While chatting recently with Stefan Adika, original Ozzy Osbourne bassist Bob Daisley recalled the singer’s early solo career days and how the band got together. But although we know guitarist Randy Rhoads and Lee Kerslake as original members, Ozzy tried other musicians too. During the interview, Daisley recalled (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):
“Ozzy came back to England, and this was in 1979. And then, Ozzy was going to put another band together, and it was David Arden [of] Jet Records (Don Arden’s son, Ozzy’s then-manager and future brother-in-law), he said, ‘I’ve got your train ticket, go up to Ozzy, see if you’re interested.’ I loved Ozzy, we got on like a house on fire.
“We had a great laugh together, and we just felt that the vibe was right. And after we had a little knock together, he and I went out in the kitchen, we were making a cup of tea, and I said to Ozzy, ‘Look, I’d love to work with you.’ And I really liked the idea of that.
“And I said, ‘But the other guys, they’re okay, they’re nice guys, and they play okay, but I don’t think they’re world-class.’ And he said, ‘Hang on a minute.’ He had this sort of like rehearsal room built integrally on his house, and he walked in and said, ‘Pack up fellas, you can go. It’s not working out.’ And that was them gone.”
Of course, when they were looking for a guitar player, Randy Rhoads wasn’t really a big name. And, weirdly enough, he almost wasn’t hired by Ozzy. Daisley explained:
“It was after that, that [Ozzy] said to me, ‘I met this other guitar teacher in LA. His name’s Randy Rhoads.’ I said, ‘Well, let’s get him over.’ But when he said ‘guitar teacher’, I envisaged this older guy with pipe and slippers and a cardigan. David Arden didn’t want to do it, because he was in charge of the band at that point.“
“He didn’t want to fly Randy over. He said, ‘He’s unknown, he’s young, nobody’s heard of him.’ But then, David Arden’s words were, and I still remember [them], ‘Against my better judgment, I flew him over.’“
“The three of us caught a train up to Ozzy’s, and we stayed over there. And we had that first play together, in Ozzy’s rehearsal room at his house.“
“And as soon as Randy and I started playing together, at the end of the first little knock that we had together, we said to each other, ‘Well, great, this is good.’ I said, ‘I like the way you play,’ and he said that to me, almost at the same time, almost the same words. We knew that it was going to happen.”
Not long after the release of Ozzy’s debut album “Blizzard of Ozz,” Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley were fired, ultimately both joining Uriah Heep. However, it was before one of their gigs that they found out about the infamous plane accident and Randy’s unfortunate passing. He said:
“We were going to be playing at a big club in Houston called Cardi’s…The day we flew in was a night off, so we said, ‘Well, we’ll go down to Cardi’s and just have a look…’ And as we were walking in, the girl at the door said, ‘Oh, you guys were with Ozzy, weren’t you? I think a few of them got killed this morning. There was a plane crash.’ I had thought of maybe them being on some sort of commercial flight or something. And she said, ‘I don’t know much about it, just happened this morning, but if you go in and ask the DJ in the club, he knows about it.’
“So I went in, and Lee kept on walking and went and got a drink… And when I went to the DJ, he told me it was Rachel, who was the seamstress, sort of wardrobe lady, the pilot, and Randy, the three of them were killed in this small plane. And, oh man, it just blew me away. I went and sat next to Lee and I was speechless. He turned around, he said, ‘God, what’s wrong with you? You’ve gone all pale.’ And that’s when I told him, I said, ‘Randy got killed this morning.’ We didn’t know the other two… Lee and I went back to our hotel, and we just sat in the bar, drank ourselves silly and cried and cried, because it was just awful.”
Photo: Randy Rhoads21314, Ted Van Pelt (Ozzy Osbourne 1982)