’, which was the B-side of the single ‘Miracle Man’? A great track, too bad not many people heard it.
Daisley: “I thought so too. I played a fretless bass on that one. The lyrics on that one are quite abstract and even a bit dark but that’s what I liked about it. It was weird. It was released on a 12” single that had a photo of the road band which included Geezer Butler, even though I played on it.”
BraveWords.com: Ozzy should put out a compilation of his best B-sides. Another song that does not get mentioned is ‘One Up The B-Side’ which was the flip side to Bark At The Moon. Another great track that’s been forgotten.
Daisley: “It was during the recording of Bark At The Moon and Sharon called me and said they needed a B-side. Jake and I already had written the music and so I thought, what a great title, ‘One Up The B-Side’. (laughs) So I wrote it about anal sex.”(laughs)
HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN:
BraveWords.com: So how did the HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN and LIVING LOUD come about?
Daisley: “I used to have a little blues band called the Hoochie Coochie Men and we used to gig around the local clubs here in Sydney. Jon Lord came into town and my manager called me and told he was in town. So I went to see him and we had dinner. Jon had received a minor injury to his hand and didn’t feel he could do his classical engagement at the Sydney Opera House. So instead, we decided to play together and did a few shows. One was the Basement, which was filmed and became a DVD and a live album. It all came together very quickly. One rehearsal and then we did the show. It turned out really well. My manager suggested doing an album with Jon Lord and having Jimmy Barnes sing on it and have some guest guitar players appear on it. Lee Kerslake would be the perfect drummer. That’s how Living Loud started. Lee and I thought about doing our own tribute to Randy Rhoads years earlier with some of the songs from Blizzard and Diary and getting people to guest on it. Brian May was going to do it, as was Gary Moore. I was going to get Ronnie James Dio to sing on it. Jon Lord was going to play on it as well as Don Airey.”
BraveWords.com: That would have been incredible to hear Ronnie James Dio sing those classic Daisley / Rhoads songs.
Daisley: “Jon had just come out of DEEP PURPLE. So it would have been Jon, Steve Morse, Lee Kerslake, Jimmy Barnes and me. We were going to get some other singers on it and some more guitarists but when we got to Steve Morse’s place in Florida it was just me, Lee and Steve and we started playing together and we said, ‘wow, this feels really good.’ Some things look good on paper but the proof of the pudding is in the eating when you start playing together. Steve Morse was working very well so we didn’t feel the need to have additional guitarists. Then Jimmy Barnes came in and worked out well also so we felt we didn’t need any additional singers either. So we were writing and arranging and then re-arranging some of the Blizzard Of Ozz songs. When it came time for keyboards it was going to be shared between Jon and Don but Jon was no longer available. Don did them all in 3 days in London. The versions we did of the Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman songs were quite different. I mean, we weren’t trying to re-create what we had already done.”
BraveWords.com: I read once that because those Randy Rhoads songs are sacred no one should cover them. However, it was quickly pointed out that Lee and Bob had co-wrote them. The fact that they were being done is in itself a tribute to the genius that was Randy.
Daisley: “We had been removed from both Blizzard and Diary by that time anyway, but it was not in retaliation as we talked about doing those songs for years.”
BraveWords.com: So, we should have Bob Daisley on bass, Don Airey on keyboards, Jake E Lee on guitar, Lee Kerslake on drums?
Daisley: “You mean if we did another Ozzy album?”
BraveWords.com: No, if you did a Bob Daisley album.
Daisley: (laughs) “Lee and I always worked well together. Jake is very hard to get a hold of. I haven’t spoken to him in ages. I tell you who thought very highly of Jake and that was Gary Moore. I contacted Jake’s daughter and I told her to tell him to drop me a line. I got one email back from his daughter and that was it.”
BraveWords.com: That’s too bad as he is an amazing player with a unique style and those BADLANDS albums are classics. The album Dusk in particular is incredible.
Daisley: “I recently saw a small clip of him playing in a bar with a band.”
BraveWords.com: He did put out a covers album called Retraced a few years back.
Daisley: “Oh ok.”
BraveWords.com: So you would like to work with Jake again?
Daisley: “I would certainly work with Jake again if he was about.”
BraveWords.com: What is your favourite lyric that you ever wrote?
Daisley: “I have heard a lot of good comments about the song ‘Diary Of A Madman’, which was really about me. I always try to make lyrics unusual and not cliché or predictable. Too many lyrics fall into the category of love songs. Like ‘I love you baby’ or ‘I want you baby’ or ‘don’t leave me baby’ or ‘I’ve got a new baby’. (laughs). Or ‘please don’t go’ or ‘you broke my heart’. I tried to make mine philosophical and thinking songs. I also hear good comments about ‘Believer’. There are explanations in the book about all the songs, where they came from and what they mean. They could be about life experiences or maybe something I was reading at the time. ‘Little Dolls’ features lyrics about voodoo without actually mentioning it. ‘Pricking the skin of little dolls and the little doll is you’, like an effigy, which is how voodoo works. I don’t know where I got that one from.”
BraveWords.com: Definitely some clever lyrics on that album. Not predictable. Like for example – ‘you’d see that black and white is read’.
Daisley: “Yeah, because it sounds like you are saying the color red, but it’s not. It’s r-e-a-d. I read a lot. That song ‘Flying High Again’, is from a term I heard from an old guy when I was a teenager. Ozzy and I had done a little coke so ‘Flying High Again’ was a bit of a drug song. I didn’t want to sound like I was promoting drugs or anything, it was just my experience. I say,- ‘if you could see inside my head, you’d see that black and white is read’. In other words, my head is not empty and I am not just doing drugs for nothing, this is the thinking mans way. It means reading.”
