Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick played guitar for Ozzy Osbourne in 1995. During in a recent interview with Let There Be Talk, he remembered his first audition for Ozzy’s band.
Here’s the statement:
“I auditioned during ’95. At that point, I think Zakk [Wylde] was starting to do his own thing, maybe it was Black Label Society. I think the story I heard was that he was going out for a drink with Axl [Rose]. Sometimes it leads to bands getting together. Ian Gillan joining Black Sabbath, that happened that way – in a bar, you know.
So yeah, they wanted a replacement for Zakk, they recorded [1995’s] ‘Ozzmosis’; I was recommended, I got sent demos of ‘Ozzmosis,’ they sent me like, everything Ozzy did – I still have them.
I flew over there, the audition was in London – they had a whole line of guys there. Surely enough, I went in. I was told beforehand that Ozzy hates to rehearse – he’ll probably just call out a song. And he called out like three songs. I heard someone say, ‘Dude, nobody has lasted a song.’ [Journey’s] Deen Castronovo was on drums, Geezer [Butler] was on bass.”
“I had this Les Paul Gold Top. I had recently got that, no tremolo. I was told, ‘Ozzy rock ‘n’ rolls Les Pauls and Marshalls.’ He had to be convinced, and if you have like [the wrong] gear, don’t let him see it. I think the second song was ‘Crazy Train.’ I was doing deep breaths. ‘This is not happening, whatever.’
It went well, they wanted me to come back the next day. So I came back the next day, we did a whole setlist, like 10 songs. I think three months went by, they didn’t know when they were going to set up the auditions so, ‘You’ll get a call, and we’ll set up a flight. Just be ready.’
So I got a call from Sharon and she said, ‘Could you get on a plane to London today?’, out of the blue.
It ended up not working out. I got the gig according to him [Ozzy]. They booked a show in Nottingham, a medium-sized theater that’s on the circuit – I’ve actually played there before. 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. That was crazy.
The only one that didn’t congratulate me afterward was Sharon. So I got a call weeks later, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m assuming, ‘I would’ve heard something by now,’ but yeah, knowing what I know now, I think that she, 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 the entire interview below. Click here to source of the statement.