QUIET RIOT Drummer FRANKIE BANALI Talks OZZY OSBOURNE's "Over The Mountain" And RANDY RHOADS On New Talking Metal Podcast
August 12, 2017, a year ago
On episode 682 of the Talking Metal podcast, Emily Strigl talks to Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali about the band's new album, Road Rage. They also discuss Frankie's claim that he came up with the intro drum part to Ozzy's "Over The Mountain" and he shares details about the Randy Rhoads and the QR song "Thunderbird". Also on this episode, Chad and Ace from Faster Pussycat share details about a forthcoming new album which is being produced by Gilby Clarke.
Check it out below.
Last month, more than a few eyebrows were raised when famed Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali told Songfacts writer Greg Prato that he was the one who came up with the explosive drum fill that opens Ozzy Osbourne’s 1981 classic “Over The Mountain.” Both Bob Daisley, who co-wrote the track, and Lee Kerslake, who co-wrote the track and drummed on the original recording, dispute Banali's claims. In an exclusive feature by music writer Joel Gausten, all three musicians defend their positions while offering their individual versions of the events that led to the writing and recording of the song. Excerpts from the lengthy discussion appear below:
Bob Daisley: “The writing started when Ozzy, Randy and I got together at the end of ’79. We had a roadie with us called Spencer, and he was filling in on drums. He played drums when we were writing this stuff, and I was taping it all on my tape machine just for reference so we wouldn’t forget anything. We were all trying to put songs together. If Randy had that riff, we would have heard it, and I would have a recording of it without a drum intro before Lee had joined the band.
When we first started playing ‘Over The Mountain’ during the writing session for Diary in January 1981, Randy had the basic riff. The writing sessions for Diary had begun in late 1980, but we hadn't heard Randy's ‘Over The Mountain’ riff until early 1981. I co-wrote the music with Randy for the rest of it. Ozzy wasn't even there. Also, Randy was playing the riff in eights, and I said, ‘Do it in 16ths.’ So that was new, and we’d been doing that for a little while before Lee did a drum intro thing to it. We felt, ‘Yeah, that’s great!’ But that drum intro wasn’t anything that any of us had heard before; it was Lee's – no one else's.
How would Randy, without a tape or a recording, relay a drum fill? What would he do, sing it to us? Even if he had, there’s no way that Lee would want to play or copy something that someone else had done, and there’s no way – out of principal – that I would use something that was stolen.
Lee was a name drummer from a big-name band; he would not be interested in using something from an unknown drummer from an unknown band, and even Randy was unknown at that stage. None of us had heard of Quiet Riot or Frankie Banali, and we'd never heard anything that any of them had played until Randy came on the scene in forming The Blizzard of Ozz with me and Ozzy.
Maybe Frankie did play a drum fill intro thing to something that Randy had been playing at that time in LA when they first met Ozzy, and that happened with Dana Strum. It’s possible that Randy had a riff that Frankie did a drum intro to, but it wasn’t the ‘Over The Mountain’ riff, or at least Randy never played it to us when we were looking for material for the first album. He didn't play it to any of us until we began writing for that second album, Diary, a year after the writing sessions for Blizzard.
If Frankie Banali played a drum intro to a riff that Randy had played, it wasn’t what Lee played on ‘Over the Mountain,’ and I very much doubt that the riff was the ‘Over The Mountain’ one, either. I’m not calling Frankie Banali a liar; he may be mistaken or it could be a coincidence, but Lee came up with the drum intro for our song.”
Lee Kerslake: “I don’t understand why he wants to take credit for something that he didn’t do; I feel strongly about this. Frankie didn’t know us; he didn’t know the music. We did Blizzard Of Ozz, which I played drums on and co-wrote a couple of tracks, and then I did Diary Of A Madman and co-wrote six tracks. We had all new riffs coming out. Randy started playing the ‘Over The Mountain’ riff, and I said, ‘Yeah, hang on a minute. I have an idea for a great opener to get this to make people listen.’ The first 15 seconds are the most important in any song; that’s what gets a DJ to play it. It’s been that way for years. So I said, ‘I’m going to put this in.’ I played it, and Randy jumped through the roof, like, ‘Wow, man! That’s great!’ Bob said, "Yeah, mate. Fuckin’ great.’ I said, ‘Yeah! Let’s start there.’ That’s how we did it, and I was very proud of myself. In an interview, Tommy Aldridge was asked, ‘Did you do that track?’ He went, ‘No, no, no. I didn’t touch that; all that work was done by Lee.’”
