GUS G. On OZZY OSBOURNE's Ongoing Health Issues: 'I Hope He Can Get Back On Track'

August 17, 2023

Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., who joined Ozzy Osbourne's band nearly a decade and a half ago, was asked in a new interview with Rat Salad Review if he still keeps in touch with the legendary heavy metal singer. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Not really. Not very much. I mean, I sent a couple of e-mails, like in the beginning when I heard he got injured. I just sent him my wishes; I e-mailed Sharon [Osbourne, Ozzy's wife and manager] and stuff. But, yeah, I'm pretty much keeping up with them online, like the rest of the world, whenever he issues an update for his health."

Addressing Ozzy's persistent health problems that have plagued his career in recent years, Gus said: "I hope he can get back on track. I don't think he's gonna be able to tour again on the scale that he used to, but at least he can do a couple of nice farewell shows, at least a couple of one-offs. I think he would really like that. And I think he will, because he's the 'iron man.' I don't think you can take him off stage that easily. [Laughs]"

Last fall, Gus told Czech Republic's Backstage TV about his time playing with Ozzy: "It was really good times. It was a really highlight of my career, obviously, playing at such a big level and, of course, to play with one of the fathers of this music, heavy metal. So, just to be a part of that legacy is incredible; it's mindblowing. I still cannot believe it happened. I learned a lot.

"I'm not a guy who thinks so much about the past," Gus explained. "I think I have evolved since then; I have become a better musician, better person, better performer. That was a big stepping stone for me. I look at those days with a lot of joy, and I have nice memories, nice feelings about Ozzy and Sharon [Ozzy's wife and manager] and the [rest of the] Osbournes; they treated me very nice. And it was some of the best years of my life with them; I got to see and experience things that not many musicians do, so I was lucky in that sense. But I'm doing my thing now and I've had my own thing for a long time. And I'm happy where I'm at in life right now."

Two years ago, Gus was asked by Guitar World how he found out he was no longer in Ozzy's group. "Sharon called me at home," he said. "I was kind of expecting it. They had announced a festival, and I was waiting to hear back what was going to happen. And then eventually, she gave me a call. I think it was in the middle of the night, because we have such a time zone difference. She called me in Greece, and said, 'I just wanted to let you know personally, so you don't find out online, we're going to do the farewell tour, and Zakk is coming back for that.' And I was, like, 'No worries at all. No problem.' And I thanked her for everything they had done for me. We're still on good terms, so, no problem at all."

Asked if he would ever consider working with Ozzy again, Gus said: "I think that's more of a question that you have to ask him. [Laughs] It's pretty obvious, I wouldn't say no if he called me up and wanted to play a show or for an album. I loved my time with him, and of course I would do it again. I think it's more of a question for him — because he gets to pick and choose who he works with. I don't think there is a guitar player on earth that would turn that down…or maybe there would be, I don't know. [Laughs]"

Back in 2018, Gus told that "it was a little bit of a relief" to find out that Ozzy was getting back together with his longtime axeman Zakk Wylde. "I was just kind of tired of waiting around for all these years, not hearing anything about potential tours or recording activities," Gus said. "Of course, [Ozzy] was very busy with BLACK SABBATH — I understand that — but then in between of all that, there would be all these one-off [solo Ozzy] shows popping up and I had to make myself available for that. But there was never any… I felt like there was no… I didn't see stuff coming up for the future, you know? So, as much as I loved being in that band and working with him, in a way, it was a little bit of a dead end for me, speaking personally. Of course, now he's gonna go on a big tour again and do his farewell thing, and that's great for him, but it was not a creative thing for me."

It was announced in April 2017 that Wylde would be rejoining Ozzy's backing group for all his upcoming solo show dates. Osbourne's most recent touring lineup also included Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, Tommy Clufetos on drums and Adam Wakeman on keyboards.

Gus, who played on Ozzy's latest studio album, 2010's "Scream", told that part of his frustration stemmed from the fact that he wasn't told far in advance when his services would be needed by Ozzy, making it difficult for the guitarist to make long-term plans with any of his other projects. "There was never any definite announcement, like, 'Hey, guys, we're gonna see you next year' or something; it was always, like, 'We'll see what happens,'" he said. "So that's a bit of an uncertainty right there, and, of course, I had my own band [and] I had stuff to do, but I could never really book stuff too far ahead into the future just in case something [with Ozzy] came up. So it was really hard to get some info at some points… Anyways, you know, that's how it is; that was the situation. So, yeah, in a way, like I said, it was a relief, because now I can totally control what I'm gonna be doing, and that's a much nicer feeling."

Wylde originally joined Osbourne's band three and a half decades ago and backed the legendary frontman from 1987 to 1995, then again in 1998, from 2001 to 2004 and also from 2006 to 2009.

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