What All Of Ozzy Osbourne's Former Bandmates Have Said About Him

Long renowned as the "Godfather of Metal" or "Prince of Darkness," Ozzy Osbourne has electrified audiences for over five decades now. Whether as part of Black Sabbath or his own solo band, tracks such as "War Pigs," "Iron Man," "Crazy Train," and "Bark at the Moon" have become staples of heavy metal and generally regarded as some of the best songs of the genre. However, Osbourne hasn't done it all by himself. He has shared the stage and recording studio with countless musicians, who have all helped to shape the music and add their own unique touch to his legacy.

Like most working partnerships, though, some of these relationships develop into friendships that span across multiple decades, while others deteriorate over time. Considering Osbourne's stature and appeal in the music industry, many of his former bandmates are asked about him on a regular basis — and let's say some of their revelations and comments may surprise even the most ardent of fans. So let's take a look at what Ozzy Osborne's former bandmates have said about him in the past.

Zakk Wylde

Guitarist Zakk Wylde's name has become synonymous with Ozzy Osbourne. Throughout the years, he has been in and out of Osbourne's solo band, while also building up a reputation for himself as the leader of his own heavy metal group, Black Label Society (via AllMusic). While Wylde has long transcended being seen simply as Osbourne's hired gun, the sublime six-string shredder still holds a special place in his heart for the man who helped take him to the next level in the music industry. Having spent so much time with Osbourne, he also holds a different perspective on him compared to most people. 

Speaking to AXS TV, Wylde suggested the metal legend could have had another successful career if he decided music wasn't for him anymore. "With Oz, it's a miracle any work ever gets done ... All's you gotta do is hang out with him for, like, five minutes, you'll be on the floor crying," Wylde said. "Because he's always taking the p*** out of himself and or whatever else is going on in the world. He's the best. If he wasn't this legendary frontman and singer and everything like that, he'd have to do stand-up." Judging by some of Osbourne's hilarious quips and observations on "The Osbournes," Wylde's comments aren't surprising in the least.

Rob 'Blasko' Nicholson

Rob "Blasko" Nicholson is no stranger to the music industry. Even though he's been slapping the bass for Ozzy Osbourne's solo band since 2003, as per For Bass Players Only, he has performed with the likes of Rob Zombie and Danzig, while also maintaining another successful career as a band manager to artists such as Black Veil Brides and In This Moment (via Discogs). Regardless of his individual success, he's still appreciative of the opportunity to play in Osbourne's band, since he believes the band members are only there at the privilege of the frontman, who is the undisputed star of the show and the person whom the audience has come to see.

Blasko told Uber Rock that Osbourne "is like the Frank Sinatra of metal," since he's able to pick and choose whom he shares the stage with. At the same time, his discography and songs transcend any members or lineups, as they are seminal pieces of music history, and it doesn't matter who is up there with Osbourne since they're his songs. In Blasko's case, however, he has had a solid gig playing with Osbourne for two decades, so the job security has been fairly decent for him.

Geezer Butler

People come into another's life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. In the case of Black Sabbath, the core members of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward were destined to change the face of heavy metal together. Reflecting on the band's legacy with MusicRadar, Butler discussed his recruitment of Osbourne for his previous group known as Rare Breed, as well as his initial thoughts on him.

"My first impression of Ozzy was that he was not the full shilling, as we used to say back then," he said. "I'd seen his 'Ozzy Zig Needs Gig' advert in the local musical instruments store and noticed he lived a few streets away from me in Aston. I went around to his house, but he wasn't in." Butler revealed that Osbourne eventually came to his house to meet him. What he didn't expect was the sight in front of his eyes. There was Osbourne — bald, "with a factory gown on, no shoes or socks, a chimney brush over his shoulder, and a sneaker on a dog lead," remembers Butler. Somehow, this eccentric package sold Butler on the idea of Osbourne becoming the ideal frontman for his band.

Gus G

Greek guitar god Gus G shredded his way into Ozzy Osbourne's solo project thanks to his impressive work in his own band Firewind. Despite his burgeoning reputation in the music community as one of the best players around, even he felt the jitters when he encountered the metal god known as Ozzy Osbourne for the first time in 2009. Speaking to That Metal Interview, Gus G revealed he received an email inviting him to audition for the band from someone at Sharon Osbourne's office. He learnt the licks for the songs and headed off to Los Angeles to strut his stuff, where the enormity of what he was doing caught up with him at the audition. Yet, it was Ozzy Osbourne who calmed him down.