Frankie Banali: “[With] a lot of the riffs that Randy was coming up with, some of them were new riffs and some of the things were from previous Quiet Riot songs that were recorded or Quiet Riot songs that never were recorded. That triplet thing just happened in the studio. I think Dana Strum, who was the bass player when we did about a week’s worth of rehearsals, will probably verify that. I’ve never claimed that he took the riff that I did, because there are similarities but they’re different…So, [was it a] coincidence? Probably. But did I play it? Absolutely. Did Lee play triplets on the front of that? Absolutely. Did he get it from me? I don’t know that he got it from me; I don’t know that he ever heard any recordings or if it’s just a plain coincidence. But there’s no back-biting here. Whether a person believes it or not, it’s not like I’m going after Ozzy because I came up with a drum fill or I’m trying to make some money or trying to claim some success vis-a-vis Ozzy. I’m not; I’ve had plenty of my own success with Quiet Riot and many of the other artists [I’ve played with]. There is no controversy, but I’m not going to sit here and deny what I know to be the truth. I played the riff; it’s as simple as that. At the end of the day, does it really matter? I’m not more famous for it, and I didn’t make money off of it; Lee Kerslake is not more famous for it, and I’m sure he didn’t make any money for it, either…I’m more well-known for the intro to ‘Bang Your Head,’ ‘The Wild & the Young’ and ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ that I am for anything else, so it’s not like I need any extra pats on the back. It’s a triplet that John Bonham used that he actually got from famous jazz drummer Max Roach. At the end of the day, it’s so derivative that does it really matter?”
The complete feature is available at this location.
In a new interview with Eddie Trunk, producer Max Norman discussed working on the first two Ozzy Osbourne solo records (Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman) and the controversy surrounding them, guitarist Randy Rhoads, Loudness, Bad Company, and more.
Max Norman: "It's well-known that in Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler wrote the lyrics; and for Ozzy solo records, Bob told me from album one all the way through No More Tears (1991) he was actually not only playing bass, but writing lyrics. That's a very weird situation and they (Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake) both got shafted pretty badly. They would be like, 'What's going on with the publishing?' So there was a little bit of it going on and I tried not to get involved in that stuff. But once Sharon got involved, that started to escalate. There was some tension towards the end of the second record they were still not getting what they wanted.
Once that record was finished I got a call from Sharon (Osbourne): 'We want to replace the bass and drums.' I refused to do it. I said, 'No, I'm not doing it. First of all, you are fucking the record up, and secondly these two guys deserve it.'"
Check out the complete interview here.
According to the Courthouse News Service, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit back in May 2017 claiming that Ozzy Osbourne swindled a former band member out of at least $2 million in royalties for songwriting on two of Osbourne’s hard-rock albums in the early 1980s, ruling that the dispute must be decided through arbitration.
U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder concluded that plaintiff Bob Daisley’s claims that Osbourne used a sham company, Blizzard Music Limited (US), to withhold royalty income from him stem from songwriter agreements that require arbitration.
Daisley argued that arbitration does not apply to Blizzard US and Osbourne, the suit’s defendants, because they are not parties to the agreements.
In her ruling, however, Snyder found that Daisley’s claims “touch and arise from the songwriter agreements,” keeping in mind that any doubts about whether issues are subject to attribution should be resolved in favor of arbitration.
Daisley alleges that Blizzard US and an affiliated company in England, Blizzard UK, which was not named in the suit but is covered by the songwriter agreements, are alter egos of Osbourne. Furthermore, he wants an accounting from both companies and Osbourne.
The “alter-ego allegations are sufficient to allow defendants to invoke the arbitration provision,” the judge ruled, adding that the request for an accounting from nonparty Blizzard UK underscores that Daisley’s claims arise out of the songwriter agreements.
Daisley played bass and co-wrote some of the songs on Ozzy’s classic Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman albums.
Read more at the Courthouse News Service.