Guitarist GARY HOEY Talks About Playing With OZZY: 'He Wasn't As Fried Out As He Is Now'

November 9, 2005

In a brand new exclusive interview conducted by Rock N Roll Universe, guitarist Gary Hoey discusses his new album "Monster Surf", the days on the Sunset Strip in L.A., auditioning for OZZY OSBOURNE in the wake of Randy Rhoads' untimely death, the state of modern guitar playing and much, much more. During the interview Hoey recalled the events leading up to being flown out to California and subsequently playing with Osbourne. A short excerpt from the interview follows:

Rock N Roll Universe: Speaking of BLACK SABBATH, there may be some people who aren't aware that after Randy Rhoads passed away, you auditioned for the spot in Ozzy's band. How did that come about, and what was that experience like for you?

Gary Hoey: "It was awesome. I was one of the biggest BLACK SABBATH fans, their music to me was just so awesome. I was in Boston, and Ozzy came through on a radio tour looking for guitar players. He had kind of an open casting call all over the United States, he had over nine hundred people try out. I overheard him on the radio, he said 'Hey man, we're looking for a guitar player, call up the station and let's hear what you've got.' So, I called up, I put the phone down and actually played right over the air. They said, bring a tape down, so I went down to the station and gave it to them. About a week later, I got a call that said Ozzy really liked your tape and we want to fly you to Los Angeles for another audition. That was a really big thing for me, and we flew out and I tried out for the band. I didn't get the gig, but I had a great experience, got to actually play with Ozzy a couple of times, they had me back. Ozzy and Sharon told me, 'Gary, if you come out to California, you'll probably do really well if you're actually living out here.' So, I immediately left the East Coast, relocated and I found my manager and signed with Warner Brothers Records in 1991."

Rock N Roll Universe: What was your impression of Ozzy at that time?

Gary Hoey: "He was really cool, he was definitely not as fried out as he is now. He was a little more coherent, you could almost understand what he was saying. (Laughs) I thought he was cool, he knows how to pick guitar players, he's got a great ear. You don't realize how much he's paying attention to. I found him to be very insightful, he gave me a lot of inspiration. He told me, 'Dude, you can handle this gig no problem so don't think it's anything personal.' He said some nice things to me."

Read the entire interview at RockNRollUniverse.com.

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