Bass Legend BOB DAISLEY - Talks About The BLIZZARD OF OZZ, His Battle With THE OSBOURNES And More Diaries Of A Madman!
May 31, 2011, 12 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), hitting the street at the end of the month, Daisley spent time with BraveWords.com correspondent Cory Lambert answering a vast array of questions from the past, present and future. Beginning with the most obvious (!), why do the Gods of rock n' roll smile on him so much?
Bob Daisley: (laughs) "That's a funny question. Have never been asked that before. (laughs). I suppose in some ways I have been blessed. You know I feel very fortunate and grateful for the way my career has gone and for some of the great people I have had the pleasure to work with. From a young age, I was ready to put my best into what I did and make sacrifices and make that effort but I suppose I have as you said, been smiled on by the gods."
BraveWords.com: Recently on the BraveWords.com Facebook page, they asked what the name Bob Daisley meant. The most common response was "genius" or "legend".
Bob Daisley: "Wow, that's fantastic. It's really amazing. It's really an honour for me to hear stories like those. I had not regarded myself as a lyricist or anything but it was really a necessity as Randy (Rhoads) wasn't a lyricist and Ozzy hadn't written any lyrics in Black Sabbath. Lee Kerslake had written some songs himself, but he himself said he was not a good lyricist. I remember coming down one morning when we were rehearsing and writing and auditioning drummers, before Lee was in the band and Ozzy and Randy had tried to put some lyrics together, but I read them and thought this was so SPINAL TAP as they were awful. (laughs) Spinal Tap was not out yet, but they were corny and cheesy lyrics. I just thought to myself that I had better write the lyrics. Ozzy was good at vocal melodies and obviously Randy was a genius guitar player, so I did the lyrics. Well, I co-wrote a lot of the music with Randy. A lot of the classic riffs, well, those are Randy's but we put the songs together musically. And then Ozzy came up with the melodies and I wrote the lyrics to them. It was a combined effort and I think it was all meant to happen, I mean it seems that way."
BraveWords.com: I don't think many people are aware of how big a hand you had in Ozzy's career. I know that you are writing your autobiography at the moment. Why did you choose to do it now and when can we expect it?
Bob Daisley: "It's almost finished. I am just working on final stages, such as photo placement et cetera. I had to go through literally thousands of photos as I want to have them integral to the story. If you are reading something about Randy or Gary or Ritchie, there's a picture of what I am talking about. That's the kind of book I want. The text is done. It should be out towards the end of the year. Why did I do it now? (laughs) It's been a long time coming, many years, starting around the late '80s, I started getting lots of requests from people. I would be doing an interview and telling a story about things they did not know or showing a photograph and so many people said 'you have to put this into a book' and it went on and on and on. I did intend to actually do just a picture book with captions around the late '80s, early '90s but that did not materialize. I always had it in my mind; I knew I would get around to doing my autobiography. I think in the last few interviews that I did about 2007 or 2008 I made the decision then, I just have to do it. I was reading through some old correspondence, letters and that, from when I was in London and my mom used to write to me. I still have a lot of those and I was going through them one day and thought - there's so much information in here. I have to put it all in a book. That was when I made the decision. I am not one to procrastinate. I started it in February of 2009, on my birthday." (laughs)
BraveWords.com: We know that you started in the mid '60s in Australia and your first album was with KAHVAS JUTE before going to the UK in the early '70s and joining CHICKEN SHACK and then MUNGO JERRY. I think some people may know Mungo Jerry for their hit 'In The Summertime'. Give us some background on those before you became a household name with Rainbow.
Bob Daisley: "I got to London in 1971 and very early in 1972, actually on my birthday I joined a blues band called Chicken Shack. The four big blues bands in England at the time were FLEETWOOD MAC with PETER GREEN, SAVOY BROWN, JOHN MAYALL'S BLUES BREAKERS and Chicken Shack. I felt very fortunate on being able to get my foot in the door and get into the scene. I was only 22 at the time and that sort of started to get the ball rolling. Mungo Jerry was 1973 and they had the same management as Chicken Shack. I sort of got talked into joining Mungo Jerry. They had that huge hit, 'In The Summertime', I think it was number 1 in 20 countries around the world. Although Mungo Jerry was an enjoyable situation for me and I got on with everyone in the band, musically it wasn't quite what I really wanted to do. I wanted to be in more of a blues orientated sort of band as my favourites were JIMI HENDRIX, CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, JEFF BECK with ROD STEWART, BAD COMPANY and FREE. After Mungo Jerry, I went back to Chicken Shack and we worked again with a guitarist called Robbie Blunt who ended up with ROBERT PLANT when Led Zeppelin broke up. That went on to about 1975 which is when I formed WIDOWMAKER with Ariel Bender, from MOTT THE HOOPLE, whose real name is Luther Grosvenor. That was a good band too. But that's how I ended up in Rainbow. I was at the end of a Widowmaker tour in Los Angeles. I met Ritchie Blackmore through a friend who said Ritchie was looking for a bass player for his band. He had Jimmy Bain for a while but Jimmy had parted company with the band. They had auditioned about 40 different guys and I went to the audition and was asked to join. (laughs). Ritchie, Ronnie and Cozy Powell went off to a little office and then came back and said 'you have the job if you want it' and I said I would think about it! (laughs). I did not want to walk out of a band like Widowmaker which was sort of my band, to become a sideman - well lets face it, Ritchie had this reputation at the time of chewing people up and spitting them out. Going 'next!' I thought, well, I could end up out on my ear. I gave it some thought for about a week; things were not that great in the Widowmaker camp, so I just thought 'yeah, I'm doing it'."
