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:

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"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?

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"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:

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"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)."

On BLACK LABEL SOCIETY:

"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."