1967 – Born on this day, Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne Band, (1986 UK No.20 single ‘Shot In The Dark’).
Zakk Wylde (born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is an American musician, who is best known for his roles as a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and founder of heavy metal band Black Label Society. He was lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist he released Book of Shadows in 1996.
The early years
Wylde started playing the guitar at the age of 14 and worked at Silverton Music in Silverton, New Jersey. He grew up in Jackson, New Jersey, and went to Jackson Memorial High School, where he graduated in 1985. Wylde has stated that he would practice playing the guitar as much as 12 hours per day and often would play the guitar almost non-stop between coming home from school and leaving for school the next morning, then sleeping through the school day.
Growing up, Wylde played locally with his first band, “Stone Henge”, then later with local Jersey band “Zyris”. He was taught by neo classical guitarist Sean Roche. Years later, the then unknown 19 year-old Wylde landed the coveted role as lead guitarist and co-writer for Ozzy Osbourne. He sent Ozzy a demo tape in 1987 and was hired to replace Jake E. Lee. Jake E. Lee had replaced the deceased Randy Rhoads, Ozzy’s principal guitarist in the post-Black Sabbath period, beginning in late 1979. Wylde has stated that he has no respect for musicians who release material “not true to themselves”. The late Randy Rhoads, a rock original, remains Wylde’s foremost guitar-playing and stagecraft influence.
He is known for his use of Gibson Les Paul Custom model guitars with a “bulls-eye” graphic on them, a design he used to deliberately differentiate himself visually from Randy Rhoads – who was also frequently identified by his white Les Paul Custom. Interestingly, one of Wylde’s favorite stage guitars of late is a replica of Rhoads’ Flying V. The “bulls-eye” paint job was originally supposed to look like the spiral from the movie Vertigo, but when it came back incorrect from the luthier, he liked the result and stuck with it.
Wylde’s signature Les Pauls include, a red and flame-maple bulls-eye model, a black and antique-white bulls-eye model, an orange “buzz-saw” model, which Zakk got the pattern off a zippo lighter , and a “camo” bulls-eye model with mother of pearl neck inlays and a green camouflage paint scheme. His original bulls-eye Les Paul was bought from one of the owners of Meteltronics Amplification. Metaltronics was building a one-off live rig for Zakk that was designed around one of the owner’s guitars, a creamy white Les Paul Custom with EMG’s — to become known as “The Grail”.
Zakk showed a strong interest towards a particular guitar, “The Grail”, the ever-present Bullseye-painted Gibson Les Paul custom, and eventually was able to barter for it by trading for two other Les Pauls. It somehow became lost to Wylde for some time when it fell off the truck as he was traveling between gigs in Texas. Rewards were posted to anyone that had information about the guitar. Wylde and The Grail were reunited years later when a fan bought it at a Dallas pawn shop and saw the initials “Z.W.” carved into the humbucker pickups backs. He contacted Wylde’s former webmaster Randy Canis to arrange its return to Wylde ZakkWylde.com.
Return to Ozzy
Ozzy has always left the option open to his band members to leave if they wish, but Wylde has stayed faithfully by Ozzy’s side ever since he was a teenager (although Zakk was replaced in Osbourne’s band by Joe Holmes from 1995 until his return in 2001).
On January 17, 2006, Zakk Wylde was immortalized at the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame located at 7425 Sunset Blvd, featuring his handprints and signature, in recognition to his successful career as a musician and contribution to music industry. The event was open to the public and many rock celebrities were present, including Osbourne.
Ozzy Osbourne was auditioning new guitarists for future material in 2005/2006 but announced Wylde as the official guitarist for his new album, Black Rain. Wylde on stage with Ozzy gives Ozzy’s show performances a forceful, timeless rock energy—witness the superior, show-closing stage work on “VH1 Rock Honors” broadcast recorded live in 2007 in Las Vegas—classic Ozzy on stage; Wylde honoring the Randy Rhoads influence in the music (See Appearances below). Wylde appears to be Ozzy’s stage and recording guitarist for the foreseeable future.
Black Label Society’s latest album, Shot To Hell, was released on September 11, 2006 (UK), 12, 2006 (US) through Roadrunner records with production by Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Black Label Society headlined the 2nd stage at the 2006 Ozzfest, with Wylde playing double duty with Ozzy on certain dates. Ozzy’s new album, Black Rain, was released in May 2007. Zakk Wylde is currently working a new film called The Berserkers, with Zakk taking on responsibilities for script and production.
