JAKE E. LEE Recounts How He Was Fired From OZZY OSBOURNE's Band - "It's Hilarious In Retrospect"

October 26, 2018, 5 years ago

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JAKE E. LEE Recounts How He Was Fired From OZZY OSBOURNE's Band - "It's Hilarious In Retrospect"

Earlier in the week, eonmusic revealed how Jake E. Lee had been approached to rejoin Ozzy Osbourne's band for 2010's Scream release. Lee had originally worked with Osbourne on 1983's Bark At The Moon and 1986's The Ultimate Sin.

In the interview, which has been published in full, Jake opened up about exactly how how he found out he was fired from the band. Contradicting a clam found on Wikipedia, the guitarist laughed: "I had no idea it was coming, but it wasn’t by telegram!  I mean, it was the 80s, and I guess people sent telegrams back then, but I didn’t get it via telegram".

Going on to reveal that it was Sharon Osbourne's job to tell him, the former Badlands man said that the manager didn't have the heart to tell him the news: "Sharon Osbourne called me, and said she wanted to have dinner with me. I suppose there was clues in there, because she was talking about how; 'Someday Jake, when you have your own band' - I think her major piece of advice was to be on time; 'When you’re leader of a band, you kind of need to set an example, and you need to be on time', and that was the only clue I had, really."

Continuing, Jake said that although there were clues, Osbourne didn't actually tell him he was out of the band; "My roommate at the time was also my guitar tech, and he came back from the Rainbow, and he’d seen [Ozzy band mates] Phil [Soussan, bass], and Randy Castillo, [drums], and he said they came up to him and said; 'So, what are you going to do now that Jake’s out of the band?!' So he ran back home and told me, and said; 'Dude, did you just get fired?!', and I went; 'No!', and he went; 'I think you did'.”

He went on: “No, I just saw Sharon, I just had dinner with her, and we talked and talked - I think she would have told me if I was fired! And he said; 'Well, that’s not what Randy and Phil said!', and I was like; 'Oh, come on!' So I picked the phone up, and I called Sharon back and said; 'I just heard the weirdest rumour', and she broke down and said; 'Yes, it’s true'. And I said; 'What, do you mean I’m fired?!', and she goes; 'Yes, that’s why I took you out to dinner'. *Laughing*

Contradicting popular perception that there was animosity between the two camps; Lee concluded; "We got along very well when I was in the band. I considered us friends back then, and just the fact that she was supposed to fire me and couldn’t, it’s hilarious in retrospect. That night, it wasn’t so hilarious."

Read the full interview here.

After a self-imposed exile from the music industry and the public eye, Jake E. Lee returned with a fresh new band, Red Dragon Cartel, in 2014. Now, Jake and RDC are back with their new album Patina, which is set for release on November 9th.

Pre-order Red Dragon Cartel's Patina album on CD/LP/Digital here, and listen to the songs "Havana" and "Crooked Man", below.

Jake's 2014 comeback was greeted with much enthusiasm from the fans and media alike and the virtuoso guitarist is back once again to grace the rock world with his unbridled skill. With an extremely talented band featuring Anthony Esposito on bass (ex-Lynch Mob), Phil Varone (ex-Saigon Kick, Skid Row) on drums and returning vocalist Darren Smith (Harem Scarem) backing him up, Jake has delivered the album fans have been eager to hear since Badlands dissolved years ago.

In addition to being the new bassist for Red Dragon Cartel, Anthony Esposito co-produced the album alongside Jake E. Lee.  "I think we had a great production partnership. He never discouraged me from trying things that were a bit outside the box, in fact he encouraged it. His attention to detail in the recording of everything was exceptional. Much more than I alone would have toiled over. He has an incredible work ethic that kept me from lapsing into complacency. If we disagreed on how something should be, we'd find a perfect marriage of the two sides, or completely reimagine it. We didn't settle on anything unless we both agreed it was perfect. If I do another album, I'd love it to be with him again," says Lee.

Another new member to Red Dragon Cartel is drummer Phil Varone, whose style Lee really appreciated. "Phil is a very solid and groove oriented player, who is not afraid to turn things upside down to give the song a more unique flavor," explains Lee.

Patina marks a change of style from the debut Red Dragon Cartel album, going more bluesy hard rock as opposed to the debuts heavier leanings. Remarks Lee, "The first album was more of a piecemeal production with some of the song ideas being 10 years old, and never having more than one player in the room at any time. I wanted to do this one from scratch with all the songs originating and worked on with everyone in the room, on their instruments. It felt much more organic, like the way I used to do it for the first 20 years of my career, more honest to my roots."

When asked about his musical inspirations for the record, Jake muses, "My inspirations for Patina are from the artists I loved during my youth. Robin Trower, Santana, Black Sabbath, Captain Beyond, Thin Lizzy, Grand Funk Railroad, David Bowie .. I could go on and on, but let me also say that there are also hints of Sly & the Family Stone, Dick Dale, psychedelia and even some George Benson. Don't let any of that scare you, it all makes sense!"

Patina is a definitive statement of Jake's unbelievable skills with a monster production from Esposito and a perfect mix, courtesy of Max Norman, whose relationship with Jake dates back to his days with Ozzy Osbourne.


"Crooked Man"
"The Luxury Of Breathing"
"Chasing Ghosts"
"A Painted Heart"
"Punchclown" (Bonus Track)
"My Beautiful Mess"
"Ink & Water"

"Crooked Man" lyric video:

"Havana" video:

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