NIGHT RANGER guitarist Brad Gillis recently spoke with SaultStar.com about working with OZZY OSBOURNE in 1982. Following is an excerpt from the interview featuring Gillis discussing his audition for Ozzy's band:
“I didn’t know how many people were auditioning, so when I knocked on the door and went in, there was 50 people in this suite,” Gillis, 56, recalls more than three decades later. “And quite a few of them were younger, long-hair guitar-player types and I thought, ‘Great, this is my competition who I’m going to be auditioning against to get this gig.’ ”
Gillis asked one of Osbourne’s intimates if this, indeed, was the “competition.”
“Oh no man ... It’s just you,” Gillis was told.
The war-weary veteran and wide-eyed young musician were introduced and Osbourne summoned Gillis to strum his stuff.
“There’s this long staircase from the main living room of the suite that went up to the master bedroom and I’ll never forget it because Ozzy says, ‘Come on upstairs and play for me,’ ” Gillis recalled during a recent telephone interview from South Dakota, where he was playing that evening. “So we’re walking upstairs and the whole room was quiet and I looked behind me and everybody was staring at me, like, ‘Oh, this is the big audition.’ So I walked up to the room and sat at the end of the bed and Ozzy sat on the floor with his legs crossed and said, ‘What song would you like to do?’ ”
Gillis had been given a list of songs to rehearse when first summoned over the phone by the madman himself — a conversation not easily forgotten.
“I hear this growling English voice saying, ‘Bradley, get a pencil and paper. I want you to write down these songs. I want you to learn,’ ” Gillis said. “When I started hearing that delay on the phone I knew this wasn’t a gag, this was really Ozzy. I shit my pants.”
Gillis chose the classic 'Flying High Again'.
“I got to the guitar solo and did the big tapping solo and he stood up and gave me a hug and said, ‘Bradley, I love you. Pull me through, get me through this.’ I said, ‘Ozzy, I’m here, I’ll do whatever I have to do to make this gig happen.’ Basically he opened up the door, looked down to everybody and said, ‘I’ve got a new guitar player.’ Next thing I know, I’ve got all these people on me saying, ‘Who are you? Where did you come from?’ That’s basically how it started. I thought, ‘Well, OK. This is going to be a quite a wild run here.’ ”
Go to this location
for the complete interview.