BraveWords.com: I was told to ask you what your favourite bass line was as you have a gift for writing them.
Daisley: (laughs) “I suppose one of them according to the comments I get, is from the song ‘Tonight’ (from Diary Of A Madman). I do particularly like that one. That idea came to me while we were writing for the Diary album late at night and Ozzy was there and I remember Sharon was at the hotel and Randy and I were working on the music of it and I came up with that riff. To me it sounded like a dove coo-ing. (Bob mimics the riff) I remember Ozzy calling Sharon at the hotel saying ‘you got to hear this, come round.’ I remember Sharon saying it did sound like a dove when I told her. That’s one of my favourites for sure.”
BraveWords.com: I once asked if I was to introduce someone to Blizzard or Diary, which song would I pick? I suggested ‘Tonight’. The reason being is that rockers like ballads but not all those who love ballads love rock, so I thought it was the perfect choice.
Daisley: “Really? It is a good song.”
BraveWords.com: Except they faded out some great playing by Randy at the end of that song.
Daisley: “Lee contributed to the vocal melody of that song. Ozzy was singing ‘just a kiss before we say goodnight’. I said ‘that’s too fucking soppy, I don’t want that.’ People tend to gravitate towards love songs all the time. But not for a band like this. I made it more of a street song, like someone having a hard time.”
BraveWords.com: ‘You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll’ is a great anthem.
Daisley: “Ozzy came up with that line and I wrote all the lyrics for it. People have asked me if it was about Don Arden or Jet Records. It wasn’t about anyone in particular. It was just a general statement. Very often you get these people in management trying to tell you what to do and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They are telling you, the artist, what to write, how to play or how to sing or what you should or should not do. Then when they’ve done that, they fuck you or rip you off. It was about being controlled and screwed in the music business. Just in general, no one in particular. That’s why I said ‘I can’t believe what empty heads can achieve.’ I mean, you’re telling me what to do? You don’t fucking know. You don’t tell me.” (laughs).
BraveWords.com: What is your favourite album that you have appeared on?
Daisley: “Ah God. One of them is from when I was a young lad and that was the first album that I had played on with a band called KAHVAS JUTE. I liked the songs, I liked the way I played and I liked that album. It was done in 3 days on a 4 track machine. It was like, get in the studio, play like a band and be recorded. It’s got some rough edges and that but it really captures something of the time. It was done in 1970 and released in early 1971. Diary Of A Madman for sure. If I had to say one all time album? I don’t know. The Hoochie Coochie Men with Jon Lord is one of them. Some very good stuff on there. That album came out in 2007. It was called Danger: White Men Dancing. It’s more progressive rock blues and it has some great moments on that one. Ian Gillan sang on a few tracks. Jon Lord plays on all of it. I was really pleased with that album. The Uriah Heep stuff was good but sounds a little dated now. Another good one that I liked the playing on was Ozzy’s No Rest For The Wicked. I like a lot of the lyrics I wrote on that as well. The song ‘Miracle Man’ was about Jimmy Swaggart who got caught with a hooker in a hotel after telling everyone they are going to go to hell if they sin. (laughs). I like my lyrics in that one. ‘Demon Alcohol’ is another good one. Musically and lyrically ‘Demon Alcohol’ was good. ‘Bloodbath In Paradise’ was another one. Ozzy had the title and I wrote it was about the Manson Family. I won’t go into it now but it’s all in my book how I came to write about that.”
BraveWords.com: Did you write the lyrics for No More Tears?
Daisley: “No I didn’t but I did play on the whole thing. Ozzy had a bass player at the time, a nice bloke named Mike Inez. He was only ever complimentary and respectful. He was a good player and all that. Ozzy just didn’t feel the album was going the way he wanted it so he had me do it. I was going to be writing some lyrics. Then they decided they were going to do it themselves. The one thing about that album whether they used my lyrics or not is that it could have been better lyrically. Ozzy tried his hand with Lemmy and Randy Castillo. I don’t think it turned out very well. I had written about 6 sets of lyrics and none were used.”
BraveWords.com: Who are your favourite artists? Who do you listen to?
Daisley: “I listen to all sorts of stuff. Very broad spectrum. Classical stuff, Motown, BEATLES’, JIMI HENDRIX, Zeppelin, JEFF BECK with ROD STEWART. There is a band called DEAD CAN DANCE that I like. KEVIN GILBERT I like also. Some of the later stuff of LEONARD COHEN. Have you heard the album The Future?”
BraveWords.com: Yes. I love Leonard Cohen. Have you heard the live album from 1979? Field Commander Cohen? Incredible record.
Daisley: “Great lyricist also. At the time when I was writing lyrics for Ozzy , it was really out of necessity. No one else in the band was a lyricist. I didn’t really regard myself as a serious lyricist. It turned out the way it was meant to. It’s nice to be a part of something so highly regarded.”
BraveWords.com: Have you heard of JEFF BUCKLEY? He was very popular in Australia.
Daisley: “Oh yeah. TIM BUCKLEY also.”
BraveWords.com: Any favorite memories or Toronto or Canada in general?
Daisley: “I have been all over Canada. Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver. I remember doing a big outdoor concert with ELO in Montreal when I was in Widowmaker. Nice night. I played there with Ozzy and had MÖTLEY CRÜE opening up. I remember I got some really good shoes there.” (laughs).
For more info visit Bobdaisley.com.