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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
HOW NOT TO JOIN THE OZZY OSBOURNE BAND

1st February 2012

chris dale



Years ago, we'd just finished recording the Bruce Dickinson album 'Skunkworks' and I had a night off so I went to see Ozzy Osbourne playing at Nottingham Rock City.

It was a great gig. The band was Joe Holmes on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass and the late Randy Castillo on drums. After the show I went backstage and the promoter and all round top guy, Andy Copping, introduced me to Joe Holmes.

Article continues below...



Joe was sweet. Instantly we hit it off. I said I loved the show but wished there was more from the 'Diary Of A Madman' album in the set. He agreed and said it was his favourite Ozzy album and that he used to take lessons off Randy Rhoads when he was a kid.

He said he was writing stuff for Ozzy now. He was trying to keep the old vibe in new songs but also update the Ozzy sound, I said we were doing a similar thing with Bruce on our new stuff.

ozy osbourne joe holmes
Joe Holmes and Ozzy Osbourne

He went and got his guitar and sat in front of me playing some new riffs he'd been writing for Ozzy. They were awesome.

I asked what Geezer was playing on bass to the these riffs? There was one riff that I said if I were doing it, I'd chug an A through that first part then follow his little descending lick at the end.

Joe turned to me and asked "Are you looking for a gig?" I was stumped.

"Errrr... no" I said. I wasn't really sure what he meant. 'Gig' in British-English usually means concert. 'Gig' in American-English usually means job. We were at a concert and I wasn't looking for a job. What was he saying?

He said: "Why don't you come to the London show?" I said I wasn't planning to but I might come along.

He said: "Come on down to soundcheck too." I said I didn't want to get in the way if they were busy.

He said: "It won't be a problem, come on down."

That night I went home and thought about it all. Had I just been asked if wanted to join the Ozzy band? No, that was just too crazy.

Then I realised I didn't ask what time they usually soundchecked. Some bands like to soundcheck nice and early, get it out of the way, then go and eat. Other bands like to eat first and soundcheck just before the doors open.

I didn't know anyone on the Ozzy crew to ask, so I rang Geezer Butler's press guy at the time, Robert Adams, to ask him. He's a good friend of mine and plays guitar in Sack Trick sometimes.

geezer butler
Geezer Butler

He said: "I don't know, Geezer never goes to soundcheck. And besides, Geezer's leaving the band at the end of this stretch of the tour to concentrate on his GZR album."

The Sherlock Holmes in me has picked up a scent... Joe asked if I wanted a gig, Geezer's leaving the band, Joe's invited me to soundcheck and Geezer never soundchecks.

I might be a bit slow here, but he's basically asking me if I want to audition for the Ozzy Osbourne band in soundcheck at Brixton Academy, isn't he?

Now, here's the real dilemma. All my life I've dreamed of being in the Ozzy band. I guess most heavy rock musicians have had that dream, following in the footsteps of Randy and Jake, Bob and Rudy...

But I was already in the Bruce Dickinson band, also a dream come true. And with the 'Skunkworks' record we'd just been making, we had a record we were really proud of and an upcoming world tour.

bruce dickinson

Guitarist Alex Dickson and drummer Alex Elena in Bruce's band were great players and best mates. Not to mention the fact that we also had another good mate, Bruce Dickinson, in the band, who incidentally is an incredible singer. I already had my dream band.

It was a tough choice. Do I go down there or not? Maybe I'd pop along just out of curiosity. What would you do?

Then Bruce's manager Merc Mercuriadis rang me. He's a funny guy. I never knew how to take him. One minute he'd be nice as pie, the next he'd be pouring abuse at me.

This was one of those pouring abuse days. For reasons best known to himself, he choose this day to tell me that I "looked like a piece of shit". Then he asked out of the blue: "What CD are you listening to most these days?"

"'Diary Of A Madman'" I said, and put the phone down. I went and put the CD on and started learning songs.

So the next day, I went down to Brixton Academy early in the afternoon and met up with Joe again. He was very cool. He said he'd been playing guitar all day the day before and had hurt his hand playing so much. But he still played more.

Then Geezer Butler turned up. It was the first gig of the whole tour that he'd decided to soundcheck!

I was kind of relieved really. No life decisions to make today. Phew!

I watched the soundcheck, then the gig again and afterwards said a quick goodbye to Joe, must keep in touch and that kind of thing.

A couple of months later it was announced in the press that Robert Trujillo was the new bass player in the Ozzy band. The rest is rock history.

robert trujillo

So that was it, I'd nearly played for the Ozzy band (at least at a soundcheck and maybe more if that had gone well). If it had gone very differently I'd have played 'Bark At The Moon' at Donington 96, just before Kiss played their first European show with Ace and Peter in make-up in decades. It was nice to have been asked anyway.