BraveWords.com: What was it about your playing that appealed to Ritchie?
Bob Daisley: "He was very particular; he did not want a bass player who played finger style. He wanted a pick for precision. A lot of the songs have fast playing, 8ths and 16ths. He wanted a player who could play it consistently. I remember he put me through the test by having Cozy play fast double bass, and he just kept on and on and just wanted to see if my wrist or thumb would seize up or whatever, but it was natural for me to play that way. Ritchie is the type of guy who likes to audition people personally; I went out for a few drinks and conversation with him. If I had been the type of person he didn't like I would not even have got the audition. The guitarist from Mungo Jerry, Dick Middleton, knew Ritchie very well and introduced me to him. So the three of us had gone out for a few drinks one night to see if it was worth my while to audition. Ritchie and I got on quite well. That was an important factor and I went down for the audition and got on quite well with both Ronnie and Cozy."
BraveWords.com: So when was the last time you actually spoke to Ritchie?
Bob Daisley: "Oh a long time ago. Ritchie and I parted on good terms and were friendly. The last time I saw him, well, all those little things are in my book, along with other things. I kept diaries since the mid '70s so I have all the dates, places, times, photographs, everything so anything I write, there is no guess work in trying to remember. It's very accurate. Tons of unseen photographs. It will be interesting for people who love the music. The last time I saw Ritchie was March 1982, was when Lee Kerslake and I were in Uriah Heep and we pulled up to the Hyatt House on Sunset Strip, which was nicknamed the Riot House where all the bands used to stay (laughs). And we had done an overnight drive and we got to the Riot House at about 8AM or so. There was an all night diner on Sunset called Ben Franks, it was quite well known as it was a 24 hour place and all the bands used to go there. As Lee and I walked out onto the street, Ritchie Blackmore was there. I had not seen Ritchie for about a year or two. So Lee and I said - 'why don't you join us at Ben Franks?'. So he did and that was the last I saw of him."
BraveWords.com: So what's your favourite memory of your time in Rainbow? The classic-era of the band.
Bob Daisley: "It's very good for me to have been in the, well, what's called the classic line-up. Because, even though the later line-ups of Rainbow did well, and you can't knock success, as they had hit singles and all that, but, to me, I always just thought they sold out a little bit, as it wasn't that sort of serious heavy ballsy rock anymore, but let's try to have a hit single, you know, and they did. Like I said, you can't knock success. It wasn't really the same. It turned into a sort of like, semi-pop rock band."
BraveWords.com: That's right. Very accurate statement. Became like a heavier FOREIGNER.
Bob Daisley: "Yeah! I mean, Ritchie was still playing great and the songs were great, I mean, great quality pop songs. But I was really pleased to be in the line-up with Ronnie and Cozy. For me, I learned a lot from the situation as it was the first really big band I had been in. We headlined and all the players were legendary. I enjoyed it."
Bob With RONNIE JAMES DIO:
BraveWords.com: I remember reading an interview in the late '90s after Cozy Powell died and you said there was talk of a Rainbow reunion with the classic line-up, but Cozy's death halted those plans.
Bob Daisley: "Yeah, there was. I remember talking to Cozy and Ronnie, both were up for it. Ritchie, though I had not spoken to him, gave it the green light. It looked like it was going to happen. There was no mention of the keyboard player whether it was going to be Don Airey, Tony Carey or David Stone. It was getting to be quite serious. Sadly, Cozy died and that was the end of it."
BraveWords.com: After you left Rainbow, you were supposed to start a band with Ronnie James Dio.
Bob Daisley: "That's correct. I remember one afternoon on the last tour with Rainbow in 1978, Ronnie said to me, just out of the blue, 'if Rainbow folds, would you be interested in getting a band together?' I thought that's an odd request. Maybe he knew something I didn't. So I did say to him, 'yeah sure.' If Rainbow was no longer, I mean, I liked working with Ronnie, well all of them, Cozy. Ritchie. So yeah, definitely. The way that it ended, nothing definite, it kind of fizzled out. After the US tour, Cozy and I went back to England, Ronnie went back to wherever he was living at the time, and I didn't hear anything for a little while. And then after a month or two, I found out that Ritchie was going to start a new line-up. Well, he kept Cozy for a little while but he left. Then Ronnie and I started to talk and Ronnie just said to hang in there and that he was going to start looking for guitarists and maybe a record deal over here, but it may take some time. I did a few sessions in the meantime. It went on for a while, he'd phone me and I'd phone him. It looked like it was going to happen. Then one day, I walked up to the shop and bought some music papers and on the front page there was 'Ronnie James Dio Joins Black Sabbath'. It would have been nice if it had come from Ronnie himself. I would have said, 'Ronnie, you can't pass that up, it's a good opportunity.' He's didn't call me to let me know and that was a little disappointing. I mean it worked out best for everyone as not long after that, Ozzy and I got the band together. It was all meant to happen the way it did."
