Alex Skolnick Recalls Haphazard Ozzy Osbourne Experience
Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick recalled his experience of being given the job of replacing Zakk Wylde in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, only for the role to last for just one gig.
He joined up in 1995 following a successful audition, but by that time he’d already found himself bewildered with the haphazard manner in which the Osbourne organization operated.
“The audition was in London – they had a whole line of guys there,” Skolnick told Let There Be Talk in a recent interview (via Bravewords). “I was told beforehand that Ozzy hates to rehearse, he'll probably just call out a song. I heard someone say, 'Dude, nobody has lasted a song.' Deen Castronovo was on drums, Geezer Butler was on bass.”
Skolnick played three songs as Osbourne called them out, and was asked to return the following day, when they went through a “whole setlist” together. He was told to expect a call and to be ready to fly out when it came, which is what happened around three months later. “I got a call from Sharon [Osbourne] and she said, 'Could you get on a plane to London today?' out of the blue,” he said.
“They booked a show in Nottingham, a medium-sized theater that's on the circuit, but there was one more rehearsal and he didn't make it, he had a sore throat. The gig was off, Geezer was angry, and then it was on again. Everything happened on a whim; I just never experienced that. Once it was back on again, the crew had already left, so me and the drummer and a couple other guys were huffing gear. The show went well, Ozzy told me that I got the gig, he gave me a big hug and the whole crew said that they didn't see him that happy since Randy [Rhoads]. That was crazy. The only one that didn't congratulate me afterward was Sharon.”
Weeks later he received another call, saying that he hadn’t in fact been given the role. “[K]nowing what I know now, I think that [Sharon], as an entertainment person, she was used to the Zakk thing. She's used to Zakk, the lumberjack, and Joe Holmes got the gig.”
Listen to Alex Skolnick on 'Let There Be Talk'
Alex Skolnick Performs ‘Crazy Train’ with Ozzy Osbourne