At the time I didn't really take it all in. We were straight into Bruce's rehearsals and kicking off a European tour sandwiched on the bill between Helloween and Skin... but that's another story entirely. You don't want to see those photos...

01.02.12


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british lion A MESSAGE FROM STEVE HARRIS AS BRITISH LION EUROPEAN TOUR DATES ARE ANNOUNCED
"We'll be looking to record some more shows on this tour to add to the recordings we already have for an upcoming live album..."

lords of bvlack LORDS OF BLACK FEATURING RAINBOW SINGER RONNIE ROMERO ARE HERE IN DECEMBER
Kicking off at the Underworld in London, the tour includes dates in Glasgow, Newcastle, Stoke, Swansea and Grimsby...

quartz QUARTZ FINALLY SET THE TIME FOR NEW ALBUM
"'Fear No Evil' is a straight Heavy Metal rock album, delivered with enthusiasm,” says Quartz guitarist Mick Hopkins.

alter bridge ALTER BRIDGE RELEASE NEW VIDEO AHEAD OF UK TOUR: WATCH IT HERE
Special guests on the tour include Danish rockers Volbeat, French progressive Metallers Gojira and up-and-comers, Like A Storm...

purson PURSON ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR DATES
The band will also make bill-topping appearances at Norwich Sound + Vision Festival and the Brain Freeze Festival...

black star riders WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLACK STAR RIDERS UK TOUR DATES FOR MARCH 2017 ARE HERE
Black Star Riders will release their new album, 'Heavy Fire', in early 2017 and will be hitting the road in support of this in March...

pink floyd THE PINK FLOYD EXHIBITION: THEIR MORTAL REMAINS AT THE V&A IS UNPRECEDENTED AND INNOVATIVE
The Exhibition offers a unique insight into a group of world-class musicians who have always defied artistic boundaries...

ac dc phil rudd UK EXCLUSIVE: AC/DC'S PHIL RUDD SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK BUT IS NOW READY TO ROCK AGAIN. BUT NOT WITH AXL
"I sneaked out to the shop to get some cigarettes, then I realised I had no car, so I walked home to get the Ferrari, and drove back to the hospital..."

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK 2017 IS GO! DISCOUNTED EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE HERE NOW
This price will not be available for long so grab your now before they sell out...

clutch CLUTCH DECEMBER UK HEADLINE DATES ARE HERE
A sure fire way to brighten up your holiday season, Clutch will be bringing the festive cheer to four UK cities...

sos festival SOS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST NINE BANDS FOR ITS' 10TH EDITION IN 2017
"It's great for us that another Manchester band has the kudos to headline, just as Absolva did us proud on our Friday in 2016..."

tyr TÝR EUROPEAN TOUR UNDER THREAT OVER WHALE CONTROVERSY
Animal rights sympathisers, supporters and activists are in overdrive over this one with some pretty nasty comments being directed towards Heri and the band...

fm FM ANNOUNCE 'INDISCREET 30' NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR DATES
"We have been asked many times if we would consider re-recording some of these tracks using today's modern technology..."

red hot chili peppers WAS BREAKING NEWS: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ANNOUNCE FIRST UK TOUR FOR FIVE YEARS
This exciting run kicks off with two nights at London's O2 on 5th and 6th December and takes in dates in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD IMMORTALISED IN WEST HOLLYWOOD AS THE IRON MAIDENS HEAD STAR-STUDDED ULTIMATE JAM
"I think it looks a lot like him. It's a compelling image. I think it will offer some closure. I think Lemmy is finally home."

korn KORN UNVEIL NEW VIDEO FOR 'INSANE': DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
'Insane' appears on Korn's latest and twelfth studio album 'The Serenity Of Suffering' which you can pre-order here...

status quo STATUS QUO REVEAL ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR 'AQUOSTIC II - THAT'S A FACT!'
This is the sound of a band living in the present, embracing the future, whilst cherishing their past...

bruce dickinson EXCLUSIVE: SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO FEATURING BRUCE DICKINSON SCOOPS SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS
The audience surveyed rated the film 4.98 out of a total of 5.00 while Al Jazeera awarded it the Best Documentary out of twenty two entrants...

wakrat WATCH RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'S TIM COMMERFORD START NEW NATION IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE ON VIDEO HERE
"The current system is oppressive and elitist, promoting racist ideologies in order to push a self-serving agenda..."

led zeppelin LED ZEPPELIN GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK AT 'THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS' SUPER DELUXE
Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans...

saxon SAXON PRESENT A HOARD OF LIVE GLORY IN A BOX OF VINYL GOLD
"This is not going to be around again and with exclusive art work too. Bring it on - I think we'll play some of these tracks on tour in the Autumn."