BraveWords.com: I can't help but imagine what an album featuring Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Ronnie James Dio would have sounded like.
Bob Daisley: (laughs) "Well, I don't know. The way it all came together, we all drew the best out of each other. It worked. Including Ozzy, his melodies and personality and chemistry and vibes. It all sort of fitted together. If you had changed the equation, taken out one of the components and put a different one in, it may not have worked. Sometimes things may look good on paper, but when you get people into a room and there's energies and chemistry it does not always work."
BraveWords.com: It's like a supergroup that fails. Everyone's got high expectations but it doesn't deliver.
Bob Daisley: "It happens time and time again. You can even hand pick people and say I'll have him because he's the best at this and I'll take him because he's the best at that and go on and on and on and put them in a room and they come up with nothing."
BLIZZARD OF OZZ:
BraveWords.com: But the original line-up of the Blizzard Of Ozz, is by all accounts a supergroup. You have Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Rainbow and QUIET RIOT all in one band.
Bob Daisley: "Well Randy was relatively unknown because in those days, Quiet Riot could not get arrested and got turned down by every record company in America. They did get a small deal by a Japanese record company and got their record out there. Those weren't great, but Randy was a great player wherever he was. But the environment of that band did not bring out the best in him. I mean, we could see him developing in the short time we got together. Ozzy had auditioned Randy in LA. First off, there are so many bullshit stories about that where Ozzy and Randy went off on a plane to make an album in England, which is a load of bollocks. It didn't happen like that. I'll tell you the story of how it happened and this is the truth. Ozzy auditioned Randy in LA and thought he was great. They spent a couple of days together with Dana Strum and Frankie Banali, just to see if Randy would work. Then Ozzy went back to England and David and Don Arden of Jet Records were managing Ozzy. They wanted to keep Ozzy's new band all British. I met Ozzy at a GIRL concert in London and he told me he was getting a band together and he didn't even mention Randy Rhoads. Sharon had nothing to do with this as she was still living in America. David called me and said 'Ozzy wants you to come by his house if you want to play and see what's going on'. So I went up there and he picked me up from the station. He had a guitarist and drummer at his house and I can't even remember their names. He had a rehearsal studio at his house. Ozzy and I came out to his kitchen, and well, Ozzy and I got along very well, and I said, 'these guys are nice guys and OK players, but not world class. If you want to get serious about this band, you will need better players.' Ozzy called Jet Records and spoke to a guy named Arthur Sharpe, the guy who introduced me to Ozzy at the Girl gig. I still remember what Ozzy said, he said, 'Bob and I get on like a house on fire and the fire brigade's just left.' (laughs). So then he started telling me about this guitarist he met in LA that taught at a music school. When he told me that, I pictured a guy with slippers, a pipe and a cardigan. (laughs). And I said, 'who's that then?' He said it was a young guy called Randy Rhoads. Well that meant nothing to me. So I put in a few suggestions to David Arden about other guitarists. I know that Gary Moore has been Ozzy's first choice as he was living in LA with his band, G-FORCE. Gary wasn't interested. He wanted to pursue his own thing. I gave David some phone numbers of other guitarists but people didn't seem that interested because I think Ozzy's reputation has been damaged by getting fired from Black Sabbath for being out of his mind and unreliable. So anyway, it was just Ozzy and me to start. So eventually, David relented, and I mean, his words were 'ok, against my better judgement, I will fly this young kid over from LA.' (laughs). So then Ozzy and I met Randy at Jet Records office in London. Well Ozzy had obviously met Randy before in LA so he knew how he played but I had not and didn't know who he was. So the three of us caught a train up to Ozzy's place from London and we had a play together and from then on, it was working well. So we would start writing things and auditioning drummers. By the time Lee came in, all the songs had been written. He was the last drummer we had to audition. We could not find anyone we liked. Someone with enough fire and aggression and a bit of a reputation. We knew if Lee did not work out we would have to use a session drummer. Lee starting playing and Randy and I looked at the each other and with an expression of where the fuck has he been? Since all the material had been written, we wrote one more track to include Lee's song writing on the album, which was supposed to be a b-side, which was 'No Bone Movies'."
BraveWords.com: Why do you think Diary Of A Madman and Blizzard Of Ozz are held in such high regard?
Bob Daisley: "Well I suppose they are classic of that era. Let's face it, when the band formed in 1979, the big thing at the time was disco and so-called new wave and punk. People had funny hair and funny clothes. People who wore leather and denim and wanted to play hard rock were regarded as dinosaurs. (laughs) We didn't go into the studio with a hit record in mind, and thinking 'what was in vogue, and let's play this way with these instruments and write a hit song that's good for these times.' It was basically - what do we love and what are we good at and let's just do that and that's what we did."
BraveWords.com: Don Airey was on the BRUCE DICKINSON Rock Hour on the BBC and said you were a huge part of the song-writing process.
Bob Daisley: "Well that's it; it does make a difference when people get the information from someone else who was there. When Sharon and Ozzy tell the story, they have both tried to rewrite history and it's inaccurate and it's not how it happened. To start, Sharon was not even there for the first album. Ozzy said Sharon used to come to the pub with us when we were doing the first record. She wasn't there as it's a long fucking way to come from LA as that's where she was living. She had nothing to do with the first record as she wasn't there. Ozzy was still married to Thelma at the time and she used to come down to Ridge Farm."