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Wylde and his wife, Barbaranne, have 3 children; a daughter, Hayley-Rae, a son, Jesse John Michael (named after Ozzy Osbourne), and another son, Hendrix Halen Michael Rhoads (named after Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Mike Piazza, and Randy Rhoads). He and his family live outside of Los Angeles. He and Barbaranne both attended Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, New Jersey. Zakk was a close friend of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, founding member of Pantera and Damageplan, since 1993, exchanging guitars in admiration for one another as fellow guitarists. Wylde had given Dimebag one of his custom Gibson guitars with the trademark “bulls-eye” design on it shortly before Dimebag was shot and killed while performing in Columbus, OH on Dec. 8, 2004. Likewise, Dimebag had a customized Dean Razorback painted with the bullseye design for Wylde. Zakk dedicated the song “In This River” to Dimebag, citing that although the song wasn’t originally written for him, the lyrics were fitting to the situation. The song gained a new importance and was changed from its original format during the live performances with the addition of more solos, with Zakk playing with the Dean Razorback guitar Dime had given him. He dedicates each live performance of the song to Dimebag and, several times, he even cried on stage when playing the song. He has also stated it will be played at every Black Label Society concert as long as he is touring. Zakk is Irish Catholic.
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Wylde has made guest appearances on many albums, such as the debut album for Damageplan as guest vocalist and guitar on the tracks “Soul Bleed” and “Reborn.” He has also worked on four of Derek Sherinian’s solo albums: “Inertia”, “Black Utopia”, “Mythology” and “Blood of the Snake” alongside Yngwie Malmsteen among others.
On August 1st, 1993, Zakk appeared on stage with the Allman Brothers on lead guitar since Dickey Betts was unable to make the show, and they needed a guitarist at the last minute. This show is documented on the bootleg “Zakk Goes Wylde.”
Wylde’s film credits include Rock Star (As “Ghode”, guitarist of the fictitious band Steel Dragon) and the concert DVD Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned (Certified Platinum), recorded at Harpo’s in Detroit, MI. It was the first time in the concert hall’s history that all of the alcohol had been consumed on one night (Wylde’s favorite beer is Sierra Nevada). It should be noted that his next concert DVD The European Invasion: Doom Troopin’ was released in 2006. He has also done a comedy skit show alongside Jim Breuer, titled “Crapshoot”, which is now available on DVD.
Zakk Wylde also appeared on the TV show Angel in the season 4 episode The Magic Bullet where he plays acoustic on the song “Mandy” while Angel and Conner sing along.
Wylde has also appeared as a guest star on the TV show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. In it, he plays guitar on a track produced by Master Shake that is supposed to become the next big birthday song, which is called “Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary.” Wylde becomes irate when he finds out that Master Shake cannot pay him for his input on the project. Later in the show, Wylde is killed when caught between the crossfire of two robotic banjo-playing scorpions that apparently were, for some reason, armed with laser cannons.
He is a New York Yankees fan. He performed the National Anthem on the electric guitar during a New York Rangers game in October 2005. He has also played the anthem at Los Angeles Kings and Dodgers games. A video of a Kings performance is included as an extra feature, on the DVD Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned
On January 30, 2007, Zakk along Black Label Society were the musical guests for MTV’s Wrestling Society X debut. Zakk worked the night as a guest commentator as well.
On February 1, 2007 Zakk & Nick Catanese began a tour of acoustic shows at the Hard Rock Cafe in various cities across North America. Although Nick had to leave mid-tour due to unspecified personal reasons, Zakk continued to play shows alone. Zakk performed several songs, on both the acoustic guitar and keyboard. The tour was eventually cancelled due to unspecified reasons.
On February 2, 2007 Zakk Wylde guest hosted on Seattle’s 99.9 KISW on the afternoon program The Men’s Room
On the May 18 edition of WWE Smackdown, Zakk appeared with Ozzy Osbourne to play the hit single “I Don’t Wanna Stop”.
Zakk Wylde, with his Gibson Bullseye ZV guitar, performed alongside Ozzy Osbourne on the 2007 “VH1 Rock Honors” cable broadcast (featuring tributes to and performances by ZZTop, Heart, Genesis, and Ozzy Osbourne), playing the show-closing numbers (with soaring guitar solos) “I Don’t Wanna Stop”, and “Crazy Train”, complete with fireworks, to an auditorium audience in Las Vegas.