"He was like, 'Hey man, take it easy. Let's just jam and don't worry if you play a few notes wrong — it's rock 'n' roll, that's what happens. Just play with all your heart. Let's do it,'" Gus G said. "He was just a very nice and very sweet guy, very warm-hearted. He broke the ice right away." The guitarist revealed that once they started playing, they got caught up in the music, and all the anxiety washed away.

Randy Rhoads

Tragically, Randy Rhoads passed away at the tender age of 25 after a plane crash in 1982, just as his star was beginning to rise (via Ultimate Classic Rock). Despite being so young, Randy Rhoads left his mark on the music scene as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and creator of many of the band's most iconic riffs such as "Crazy Train." More importantly, he inspired a generation of guitarists, as his speedy, technical style of playing helped to shape the future of heavy metal.

Even though he received the opportunity of a lifetime to play alongside the "Godfather of Metal," Randy Rhoads admitted that while he respected Black Sabbath, he wasn't a fan of theirs, as revealed by the "Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon" documentary. His brother, Kelle Rhoads, revealed that Randy believed Black Sabbath's music to be slow and grim for his own liking. Also, the guitarist couldn't quite understand why Osbourne tattooed his name on his hand, saying, "Who the f*** would write his name on his hand?"

Despite his misgivings, Randy Rhoads went on audition for Osbourne's band and was given the job immediately, as per Ultimate Classic Rock. The rest is history.

Tony Iommi

Much like any other band on Earth, Black Sabbath has had their fair share of drama and turmoil. The members have gotten along famously, then they haven't, with the cycle being repeated countless times. However, after they embarked on their final tour in 2017 (via Rolling Stone), they seem to be on better terms with each other overall. That said, it isn't like they're constantly messaging memes to each other or sharing football banter, as guitarist Tony Iommi revealed, as per  Far Out Magazine, that they don't really keep in touch. However, it isn't for the reason that they despise each other, but something far more innocent.

"We don't really speak because we are useless on the phone, the pair of us," Iommi said. "I think we stopped that when he used to phone me at two o'clock in the morning and I'd go, 'Oz, it's two o'clock in the morning.' 'Oh, oh, sorry. Alright. Bye.'"

Well, with the Osbournes moving back to the United Kingdom permanently, as per The Guardian, maybe it will be a lot easier for Ozzy Osbourne and Iommi to stay in touch and actually see each other instead of relying on their non-existent phone conversations. The two actually collaborated on a song for Osbourne's 2022 album, "Patient Number 9," as per Rolling Stone. Of the partnership, Iommi said, "I like what Ozzy sang on it. I think he did a really good job."

Bill Ward

When Black Sabbath embarked on their final tour, there was one missing component: drummer Bill Ward. It seemed odd, especially considering Ward's importance to the heavy metal band's legacy. However, the drummer had been absent for a few years before that, as he cited a bad contract that had been tabled to him, as per Rolling Stone. Ozzy Osbourne told Mojo (via Ultimate Classic Rock) that the reason the band parted ways with Ward was because he struggled to remember his drum parts, and they couldn't make it work.

Ward was unhappy about the accusations levelled against him, taking to his official Facebook page to lament his former bandmates, especially Osbourne, for their comments. "I'm looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy's statements that I felt were untrue," Ward wrote. "I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs." The feud between Ward and Black Sabbath went back and forth for several years afterwards. Ultimately, the band completed the final tour without their original drummer.

Later, following the final show of the Black Sabbath reunion in 2017, Ward said of the parting of ways (via Rolling Stone), "The biggest loss has been Oz. I loved him in a very special way. That's been the toughest one to let go and to wish him farewell and happiness in his life and everything else."

Adam Wakeman

One of the longest serving members of Ozzy Osbourne's solo band is keyboardist Adam Wakeman. He is also the son of Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who has known Osbourne for many years, having contributed his talents to the Black Sabbath album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" in the past. Appearing on Talking Metal (via Ultimate Guitar), Adam revealed that while Osbourne has the ability to have anyone he wants in the band with him, he's fairly loyal to them and prefers stability to chaos — something that might sound ironic considering his persona.

