Rockdetector.com recently conducted an interview with legendary bassist Bob Daisley (OZZY OSBOURNE, GARY MOORE, RAINBOW, URIAH HEEP, BLACK SABBATH). A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Rockdetector.com: What was it like to play with Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads (guitar)?
Bob Daisley: "Every time I'm asked the 'What was it like to play with Randy Rhoads?' question, I think of the time I was standing on Stafford Railway Station with Randy soon after we met in 1979. We'd been at Ozzy's house to start writing material for the record and to audition drummers. As we stood waiting for the train back to London (where I lived and where Randy was staying in a flat), I had an overwhelming premonition that one day I'd be asked that question over and over again. I've always been a bit what people term psychic and so was my mum, even more so, which explains it to a point.
"As far as the answer goes, I think you only have to listen to the product we all came up with to get an idea. Ozzy was the 'name' and selling point of the band, and of course his input was very important as a part of the recognizable sound. The overall direction of the music and the trademarks came from a total of the ingredients, that is, the chemistry of the four people that joined together to 'bake the cake'. To quote a lesser used cliché, the whole was much bigger than just the sum of the parts. Randy was such an important ingredient, with the great flair in his guitar playing style and his classical music family background. But I think that each and every member was as important as the next, no-one was any more important in making the final music than anyone else. Ozzy had just been fired from BLACK SABBATH for being drunk and non-productive and he wasn't much different with the new band, which was called BLIZZARD OF OZZ. This was NOT an Ozzy 'solo' record as they, the Osbournes, will now tell you.
"But to get back to answering the question, it was great to work with both Ozzy and Randy and equally enjoyable to work with Lee Kerslake (drums). The four of us had a great time in those early years making music together. The first album was done without Sharon (Osbourne) on the scene and when she began managing the band the camaraderie went out the window. She wanted to focus on Ozzy and make it the Ozzy show and she had dollar signs in her eyes looking at Randy. Sharon and Ozzy didn't recognize the winning formula staring them in the face and decided they wanted to fire Lee to get Tommy Aldridge in as drummer, but I wouldn't agree so they fired both of us. When we first went into the studio to record, we didn't think about what was going to be a hit or what was going to make money or get airplay, we just wrote and played the music we loved and that's an important characteristic in the magic of it all. I think later that Ozzy got 'Sharonized' and as history tells, Randy got killed. Randy wanted out from them anyway. He didn't know how to get out of his contract or how to get away from the Osbourne camp. In the end, sadly he found his own way I guess. Long live his memory."
Rockdetector.com: You mentioned before that Randy wanted out of the whole Ozzy and Sharon thing, what did he say to you, how did he show that he didn’t want to be involved with them anymore?
Bob Daisley: "Randy wanted to get out of the rock business and study/concentrate on classical guitar. He was serious about music and wanted to deepen his knowledge and involvement in music theory and the classics. There was also a deal done by Sharon and Ozzy with Sharon's father, Don Arden (Jet Records), where Ozzy and the current band were to record a whole album of BLACK SABBATH songs live and Randy hated that idea. He was contracted to Ozzy and Sharon and felt trapped. When Ozzy found out that Randy wanted out, he punched him in the face and called him an ungrateful little shit. Randy didn't hate rock music or the music of BLACK SABBATH but he did hate feeling trapped and he did want to get away from the rock business to study more seriously. Who knows, maybe if he'd had his way, he would have studied classical guitar for a while and come back to rock stronger than ever. I'd like to think so."