Zakk Wylde recorded a guitar duel for the video game Guitar Hero: World Tour and also appears as a playable character.
357 Customs controversy and lawsuit
In December 2005, a promotional offer was posted on ZakkWylde.com, stating that anyone who bought a $100 merchandise gift certificate and a miniature model of a chopper would receive an $800 Epiphone guitar. The offer was posted by custom chopper company 357 Customs, through the then webmaster of ZakkWylde.com. On June 2, 2006, Bob Ringe, Zakk Wylde’s manager, stated on the website that “357 Customs ran a promotion directed toward Zakk’s fans, and
On June 14th, 2006, Zakk Wylde’s attorneys filed suit against 357 Customs Inc. in the Superior Court of the State of California. The suit alleges trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition , false advertising, breach of contract, as well as several other counts. The text of the lawsuit indicates that it was brought about to prevent any further victimization of Zakk’s fans and to recoup unpaid royalties from 357 Customs. There is nothing in the suit indicating specific damages to be recovered on behalf of fans. Text of Lawsuit
On July 5 2006, Black Label Society’s webmaster, Chad Dyer, resigned from the website. He admitted being hired by 357 Customs as their webmaster and claimed that he wasn’t aware of the conflict of interest. To this date, reports are that he has not been paid for the work on 357customs.com, even after it cost him his position with the Black Label Society he held in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006. Various reports note that Dyer was a paid employee of Black Label Society, which was not the case. The posted resignation letter on www.zakkwylde.com that was written by Dyer and signed off on by Zakk’s manager Bob Ringe confirmed that he provided webmaster services at no-charge on account of his friendship with Zakk.
Seeking to bring an end to the episode, on May 8, 2007 Zakk Wylde’s Attorney filed a Request For Dismissal of the case, ending the court litigation and any hope that 357 Customs Inc would be held to account for their actions.
With Pride and Glory
* Pride & Glory (1994)
* 1987 Instrumental Solo Demo Tape
* Book of Shadows (1996)
With Derek Sherinian
* Inertia (2001)
* Black Utopia (2003)
* Mythology (2004)
* Blood of the Snake (2006)
With Black Label Society
* Sonic Brew (1999)
* Stronger Than Death (2000)
* Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live +5 (2001)
* 1919 Eternal (2002)
* The Blessed Hellride (2003)
* Boozed, Broozed, and Broken Boned (DVD) (2003) (Certified Platinum)
* Hangover Music Vol. VI (2004)
* Mafia (2005)
* Kings of Damnation 98-04 (Career Retrospective) (2005)
* Shot To Hell (2006)
* The European Invasion – Doom Troopin’ Live (2006) (DVD)
With Ozzy Osbourne
* No Rest For The Wicked (1988)
* Just Say Ozzy (1990)
* No More Tears (1991)
* Live and Loud (1993)
* Ozzmosis (1995)
* Down to Earth (2001)
* Live At Budokan (2002)
* Black Rain (2007)
* Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell (1989)
* Ward One: Along the Way (1990)
* Dweezil Zappa: Confessions (1991)
* LA Blues Authority (1991)
* Britny Fox: Bite Down Hard (1991)
* Guitars that Rule the World (1992)
* C.P.R (1992)
* Stevie Salas: The Electric Pow Wow (1993)
* Blackfoot:After the reign (1994)
* Stairway to Heaven Tribute (1997)
* Carmine Appice’s Guitar Zeus 2 (1997)
* Hard Pressed – Nobuteura Mada (1997)
* Love: Tokma (1997)
* Merry Axemas Vol.2 – More Guitars (1998)
* RE-SET – Marcy (1998)
* Humanary Stew – A Tribute To Alice Cooper (1999)
* Ozzfest 2001: The Second Millennium (2001)
* Rock Star Soundtrack (2001)
* Themes of Horror (2001)
* Gibson’s 50th Anniversary (2002)
* Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary (2003)
* Damageplan – New Found Power (2004)
* Fozzy – All That Remains (2005)
* VH1 Rock Honors with Ozzy Osbourne (2007)
* Dope – Addiction (solo) (2007)
* Rock2Wgtn with Ozzy Osbourne (2008)
* Monsters of Rock (2008)
* Guitar Hero World Tour as himself (2008)