BraveWords.com: In the trailer for the reissues she says recording those two albums were some of the best experiences of both her and Ozzy's life. So if she wasn't there, that's an inaccurate statement.
Bob Daisley: "No it's just a lie."
BraveWords.com: Have you seen the trailer?
Bob Daisley: "I have and the little bits of other people saying they try time and time again to rewrite history. Lee and I were not consulted, not asked to do anything. I have even read that some fans said they were uninterested in what Ozzy and Sharon have to say, they want to hear what Lee and I have to say. You're not going to get us in it if the Osbournes are involved."
BraveWords.com: You've mentioned that you have rehearsal tapes and writing tapes and other historical audio documents of those years. Can those be released?
Bob Daisley: "It's a legal issue with somebody's performance. You have to get them to sign off on their performance. I have Ozzy singing and Randy playing and I have to say, fans of that music would love this stuff. Even though they are not of studio quality, it's not bad. I went to my manager who went to their representative, and told them I had all of these recordings of rehearsals, writing sessions, songs that no one has heard, sections that did not get used, tonnes of stuff. For the 30th anniversary, why not do a deal and release all this stuff? But they didn't want to do it. All Sharon wanted to do was to buy everything for a measly sum and then release it. I said, 'no way, this stuff's gold. You either do it my way, meaning I get a royalty this time, or no deal.' But I have should have always got a royalty. They wouldn't do it. I said, 'I am not handing it over to you to make a fortune.' The main reason was they could have edited it, taken us out of it again or pieced it together and go about rewriting history once again. Ozzy and Randy did everything is what they will have you believe. It's too bad this unreleased stuff that I have has been unheard by anyone for 30 years."
BraveWords.com: They missed a golden opportunity. I keep hearing how Randy built Ozzy's career and no matter how brilliant a guitarist Randy was, there were still four people who wrote and recorded those records.
Bob Daisley: "There were four people in that band and it was the chemistry of those four people that made it what it was. We all brought out the best in each other. Ozzy's career would have been washed up because he had lost a lot of credibility for being unreliable and out of his mind. Randy could not get arrested in America with his band Quiet Riot. Lee could not get his band, BLIND AMBITION off the ground and I had been looking and was fucking worried if my career was over. So the four of us came together and helped each other. And it was a situation we encourage each other and you could feel it. All this crap about Randy Rhoads single-handedly saving Ozzy's career, well, he didn't. And all due respect and credit to Randy for being a brilliant player and he was nothing short of amazing and very, very talented but it took the four people to make those albums and they weren't solo albums by Ozzy the artist. A band was recording those albums and that band was called the BLIZZARD OF OZZ."
BLIZZARD OF OZZ:
BraveWords.com: I have seen promotional photos from Jet Records of the Blizzard Of Ozz as the artist.
Bob Daisley: "Certainly. I have press clippings and promo photos and all kinds of stuff which is all in my book about a band called The Blizzard Of Ozz. Randy and I started the whole thing about having a band name even before Lee joined. We wanted a band name and Ozzy didn't care because Ozzy was Ozzy, even though the record company wanted THE OZZY OSBOURNE BAND or just OZZY. But Randy and I said, 'no way, we are doing too much here. We are writing and arranging the songs and then producing the album between us so we are not going to be a backing band to someone who is doing less than us.'"
BraveWords.com: So essentially, with you and Randy being the main musical force in the band, could it be said that you two helped create the signature Ozzy Osbourne sound?
Bob Daisley: "Well, I like to be fair and the overall sound would have not been the same without Ozzy. You see he had the vocal melodies, which were strong. And the sound of his voice is pretty unique, but he's not the best singer in the world, but he's got his own sound. With Lee Kerslake coming in, he acted as a catalyst. He helped complete the four piece puzzle. It's a bit like when THE BEATLES were forming; they didn't become the Beatles until they had Ringo Starr. Now Ringo may not have been a virtuoso, but they didn't really become the Beatles until he joined. But when I say catalyst, I don't necessarily mean by their playing ability but maybe through their energy, personality and chemistry. And Lee was just as important as us three."
BraveWords.com: When the Osbournes removed your and Lee's performances from Blizzard and Diary it was perceived as dishonest and unwanted tampering with perfection. The Blizzard CD reissue even featured an alternate back cover that was portrayed as the original back cover, even though your image and Randy's image were both removed. This was clearly misleading.
Bob Daisley: "Of course it was a lie. The whole reissues from 2002 were a lie. There was nothing telling the consumers that it was not the same product. People were buying it and taking it home and saying 'what the hell is this? I don't like this. This is not what I paid for.' Of course it was insulting. We were suing them for unpaid royalties at the time and of course, we expected to get insulted somehow as they wanted to get back at us, but to insult the public and insult the memory of Randy Rhoads is wrong. To insult music is wrong because those two albums put Ozzy where he is. They have been the foundation for his career and then he goes and messes with them. Magic only happens once and it was captured in time on those records. You can't mess with stuff like that."
BraveWords.com: Which album do you think is better?
