BOB DAISLEY Says He Wasn't Consulted In Decision To Re-Release Original OZZY OSBOURNE Albums

July 4, 2010

Legendary bassist Bob Daisley (OZZY OSBOURNE, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, URIAH HEEP) recently answered a number of questions for his official web site. A few excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.

Q: It's been insinuated that you and [former Ozzy drummer] Lee Kerslake were only interested in making money. Is it true that when the band was asked to do two shows in one day, at the Palladium in New York, you demanded double pay and double travel expenses, and was this the reason you were both fired?

Bob Daisley: That little insinuation is utter nonsense. I remember exactly what happened for that accusation to have come about. It all started when we were still recording the "Diary of a Madman" album at Ridge Farm Studios in England, in 1981. Ozzy got a phone call from [wife/manager] Sharon, who was setting up the American tour, telling him that shows on the forthcoming tour could involve "doubles," that is, two shows in one day — maybe an afternoon show then an evening, or an early evening and a late one. Ozzy was freaking out because he said his voice would never hold up doing two shows in one day and came to us and said, "Fellas, ya gotta back me up on this one, Sharon wants me to do two shows on some days and my voice won't hold out." I remember his words distinctly. We knew that he was right so we said we'd go along with him and say that we couldn't do any "doubles." Lee and I have, of course, done many "double shows" in our time, but we stuck up for Ozzy at his request because it could have jeopardized future shows if his voice was blown out had he done two shows in any one day. As for the reason Lee and I were sacked, I'd say first of all that it was because we weren't green, inexperienced or "yes men." We knew the business and what we were entitled to and that sometimes rubbed both Ozzy and Sharon up the wrong way, especially with Lee as he and Sharon didn't always see eye to eye. When we were auditioning drummers before Lee got the job, Ozzy had favored drummer Tommy Aldridge who wasn't available. During the U.K. tour in 1980 after the release of the first album, and when Sharon had become part of the scene, Ozzy and Sharon began asking me to agree to getting rid of Lee and have Tommy Aldridge in the band but I would never agree; they were trying to fix something that wasn't broken. Out of principal and knowing I was right, I refused every time they pulled me aside to bend my ear in the direction of getting rid of Lee. Anyway, as history shows, Lee and I were used, abused and fired after the recording of "Diary" without receiving our proper accreditation for performance and co-production. As history also shows, I was asked back time and time again. Need I say more?

Q: Why did you go back to work with Ozzy time and time again?

Bob Daisley: First and foremost, we were still good friends and Ozzy and I worked productively well together. I liked the musical style and direction and his vocal melodies, and he liked my lyrics and playing; we got on personally very well, too. The first time I went back was to write and record for the "Bark at the Moon" album, at a time when Lee and I were suing Don Arden and Jet Records for non-payment of performance royalties from the sales of the "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" albums and lack of due accreditation on "Diary". Ozzy and Sharon were helping us in our lawsuit against her father, Don Arden, as she was by then estranged from him, so naturally it was in my interest to work with them again.

Q: Sharon Osbourne made the following press statement in 2002: "Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake have harassed Ozzy and our family for several years. Because of their abusive and unjust behavior, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." Did you or Lee ever "harass" Ozzy, Sharon or any member of the Osbourne or Arden family?

Bob Daisley: Never. First of all, I'd had no contact of any kind at all with Ozzy since late 1997 and the last contact with Sharon I'd had was before then. The only member of either of the families Lee and I had contact with was Don Arden, Sharon's father, during the time he'd agreed to be an ally and help us win our case against the Osbournes. Don offered, though; he didn't have his arm twisted, but it was more for him to stick a finger up at Sharon, who hadn't spoken to him in almost twenty years, than to help us. He was genuinely willing to aid our cause, though, as the meeting Lee and I had at his house in London proved. Don also welcomed our lawyers into his house to go through documents he had which would serve a vital cause. No one was ever harassed. I always had to laugh at the part of Sharon's statement where she said, "We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." So insulting the memory of Randy Rhoads, the record-buying public and ruining classic albums is a "positive?" What constitutes a 'negative' in their world then? The mind boggles...

Q: Did you or Lee ever try to get other musicians involved in your legal action against the Osbournes?

