PHIL VARONE Recalls His Disastrous OZZY OSBOURNE Audition: 'It Was Like I Never Played Drums Before In My Life'
January 22, 2022
In a brand new interview with Meltdown of Detroit radio station WRIF, former SKID ROW and SAIGON KICK drummer Phil Varone recalled a disastrous audition he had in 2000 to play in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Rachel Bolan from SKID ROW, him and I had a band called PRUNELLA SCALES. So we did a record in '97. And then in '98, I decided that I'm just gonna call it a day and buy a restaurant, which was like… That was the worst damn decision ever. And [I] lost everything from that. I took every last penny I had and put it in this restaurant and that went under 'cause I didn't know what I was doing. It's like life lesson after life lesson.
"In 2000, I moved out to L.A. 'cause I figured, 'I've gotta be out in something. I'm gonna give it a shot.' And I was living over at John Corabi's [ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE] house. I heard that Ozzy was auditioning drummers. So I called Vinnie Paul — the late, great Vinnie Paul from PANTERA — and I go, 'Vin, can you get me into this audition?' They were only auditioning a handful of guys. And Vinnie calls Sharon Osbourne and gets me an audition. Incredible, right? I go down there. Crabby [Corabi] comes with me for support. And boy, I don't know what happened, but it was like I never played drums before in my life. It was incredible. I got Popeye arms, which means I just tensed up so bad, I couldn't hold the drum sticks. So I was probably like a monkey back there — I could not play. And it was all the great songs — 'Crazy Train' and all the stuff that we played as kids. And it was brutal.
"Do you know, till the day Vinnie died, and I saw him two weeks before, he'd bust my balls about that damn audition," Phil continued. "Every time I saw him, he'd go, 'Dude, what the hell happened with that?' 'Cause Sharon Osbourne called him and went, 'Vinnie, what is this? A joke? This guy can't play for anything.' She got mad at him 'cause she thought that he was doing a joke on her, like playing a joke. That's how I bad I was. And Crabby — God love him — he was, like, 'Ahhh…' I figured he can help me 'cause he auditioned for MÖTLEY. He was giving me pointers. Yeah, it was bad. I knew when I walked out of there and Crabby was, like, 'Ahhh…' But soon after I joined SKID ROW. So it all ended up okay."
Varone joined SKID ROW in 2000 — about four years after singer Sebastian Bach parted ways with the group. Four years later, Phil exited SKID ROW and the music business to pursue acting and stand-up comedy. During this time, he produced and starred in the feature-length documentary "Waking Up Dead", released in 2007. In recent years, Varone garnered worldwide attention on VH1's hit show "Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew" and "Strange Sex" on the Discovery channel. In April 2013, Riverdale Publishing released Phil's first book called "Un-Philtered : Real Life On and Off the Rock 'N' Roll Tour Bus".