journey toto JOURNEY AND TOTO LIVE SPECTACULARS ON THE WAY IN SEPTEMBER
"When I first listened back, the thought omnipresent in my mind was simply, 'That's that raw, sizzling energy we had in high school!'"

geoff tate GEOFF TATE'S OPERATION MINDCRIME UNVEIL TWO NEW TRACKS
"With the key finally in his possession, "H" has everything he needs to finally launch his long awaited project called The New Reality. Or does he..."

big country BIG COUNTRY HEADING OUT ON 'THE SEER' 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Big Country will be performing 'The Seer' in its entirety when tbey hit the road for a 24-date UK tour starting on September 14th...

metallica UK EXCLUSIVE: METALLICA RELEASE 'HARDWIRED' - NEW VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"Has it really been eight years? Doesn't feel like it! We’re obviously beyond psyched to share new tunes with all our friends out there via MetalTalk...

manowar WAS BREAKING NEWS: MANOWAR TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE FINAL BATTLE WORLD TOUR
The Kings Of Metal are abdicating and our very last Call To Arms is coming...

opeth OPETH DETAIL WEMBLEY ARENA SHOW
"We'll only play this set list three times on the whole world tour so if you miss it, you'll have missed it..."

tank UPDATED: TANK RELEASE DIGITAL DELUXE VERSIONS OF 'WAR MACHINE' AND 'WAR NATION'
"Doogies vocals were exactly suited to this period of Tank and we're extremely proud of what we created in these two albums."

pete way PETE WAY LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER HEART ATTACK
"Pete Way and I would like to thank you all for your messages, kind thoughts and prayers..."

vader WAS BREAKING NEWS: VADER ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER LONDON GIG
Vader will be touring in support of their recently announced new studio album 'The Empire' which is due for release this autumn...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'JOIN TOGETHER' AS 'MAKE SOME NOISE' CRASHES INTO WORLDWIDE CHARTS
"We want to thank all of our fans and friends around the world for the amazing support of our new record 'Make Some Noise'!"

bloodstock POLICE APPEAL FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT AT BLOODSTOCK
"Police are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch and are asking people to share this appeal..."

guns n roses EXCLUSIVE: GUNS N' ROSES DOWNLOAD ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE WAY WITH AUSTRALIAN AND JAPANESE DATES CONFIRMED
Other possibles for the remaining two headline slots are Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Metallica...

roger dean URIAH HEEP, BUDGIE AND ATOMIC ROOSTER ARTISTS WORK TO BE IMMORTALISED ON STAMPS
Roger Dean has designed over 100 album covers for artists including Yes, Asia, London Symphony Orchestra, Nightwing, It Bites and Snafu.

evil scarecrow WAS BREAKING NEWS: EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCE 'ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANADO' TOUR
"We'll be bringing our biggest, silliest show yet along with some brand new, probably never heard before, music 'genius'..."

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY TO BE FEATURED IN MULTI-PART CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
"I'm excited to be returning to Canada and I look forward to meeting my fans, with the opportunity for them to be a part of the documentary."

last in line LAST IN LINE ADDED TO WINTER STORM LINE-UP
Winter Storm, the festival that will take place over the weekend of 25th and 26th November in Troon, South Ayrshire, have already announced an exciting line-up...

tony iommi GREAT NEWS FROM TONY IOMMI: CANCER IS IN REMISSION
"The chemotherapy and the follow-up treatment appear to have done the trick — but I'm aware that it could come back one day."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
"Hold on to your butts cause we will be headbanging our way through your town! Bring your A game cause we will be bringing ours..."

ac dc AC/DC IN FULL FLIGHT: QUALITY LIMITED EDITION BOOK IS A MUST FOR COLLECTORS
All of the photographs have been carefully processed and digitally restored to optimise reproduction quality.

ozzy osbourne BOB DAISLEY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST OZZY OSBOURNE, WHO RESPONDS
"We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne's success."

70 tons of metal 70000 TONS OF METAL: SIXTY BANDS, BARS THAT NEVER CLOSE AND MUCH MORE
Heavy Metal bands from around the globe playing concerts on four different stages...

lamb of god WAS BREAKING NEWS: LAMB OF GOD REVEAL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'EMBERS': MARK MORTON HAS SOME DEEPLY PERSONAL WORDS
"Nearly a decade after 'Walk With Me In Hell' it was happening yet again. Art was imitating life..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN RELEASE "THANK YOU" VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Now it's break time for Iron Maiden but they will be back for a full scale UK Tour in 2017...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF RELEASES SECOND TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM WITH JIM STEINMAN - LISTEN HERE
"Now psychologist and psychiatrists all over America are giving it to their patients..."

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