In his first interview since filing a lawsuit last week against Ozzy Osbourne for unpaid royalties, veteran bassist Bob Daisley talks with music journalist Joel Gausten about his reasons behind taking legal action, the mechanics of songwriting and performance royalties and his response to Osbourne's recent statement about the suit. An excerpt from the chat appears below.
Joel Gausten: Unsurprisingly, the Osbourne camp has issued a press release regarding your new suit. What is your response?
Daisley: "[Laughs] What they've said isn't very accurate. Yes, I have had publishing money from the songwriting over the past 35 years. As far as what I've received being in the millions, no, it isn't in the millions. They've also said 'Mr. Daisley's now in retirement,' and they try to make it look like, 'Oh, he's in retirement and now he needs money because he's not doing anything.' I wouldn't care if I had $50 trillion — if somebody's taking advantage of me, I want to put a stop to it. I choose not to tour anymore, that's all, but I still write, play and record, and I'm currently doing a project that is a tribute to Gary Moore. There are some wonderful people on it who are either connected to the Gary Moore family tree or directly connected to the band. I'm just waiting on a couple of performances to come, and then we can start mixing and that album will be out. I'm really, really pleased that I've been able to do a tribute to Gary. He was amazing. The Osbournes also said in their press release that I'm ‘harassing' them... I'm not harassing anybody. I have had to resort to legal action to get the money they owe me. And I look forward to all of the true facts coming out in the lawsuit."
Joel Gausten: They also said that you have an "unhealthy personal obsession" with Ozzy and resentment towards his success.
Daisley: "[Laughs] No, I'm not obsessed. It's great that Ozzy built a lot of his success on the stuff that we wrote, because his whole career and empire was built on the foundation of those first two albums that put him back on the map. That's the foundation of what Ozzy and Sharon are sitting on. I wish Ozzy every success. I just have a problem with not getting paid properly."
Joel Gausten: It just seems it would be easier for them to simply pay you.
Daisley: "[Laughs] It would have been a lot easier. Let's look at it this way. There was enough money and enough success to pay everybody fairly and honestly. You don't need to take money out of other people's pockets, especially the people who helped your career… I don't get it. I would prefer not having to go to court. But when you're being taken advantage of, that is the remedy you have. I've also been asked why I waited so long to take action regarding these royalties and the answer is simple. The Osbournes were good at hiding what they were doing, and it was only relatively recently that I found out what was happening to me."
The complete interview is available at www.joelgausten.com.