Bob Daisley: "By the time that we did Diary, we had toured together and knew each other better and Lee completed the picture. We had developed a style and a sound. The thing with Diary, was that it was rushed a little. Blizzard had a bit of spontaneity as Lee was only in the band a week when we recorded it. All the dates of that time frame are in my book. Diary was a bit rushed, which could have been a blessing because sometimes if you have too much time, you can polish the shine off something. Sometimes being rushed is a good thing. I feel real honoured that 30 years later people still speak so highly of it."
BraveWords.com: What goes through your mind when you hear 'Crazy Train' which has become Ozzy's signature tune playing on the radio or at a football game, considering your involvement?
Bob Daisley: "The thing that comes to mind is that Ozzy gets too much credit for it! Randy had the riff and chord structure, I wrote the chord structure for Randy to solo over. Ozzy came up with the vocal melody, and I wrote all the lyrics. Randy and I were both fans of trains and railways. We bought model trains and used to go to railway exhibitions together. Ozzy used to have a saying 'you're off the fucking rails' and Randy had this effects pedal and it was making this sort of psychedelic chugging sound, like a train in his amp. And that's when I came up with 'Crazy Train'. With Ozzy's saying, 'I'm going off the rails on a crazy train' came from. The lyrics were a statement of the world we live in or lived in as children, the cold war we lived through."
BraveWords.com: You received a songwriter's award for that song a few years back in London, did you give a speech?
Bob Daisley: "No I did not give a speech but they had some photos of us playing on stage when I was with Ozzy."
BraveWords.com: Did either Ozzy or Randy get an award?
Bob Daisley: "I don't know."
BraveWords.com: Why were you singled out?
Bob Daisley: "I don't know." (laughs)
BraveWords.com: I know you've been asked this many times but what was your first impression of Randy Rhoads as a person and as a musician?
Bob Daisley: "I first thought, is this guy gay? (laughs) He had fitted clothes and his hair was perfect. His nails were a bit long and all trimmed and manicured. Ozzy and I looked at each other and said 'is this guy gay?' We soon found out he was just one of the boys. He seemed a little effeminate at first, but there was no way Randy was gay. After playing together with Ozzy that one night after we met, I had this premonition that one day, people would repeatedly ask me what it was like to play with Randy Rhoads and I didn't know why. I mean, it's obvious now. At the time, when I only met the guy the day before, I didn't know why I had that feeling. Sadly, very accurate."
BraveWords.com: I read you were very impressed with his playing.
Bob Daisley: "After we played for the first time, Randy and I both looked at each other and said 'I like the way you play.' Kelle Rhoads, Randy's brother can verify that. Kelle said when Randy came back to LA, he told Kelle that we both said it simultaneously."
BraveWords.com: Was anything filmed? I remember seeing footage of a birthday party with Randy in it?
Bob Daisley: "It was Don Arden's 55th birthday party at Jet Records in January 1981. We were all there. I remember Lee Kerslake looked into the camera, and said 'Happy Birthday Don, where's me cheque?' Nothing other than that of that line-up was filmed to the best of my knowledge. Small portable camcorders had not been invented yet."
BraveWords.com: At least Rainbow filmed a whole show with Ronnie and you. Probably the most bootlegged concert video in history.
Bob Daisley: "It was my manager Drew Thompson who got that released on DVD in 2005. Was great to see it finally released."
BraveWords.com: Back to Randy, how would you like to see Randy Rhoads remembered?
Bob Daisley: "I don't think he will ever be forgotten. When he left us, it was very, very sad. It was heartbreaking. His mom was very close to him. She did not want to see his name die with him and I think she will have her wish granted. Randy's name will live on because of his work during his brief stay. That's the way to remember him as a very dedicated musician who was very talented and unique. He developed his own style and sound even though he did have his influences, Ritchie Blackmore, MICK RONSON and others. I think he achieved what he wanted to in that time frame."
BraveWords.com: On the Ozzy album Tribute, there are two songs that you appear on supposedly, but you didn't get credited either.
Bob Daisley: "When it came out, I didn't really want to listen to that line-up of Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge. It was years later that I found out that two songs were taken from a show we did in the UK. We didn't get credited or paid. My book goes into so much detail about Randy Rhoads. Things that have never been told."
BraveWords.com: Speaking of the Tribute album, how well do you think Rudy Sarzo played what you wrote?
Bob Daisley: "Rudy was a competent bass player. I don't know the guy that well, though I have met him a couple of times. Ozzy said that he was fine playing what someone else had written, but not good at writing. Ozzy got me back to write again from scratch."
BraveWords.com: Rudy was once asked about you and he said that you wrote some amazing bass lines but your image was lacking. I actually saw that as unintentional compliment.
Bob Daisley: "The band, when we first started off, we didn't want to be a glam band. But when they went to America and got Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo, Ozzy and Randy started wearing makeup. They looked like hookers. (laughs). We were more along the lines of LED ZEPPELIN, with our image. Lee had a beard and was sort of a burly, bigger sort of guy like John Bonham. We didn't wear makeup but we did have leather and denim. In the early stages of the Blizzard Of Ozz, we looked good. I don't know what Rudy Sarzo is on about but I didn't want to look like a glam pop star anyway."
