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Former Ozzy Osbourne Bandmate Bob Daisley Dishes Dirt on Last Year’s Ozzy Reissues

Ozzy
Dave Hogan / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The 30th anniversary reissues of Ozzy Osbourne‘s seminal ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ and ‘Diary of a Madman’ albums that were released last year were important to fans if for no other reason than the simple fact that bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake’s contributions to the discs had been restored.

Remember, the previous 2002 reissues were marred by controversy due to creative editing and revisionist history on the Osbournes’ part, as Daisley and Kerslake’s work was re-recorded by other musicians, note-for-note, thanks to ongoing issues regarding royalties and writing credits. It was, in a word, a mess.

While Daisley and Kerslake’s contributions have been edited back into the most recent batch of reissues, Daisley is spilling the beans — all of ‘em — in both his memoir ‘For Facts Sake’ and in an interview with Rock Cellar Magazine. His frank discussion of his place in the band and his feelings about the situation will curry no favor with Ozzy’s wife and manager Sharon Osbourne, and Daisley certainly slings the mud, since he feels he was wronged and wants to set the record straight.

The chat is lengthy, but here’s the main points of his side of the story:

The 2011 box reissues and anniversary box set could have had much more bonus material, since he has an archive full of writing sessions, rehearsals and clips of songs taking shape. “I offered to supply tapes of our rehearsals and writing sessions, to go as proper bonus material. And I just said that I wanted a royalty out of it, because it’s my stuff,” Daisley said. “But they wouldn’t do it because they didn’t want to give me a royalty — they just wanted to buy it.”

Daisley contends he wanted a small royalty, but called the Osbournes “too greedy and self-absorbed” to pay him rightfully for hours upon hours of material, which he recorded for reference at the time, not out of foresight that he could be paid for it down the road. He also says he could have contributed photos to the accompanying coffee table book.

Sharon Osbourne’s recent statement to Guitar World that “Kerslake and Daisley stuck together in the band because they were the last two in, so to speak … they were session guys who could come and go” is not accurate, according to Daisley. The bassist takes umbrage with that assertion. He said, “It’s ridiculous for her to say we were ‘the last two in,’ so to speak. Ozzy and I started the band, and when we did, he hadn’t even mentioned Randy Rhoads yet. I’ve kept diaries since the beginning of 1976, so I’ve got every single event and date, and who did what, written down.”

Daisley’s account of the writing process is also detailed in this chat. “A lot of the songs were instigated by Randy, and then mostly he and I would sit on chairs opposite to one another and work out parts for the overall song” he said, adding that he and Rhoads wrote “a good portion of it.” Vocal melodies came from Ozzy, which he would lay down over instrumentation written by Rhoads and Daisley. Daisley also claims that he wrote 90 percent of the lyrics, but that some of the lyrics were instigated by Ozzy’s melodies.

It’s incendiary stuff, and Daisley certainly doesn’t hold back as he shares his recollection of events. Which side are you on?

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