Last month, Ozzy Osbourne announced the November 29 release of "See You On The Other Side", a vinyl box set comprised of his 16 post-BLACK SABBATH albums, B-sides and more. This was news to veteran rock/metal bassist and songwriter Bob Daisley, who performed on — and wrote/co-wrote the lyrics/music for — a good portion of the material contained in the upcoming release.
Daisley's tumultuous history with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne has made headlines for years. With the impending release of another collection featuring Daisley's work, music writer Joel Gausten reached out to him at his home in Sydney, Australia for his thoughts on "See You On The Other Side", some of the other key players from his time with Ozzy and if he believes his differences with his former collaborator could ever be resolved. An excerpt from the chat appears below.
Gausten: So, there's a new Ozzy box set coming out. Are you generally made aware when these sorts of things come out?
Daisley: "No. Why would anyone bother telling me? [Laughs] I'm only one of the writers and performers. [Laughs]"
Gausten: You've seen the press release about it, and the box set has already received some press. Based on what you've seen, what are your thoughts on what's about to come out?
Daisley: "The first thing that came to mind for me was what versions of the first two albums will be in it. We know that the drums and bass were re-recorded, and that was all that was available for a while. Hopefully, for the fans and the posterity of the music, it will be the original real versions."
Gausten: Absolutely. I can tell you there has been no information sent to me that indicates which versions they will be.
Daisley: "I wouldn't know. I think most people know about what I've termed 'The Holy Grail,' which are my recordings from those writing sessions and rehearsals and pre-production sessions before those albums were even recorded. It would have been great stuff to go on a box set as bonus material. We tried once before; my manager contacted the necessary people, but they just wanted me to hand it over for a flat fee, which would mean total control for them and an opportunity to rewrite history yet again, so I said, 'No way!'"
Gausten: It's reasonable enough for you to ask for something.
Daisley: "Sure. They're my recordings, and it's me on them. It's my writing, and it's my performances — as well as Lee Kerslake's, Randy Rhoads's and Ozzy's."
Gausten: Sharon's name has come up a lot in our conversations over the years, but you were in the band with Ozzy — not her. With that said, what would the chances be of some or all of your issues being sorted out if you and Ozzy sat in a room — without Sharon, the lawyers, the managers — and just talked? Do you think that would ever be a possibility?
Daisley: "I would never say it is not a possibility, because anything can happen. Ozzy and I always got on well together. We had a similar sense of humor, and we had similar tastes in music. We got on like a house on fire. I still remember his very words the first time I went to his house in Stafford. We had a play together, and he had a couple of other people there — this was before the Randy days. This is when he had another guitarist and drummer there. I can't remember their names or where they came from, but Ozzy knew them well and was talking about putting this band together with them. Ozzy had left BLACK SABBATH for a brief time in 1977, and he was going to have another band then, but it didn't last and he went back to BLACK SABBATH. These guys could have been from that band, which was also going to be called THE BLIZZARD OF OZZ. He even had t-shirts made; I've seen photos of them.
"I was sitting in the kitchen with Ozzy, and I said, 'Look, these guys are okay. But to be honest with you, they're not great. They're not world class.' He said, 'Hang on a minute.' He opened the rehearsal room — which was an integral part of the house — and said, 'All right, fellas. You can pack up and go home. It's not working out.' It was just like that, just because I said that. When he came back, he said, 'I know this other guitarist in L.A. He's good; he might work out. His name's Randy Rhoads.' I just said to Ozzy, 'Well, let's get him over.' So, THE BLIZZARD OF OZZ really started with just Ozzy and me. Then, we got Randy over and started auditioning drummers.
"I remember when Ozzy phoned the office at Jet Records and spoke to a guy there called Arthur Sharp. Ozzy said, 'Me and Bob get on like a house on fire. The fire brigade's just left.' It was true; we got on great. Personally, there was never a problem between Ozzy and me. We always had a good laugh; we were productive and came up with good ideas. It was just the business side of things and all the logistics that got in the way.
"If a reconciliation was ever a possibility, it could have happened before now. If it happened tomorrow, it would be great, but it's a shame it couldn't have happened somewhere along the way without all the other bollocks that went on."
The complete interview is available at www.joelgausten.com.