BraveWords.com: So what do you like or what do you consider classic?
Bob Daisley: "Some of THE BEATLES and early Led Zeppelin are great. Still sounds fresh. Jeff Beck's first album Truth is great also. Some great playing on there. I was into his earlier work when it was just Jeff's more bluesy stuff. With ROD STEWART and Ron Wood on bass. Loved both of them on that record. I love THE FACES. I even have Ronnie Lane's old bass. They were a little sloppy and sounded drunk but that was part of the charm. It's loose and it's good times. I loved the Faces for that."
BraveWords.com: A few years ago I listened to Diary Of A Madman and Blizzard Of Ozz to hear your bass lines only. I thought they were incredibly infectious. Since you have influenced many with your style, who influenced you and how would you describe the Bob Daisley sound?
Bob Daisley: "My style I suppose came from having an aggressive approach. I was influenced by Jack Bruce and people like that. For the melodic part, I would have to say PAUL MCCARTNEY and another guy called Willie Weeks who played with Donny Hathaway. He was a funky player with great tone and great note choice, very tasteful. And a little bit of Ron Wood from the Jeff Beck Group. Aggressive melodic would by my style."
BraveWords.com: You use a pick almost exclusively when you play. Would you say it gives you as much versatility as someone who uses their fingers only?
Bob Daisley: "I guess it's down to personal taste I suppose. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Some people play great without a pick, such as JOHN PAUL JONES, and he was always precise. It's how you feel comfortable playing. If I am using a fretless or playing a ballad, I don't use a pick often. However, if I was playing a rock song, it's then I would use a pick."
BraveWords.com: When I think of great bass players, there's not many that come to mind; Steve Harris, Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones and of course, Bob Daisley.
Bob Daisley: "When I was a young lad in the 60's listening to Cream, I thought they were amazing. It's nice for me personally to be mentioned with John Paul Jones, I've never been into Geddy Lee or Steve Harris, but I heard through the grapevine that I had influenced Steve Harris. That's nice to know if that is the case. But, John Paul Jones influenced me from the early Zeppelin stuff. Great bass player John Paul Jones."
BraveWords.com: Who was the easiest guitarist to work with?
Bob Daisley: "There's been quite a few. The top ones would be Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee. Gary Moore was pretty self-sufficient in the writing department. He would write his own songs or cover blues classics. Zakk Wylde was another one that I wrote well with."
BraveWords.com: I think Bob Daisley and Jake E. Lee should write an album together.
Bob Daisley: "You are not the only one who said that Jake E. Lee and I should work together again. I have heard that from numerous people. I've always liked Jake's playing and he and I wrote well together. If he was around and he wanted to do it, I'd work with Jake again, certainly. I thought it was productive, the things we did together. Certainly I'd work with Jake again. To get me, Lee, Jake and Ozzy together would be a good band. I would go along with that. It would have to be quick as people keep leaving us and you can never tell when your day is going to come. It gets really sad. Gary went so quick, was such a surprise. He looked after himself, didn't smoke, or do drugs. He used to swim to keep in shape."
BraveWords.com: Loved the After The War album by Gary. You are on that one also.
Bob Daisley: "Yeah, good record."
BraveWords.com: Was asked to ask you this. How does Randy Rhoads differ from Gary Moore in terms of writing and playing? I do know they were fans of each other.
Bob Daisley: "Gary thought very highly of Randy and Randy was very impressed with Gary. I remember going to a gig with Gary, Randy, Sharon and Ozzy to see Rainbow play at Donington. To some degree, I would say that Gary influenced Randy to an extent. Different styles in terms of writing. Gary came from the more blues based style of writing and Randy had the classical influence. This gave him a different, extra dimension, coming from a music school with a classically trained mother, Delores. I think that's what gave him the edge with coming up with good song ideas and something a little different. He had the blues dimension but the classical also. That's the difference between Gary and Randy."
BraveWords.com: How do you want Gary to be remembered? I loved his playing.
Bob Daisley: "I did too. I would love for him to be remembered with respect. As a person who influenced many other people and as somebody who began to get the credit he deserved. I remember on tour with Gary in America in 1987 and people commenting that he sounded like JOHN SYKES, whereas it was Gary who influenced John. But John had been with WHITESNAKE and was more well known in America. Gary was one of the best, he was up there with the best of them. I would like to see him remembered that way, with total respect and recognition for what he was and what he did. Nice guy too."
BraveWords.com: There is a newer trailer for the Blizzard / Diary re-issues and they had Ozzy, Sharon Osbourne, Rob Halford, Bill Ward, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai and other people all commenting on those albums, but there was no mention of you or Lee.
Bob Daisley: "It's always like that. After Lee and I sued them it's been even more so and it's not fair to the fans. The Osbournes won't recognize or admit it's true. They dislike the fact that, through my lyrics, I had a big hand in creating the magic and image that is Ozzy Osbourne. They've always tried to hide that. I remember at the time of Bark At The Moon, Jake E. Lee's song publishing and mine had some complications. So we opted for a buyout and that's why it says - 'All songs written by Ozzy Osbourne.' This of course, is not true. Ozzy did an interview with International Musician magazine, back in '83 or '84, they asked him how he wrote those songs and he said 'with one finger on a piano.' What a joke. The whole thing was ridiculous. Most people take it for granted that if someone is singing lyrics, that they wrote them. The thing with the re-issues is that they have left us out yet again but why are people buying these albums? They already had them with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads and two different people and nobody wanted them. I mean, they still sold to ignorant people. When I say ignorant I mean to people who didn't know what they were buying or were unaware of the truth. Now people will be lining up to buy them and why is that? Because our original performances have been reinstated. In effect, they are really buying those albums for Lee and me. But we don't even get a mention."