"I think everybody knows that Ozzy is not one of those revolving door-type guys," Wakeman said. "He values the people in the band, and at the same time, we're fully aware that he can have whoever he likes in the band. He can call up anybody, he's Ozzy Osbourne. We're all grateful to be here." The keyboardist also added that Osbourne never misses a beat to tell him older stories about his father and their time in the music scene together.

Tommy Clufetos

Ozzy Osbourne has shared the stage with many talented drummers, including Tommy Clufetos. The drummer stepped in as a touring member and session musician for Black Sabbath in the past, as per Ultimate Classic Rock, but he's also been the main man to hit the skins for Osbourne's solo band. Much like the other musos in the band, Clufetos is a huge fan of the vocalist and believes he's one of the greatest of all time for a specific reason.

"He has charisma," Clufetos revealed in an interview for the "Memoirs of a Madman" DVD. "He is entertaining. It's in his blood. That's what separates him from so many entertainers from the past or nowadays. He has that charisma thing that great entertainers have, not just the music, they have the other thing that draws people to them."

Clufetos makes an excellent point about Osbourne and goes on to tell music blog Misplaced Straws that Osbourne is pretty much the greatest, even comparing his stage presence to that of Elvis Presley. "I'll always play with Ozzy as long as he [asks me] to play with him," Clufetos said.

Mike Bordin

Imagine being drummer Mike Bordin for a second here. Not only did he perform with a once-in-a-generation talent like vocalist Mike Patton in Faith No More, but he also laid down the beats for arguably the greatest figure in heavy metal history. Alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Bordin has had the opportunity to rock stages all across the world and perform for a vast audience, including the queen of England, who certainly must have thrown the horns in the air for a track or two.

Bordin revealed to Modern Drummer that he believes himself to be the biggest Black Sabbath fan and wanted to play the drum beats the way they had been originally recorded. However, he was surprised by Osbourne's attitude towards the music and not being stuck in the past like others might be. "The thing that I thought was really interesting going in was learning the classic tunes, and then finding out that Ozzy's approach to them had changed," Bordin said. "I remember him saying, 'Well, we don't do it like that anymore. We do it like this.' I realized that over the years of working with different drummers, those tunes — and Ozzy — had evolved."

Bordin also reiterated what many other bandmates have said about the legend: "His personality is so huge. He's larger than life. ... it's an awesome thing to be part of that and feel that."

Rob Trujillo

Before joining Metallica as their bassist, Rob Trujillo had a stint in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band. He was even a part of the controversial re-recordings of the albums "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" that attracted a lot of attention due to Bob Daisley's royalty dispute with Osbourne (via PopMatters). Trujillo, though, has happy memories of his time with the "Godfather of Metal," including the fun and wild times on stage that influenced one of his trademark dance moves.

"He and I started doing this dance together [that] ended up becoming the 'crab walk,'" Trujillo told MMA Junkie about their good times playing together. "He would do all kinds of weird stuff — he'd pull your hair, scratch you, try to bite you, something weird. I was warned about this, and he would do that." Trujillo added that it was quite the surreal experience, considering he had been a fan of Osbourne since he was a teen. 

Good thing that Osbourne didn't think Trujillo was a bat. Otherwise, he may not have had the chance to play with Metallica at all. 

Bob Daisley

Bassist Bob Daisley played a pivotal part in shaping the sound of Ozzy Osbourne's solo band in the years after he departed Black Sabbath. Daisley wasn't too fazed by joining a group with such a renowned superstar, though, since he had already played with the likes of Ritchie Blackmore and made a name for himself in the music scene. The bassist admitted to Rolling Stone that he and Osbourne hit it off immediately, and the former Black Sabbath frontman even listened to his advice to get rid of two band members who weren't quite up to scratch. 

"I loved him as a guy," he said. "We got on really well straight away. I said, 'To be honest with you, are you set on these other two guys?' He said, 'Why?' I said, 'They're alright. They are good, but there's no spark there. There is nothing special about the situation.'" Daisley added that Osbourne walked out of the kitchen, straight into the room where the other two musicians were playing, and told them to pack their bags and go.