Bob Daisley: Most certainly not. Neither Lee nor I contacted or approached any former or current musicians or staff within the Osbourne camp prior to or during our lawsuit against them. As our case against them progressed, former bassist Phil Soussan began a lawsuit against them for unpaid royalties in regards to the song "Shot in the Dark", which appeared on the "Ultimate Sin" album but I/we had no contact with him. There was a mention in the press that Soussan had "joined forces" with us but his lawsuit was launched independently of ours. I don't even know what the outcome for him was. Carmine Appice sued them in 1984 after being fired from the "Bark at the Moon" tour when he'd been contracted for the whole world tour. I'm not sure when his case was settled but Carmine won the case and was paid by the Osbournes but I/we had nothing to do with that either.

Q: Did you or Lee ever sue the Osbournes for any reason other than for non-payment of performance royalties from the sales of the "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" albums and for the lack of accreditation for your performances on "Diary"?

Bob Daisley: No, the only time we took legal action against the Osbournes was when we finally found out where our royalties for "Blizzard" and "Diary" were going — into their pockets. There was an incident in 1985 when the album "The Ultimate Sin" was released without my credit for writing on it, with the first 500,000 pressings omitting my name. I threatened to sue but the credit was corrected so no further legal action was taken. I'd co-written much of the music for that album with Jake E. Lee and then had written all the lyrics for the whole thing and didn't get credited on the first 500,000 released. There are no other incidents of legal proceedings having been launched against the Osbournes by Lee and/or me at any other time.

Q: On the subject of lyrics, when asked about "Suicide Solution" and the controversy connected to that song when a teenager killed himself after allegedly listening to it, Don Arden is on record as having said, "To be perfectly honest, I would be doubtful as to whether Mr. Osbourne knew the meaning of the lyrics, if there was any meaning, because his command of the English language is minimal." Many would agree, and yet Ozzy has said on several occasions that he wrote the lyrics to "Suicide Solution". Would you like to comment on this?

Bob Daisley: Ozzy has often said that he wrote "Suicide Solution" about Bon Scott, AC/DC's singer but first and foremost Ozzy didn't write it, I did. Bon Scott was a good friend of mine, I would be the first to say if it had been written about him. I wrote the lyrics as a warning of drinking yourself to death, inspired by Ozzy's heavy drinking at the time and that the "solution" — as in "liquid" — is not the solution to the problem. I would like to add that in no way were the lyrics meant to encourage the act of suicide, on the contrary, they meant the opposite.

Q: Given Don Arden's statement that Ozzy's "command of the English language is minimal" and Ozzy's own admission that he can't play an instrument, how is it that Ozzy is the only person credited for songwriting on "Bark At The Moon"?

Bob Daisley: There were complicated situations for Jake E. Lee and me at the time regarding publishing contracts and song registration so we agreed to do a "buy-out," that is, we were paid a lump sum for our contributions both for playing and writing. I co-wrote the music with Jake and I wrote all the lyrics with the exception of a line or word or two from Ozzy. Jake and I couldn't be credited for the writing for that reason, although we did get our performance credits. It was very frustrating to put so much work into a recording and then see someone else take all the credit for the writing but that's what we agreed to so there's not a lot we can do now. Besides, with that lot, even without doing a "buy-out" there was never ever any guarantee that you'd be credited properly and accurately anyway. The one thing that stands out in my mind from when the record was first released is an interview Ozzy did with the magazine International Musician. When asked how he'd written all those songs alone he told them that he'd done it on a piano using one hand. I wonder where the other hand was.

Q: It was recently announced that the original recordings of "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" are to be released as a 30th anniversary package with your and Lee's performances restored in all their glory. If this is true, it's very good news for the fans. Have you and Lee been negotiating and come to an agreement with the Osbournes? If so, can you tell us about the "bonus material?" And finally, are you going to receive royalties for your performances from the sales of this special edition?

Bob Daisley: Neither Lee nor I have been contacted, considered or consulted in the decision to re-release the original recordings. I haven't a clue as to what the "bonus material" might be. As for royalties, we have not been approached for a reconciliation and have been offered and promised nothing.

Read the entire interview at this location.

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