BraveWords.com: I remember you saying that a gig in Southampton from the fall of 1980 was recorded.
Bob Daisley: "There was a mobile studio at the gig to record the show as Jet Records wanted a song that was not on the album, to release on an EP that had not already been used as a B-Side. They wanted a live 'Mr.Crowley' and a new song. So we wrote 'You Said It All'. I will tell you how that was written. Randy had a basic riff, Randy and I put together a chord structure that afternoon in soundcheck. Lee got a mic', as he could sing, and Lee came up with the vocal melody while Ozzy was asleep under the drum riser. That was his contribution to that song. Ozzy did absolutely fuck all with that song. Nothing. Yet he still gets a credit on it. I took a tape of Lee's melody back to the hotel and wrote the lyrics in the hotel room. It was a big rush. 'Get it done quick, we want this, you know?' We then recorded it at the gig before the audience came in. So yeah, it was recorded live, no audience but the audience noise was added later from that night. Because it was a new song, we didn't want to include it in the set as we had not played it before. And Ozzy had never sung it before as I had just written the lyrics. He was singing it from the lyric sheet and that's how it was done."
BraveWords.com: So you were out of the band in March of '81?
Bob Daisley: "Yeah, that's right. I remember Randy calling me in early April and and saying how sorry he was. He didn't want a new band to go on the road and he would lose power by having two sidemen with him and it wasn't his idea. He did ask Ozzy if he could have Rudy Sarzo on bass as Ozzy had fired me and he didn't want to see Lee go either. So Randy phoned me up and said he was sorry and that it wasn't his idea. His brother Kelle, will back that story up also. Kelle said that Randy did not want us to go, but it was out of his hands."
BraveWords.com: Was Randy a big fan of Rainbow?
Bob Daisley: "Yeah he loved Ritchie Blackmore and the whole band of Rainbow. Randy was also a Widowmaker fan, so was his brother Kelle. When Kelle heard Widowmaker for the first time, he went to Randy and told him that this was the band that he should model Quiet Riot after. He said Quiet Riot needed to be a bit more like Widowmaker, because Widowmaker was a great band that looked good without the glam thing. They had a bit of Bad Company, a bit of The Who, a little bit of Free and some Led Zeppelin as influences. It was a good commercial hard rock band. Kelle turned Randy onto Widowmaker. Randy really liked Ariel Bender in Widowmaker. Ariel had come from Mott The Hoople and really liked them. He also liked David Bowie and Mick Ronson."
BraveWords.com: You can definitely see the similarities between Randy and Mick.
Bob Daisley: "Oh yeah, even modelled himself after Mick Ronson. That's why Randy bought that cream Les Paul. "(laughs)
BraveWords.com: Did you ever meet Tommy Bolin?
Bob Daisley: "No I have never met him but have heard great things about him. Sadly he got very messed up on drugs. That just ruined his career. He seemed to come and go too quickly. He was on the rise and then he went. I never ever saw him live but he's a great player as I have heard him."
BraveWords.com: After Ozzy, you went to Uriah Heep and recorded Abominog, yet another classic album. What was that experience like and what was it like to work with Mick Box?
Bob Daisley: "Micky is a great bloke. I really liked working with Micky. Mick had wanted to get Uriah Heep together again as they had folded by then. Lee phoned Micky and asked him if he wanted to get the band back together. That's what we did. I have tapes of just the three of us, Micky, Lee and me just playing together. Lee was singing to give us some guide vocals. It sounded good. We started auditioning singers and got Pete Goalby. Then we got John Sinclair who was still living in America at the time. That band was really like a family situation, it was really enjoyable. There were no bosses or leaders; it was just a democratic situation. Micky was just great to work with and just an amazing guitarist."
BraveWords.com: So what happened with Uriah Heep? How did you end up leaving?
Bob Daisley: "I just did the album Head First and Ozzy had called me again and asked me to come back and work with him. I was supposed to go back and just write and record but was asked to join the band full time. Although I loved Uriah Heep and all those guys and it was working very very well, I wasn't really sold on the management and the record company and the way we were being promoted. It just felt a bit, you know, wasted. It was a good band and I remember Ozzy phoning me from LA and it was just after Abominog came out and he said he was going to have a sandwich board made and he was going to wear it up and down Sunset Blvd. to tell people to buy this album as he said it was fucking great. He loved it so much. (laughs). I mean it sounds a little dated now, but it was a good album and we all liked it and Ozzy loved it. The only drawback was the single, even though it went into the charts in America, and the video was all over MTV, nobody got behind it, you know? It should have got the shit promoted out of it but it didn't. Things weren't taking off as they should have. I was getting a bit frustrated with that side of things. When Ozzy said to come back - well, the full story is in my book, but not a lot of people know that - but you see Ozzy and Sharon were trying to get me to agree to get rid of Lee and get Tommy Aldridge in the band. I kept on saying no, it's not broken, so let's not fix it. Lee was working fine. So they got rid of both of us. But a few months later, Sharon phoned me and asked me to meet her in London for a chat. She said that Randy wanted me to come back and that they wanted to do a third album. So I was supposed to do an album with Randy, Ozzy and Tommy Aldridge."
