Former TESTAMENT/SAVATAGE guitarist Alex Skolnick has spoken out about the experience of auditioning for — and ultimately landing — the guitarist gig in OZZY OSBOURNE's band, only to be told less than a month later it had been given to someone else. Asked via his message board what was it like playing with Ozzy and how long he played with him, Alex said, "I flew out to London, auditioned, Oz told me he liked me and let's work together some more. Next thing I know, we had this unannounced show at Rock City in Nottingham (where I had played a few years earlier with TESTAMENT). The show [which took place in June 1995 — Ed.] seemed to go great (Ozzy choked me at one point to get me to move around more...it worked!) After the show, the crew thanked me and said they hadn't seen Ozzy look so happy in a long time. Ozzy gave me a big hug and hired me on the spot. I was on cloud nine. But what followed was a major lesson in the music business: I go home and don't hear anything for three weeks. Finally I called Sharon [Osbourne]'s assistant, who was surprised that she hadn't called me yet and that I should expect a call from Sharon. I sensed bad news. When Sharon called, she told me they really liked my playing and appreciate the time I put in but they've decided to hire someone else, Joe Holmes. With all due respect to Holmes, to this day everyone I've spoken to has no idea why they (or she) made this decision. I was told it might have been because Holmes was a former student of Randy Rhoads.
"Anyway it worked out for the best, as the whole experienced motivated me to get my jazz thing together and I wouldn't have taken the path I did if I'd stayed with Ozzy. And I'm grateful for the experience. How many guys get to say they were onstage playing 'War Pigs' and 'Paranoid' with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler?"