ZAKK WYLDE: 'DIMEBAG Was Proof That God Exists'

Aaron Beck of The Columbus Dispatch recently conducted an interview with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On his children:


"My daughter, Ray Ray (Hayle Ray), is 13. (My) drinkin' problem is definitely escalating.

"There's Jesse. Ozzy's the godfather of him. That was a good day in Church.

"And (New York Mets catcher) Mike Piazza is godfather of Hendrix Halen Michael Rhoads Wylde. With a name like that, it has to work out, right?


"But I know he’s going to be into basket-weaving and crochet or ballet, or he's going to be a Chippendale's dancer. I can see it comin'.

"The only thing I can do as a father is facilitate."

On his first guitar:

"I was 8, but I wanted to play football and hang out… My guitar teacher said: 'Let him be a kid right now. If he wants to play, he'll play.’ It's the same thing with my kids. Just 'cause I play, I can't force them."

On his serious turn toward the guitar:


"I was at my football coach’s house, saying 'I don’t know if I want to play ball right now,' and they were trying to talk me into it. There was a Les Paul in the room. The coach, he could play some country, but in walks his kid. He was the first dude I ever saw with long hair, and he's got on a Harley hat and has a beer in his hand. He starts whipping out 'Eruption' and 'Crazy Train'. I just go, 'This is what I wanted to do with my life.' I took lessons from the kid, Leroy, for two years."

On guitar solos:

"I always loved Randy [Rhoads] and Eddie [Van Halen]. You always want to stick some shredding solos in there. But I love songs. I love ELTON JOHN. I love the new COLDPLAY record. The song is the cake. The solos are the icing."

On his first concert:

"[BLACK] SABBATH 'Mob Rules' tour in the Philadelphia Spectrum. First arena I ever played was the Spectrum, and, I'm 19, like, 'Holy shit, I'm onstage with the old man, the boss (Osbourne)."


"You know, after World War II, fighter pilots formed the Hell's Angels. It's just keeping in touch with the guys, your true friends, your brothers. It's weekend-warrior type stuff."

On "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott:

"He was proof that God exists. All he did was want to make people feel great. He really had a presence. With Dime, you were either laughing or crying. It's time to start laughing again."