BraveWords.com: You read it here first folks. I did not know that. (laughs)
Bob Daisley: "Not many people do and I have all the dates and info in my diary. It was all planned that I was supposed to do the third album, which I did but not until 1983 but was supposed to be in 1982. Obviously Randy was not a part of it and it ended up being Jake E Lee. Everything was postponed when Randy left us."
BraveWords.com: When you came back, did you start off doing the European tour for Diary / Speak Of The Devil? Was it with Tommy Aldridge or Carmine Appice?
Bob Daisley: "It was with Carmine for the Bark At The Moon European tour. Tommy recorded the album though, Bark At The Moon. The first thing I did was the US Festival in May of '83. From there we went to New York and started writing. Then to London and continued writing. Then to Ridge Farms to record. The ridiculous thing about that was Tommy's forte was playing live. He was not so good in the studio. I think he used to get a little intimidated or whatever it was, but he didn't shine as much in the studio as he did live. Anyway, he was asked to do the album but Sharon got on his case saying it was taking too long to do his drum parts, so what did they do? He recorded the album and when it was time to go on tour they fired him then! Just when it was time for him to shine. (laughs) Kind of like shutting the gate after the horse got out." (laughs).
BraveWords.com: But he came back right?
Bob Daisley: "Oh yeah, they brought Carmine Appice in, but he was treated disrespectfully. He was there for the tour of Europe. At the beginning of the first break of the American tour, Carmine got fired and Tommy was asked to come back."
BraveWords.com: Then who played bass on the '82 winter/spring European tour if your first gig was in May of '83?
Bob Daisley: "That was probably Don Costa. He had the cheese grater on the bass that made his knuckles bleed. So Ozzy called me and asked me to come do the US Festival as he had just punched his bass player in the face, broke his nose and then fired him. I think it cost Ozzy something like $5000 dollars for Costa to go away because he was going to sue. It wasn't planned for me to do the US Festival. I was supposed to come in and write and record the album and then go back to Uriah Heep. He then asked me to join permanently."
BraveWords.com: Ozzy knows he had a great writer with you. Did you play on the album The Ultimate Sin?
Bob Daisley: "No, that was Phil Soussan. I did write the album with Jake and then Ozzy and I had a falling out and he fired me and he was going to fire Jake as well. I've never been a 'yes' man. Anyway, Ozzy was acting like an idiot and there was a build-up and well, it's a big long story and I go into the whole thing in my book. He fired me anyway but yeah, it's all in my book. There's a lot of great stuff in this book. So a few weeks later, he called me and he had Phil Soussan on bass but I'd already written a lot of the music with Jake so they knew they had to credit me on the songs anyway so I guess he thought he may as well get his money's worth and asked me to come back and write the lyrics also. I did that as sort of a paid job. I write it, you pay me and take it and go. So I spent a few weeks writing the lyrics for the whole album. Then they recorded it. In a way, I am glad I am not on that album. It's the one album I didn't really like and it's the one album Ozzy didn't really like. He called The Ultimate Sin - the Ultimate Din. 'Killer Of Giants' is good and there are a couple of songs that are good. I didn't like the production. And I didn't really like some of the playing either. I thought the bass playing was weak, that was Phil Soussan. And I didn't really like a lot of the drumming which was Randy Castillo. It didn't groove, it didn't fit. It didn't make the right musical statement. They were good players but that album just didn't happen. I don't think Ron Nevison was the right producer for it either. I didn't like the production or the sonics."
BraveWords.com: After that, you were working with Tony Iommi in Black Sabbath.
Bob Daisley: "I wasn't really in Black Sabbath. I was working with Gary Moore and we had some time off. We had a producer called Jeff Glixman and he was now working with Black Sabbath in Montserrat in AIR studios. They had a bass player who had to leave for some personal reasons. So Jeff called me and said there's a Sabbath album to do if you want to do it. I wrote a lot of the lyrics but some of them got changed when Tony Martin came into re-record the vocals that Ray Gillen did. I have noticed that they have released that proper version with Ray Gillen on vocals and I think it's so much better. I wrote all the lyrics to Ray's melodies. I suppose some of the lines were his, but about 75% of the lyrics were mine. Ray was a great singer. Tony Martin did a good job and he's a good singer and a nice guy and all that but that version they released in 1987 didn't quite have the magic that it did with Ray Gillen because he was the one who came up with those melodies and sang that way with that phrasing. Tony Martin just replaced what Ray had done. Tony did a great job but Ray's truly represented the band and the songs. They asked me to join the band but I was a bit weary of how that band was being handled by their management. People weren't getting paid and were getting pissed off. I thought no, I was happy enough with Gary Moore so I just stayed there."
Stay tuned for Part II!!
(All photos courtesy of Bobdaisley.com)