The music business is tough. Regardless of the opportunities that the Internet has given to creators, it is the rich that still control the business. The term rich these days can range from executives to artists. For those artists that played the game and succeeded, kudos to them. For those artists that played the game, succeeded, lost it all and re-succeeded, special kudos to them.
However as time passes, the artists and executives that have come out on top start to rewrite history, trumping up their roles in previous events in order to suit their point of view and positions of power in the present day.
The wife of Peter Criss has called his biography “full of lies”. Tom Werman has disputed events in Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries”. Dee Snider even disputed the authenticity of an heroin addict keeping a diary.
However, what happens when an artist in a position of power at the moment, does their best to undermine the work of previous people in their career. One such case is Ozzy Osbourne and his partner in crime Sharon Osbourne.
Has anyone heard of the “Whigs”? The whiggish view on history is a view which holds that history follows a path of inevitable progression and improvement and which judges the past in light of the present. They fail to look at other factors and failures or other paths that where taken.
This is what the Osbourne’s have done to Bob Daisley. They are trying to re-write history to show that Ozzy Osbourne himself was the main reason why his solo career progressed. They are omitting important facts that when Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley signed on, it was always spoken of as a band. They are omitting important facts that the band was actually called Blizzard Of Ozz. They are omitting important facts of Ozzy punching Randy, because Randy didn’t want to do a live covers album of Black Sabbath songs. Most importantly, they are omitting the main fact, that Bob Daisley served as the lyricist for the band for six albums.
The first slap in the face of Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake was the “Diary of A Madman” album. On the sleeve, Rudy Sarzo is credited as playing bass and Tommy Aldridge is credited as drummer, however both people have come out and said that they didn’t play a note on the album. Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake played on the album, however they are not credited. That is why a dispute occurred. It is in relation to unpaid performance royalties.
In 1986, Daisley and Kerslake took Jet Records and Don Arden (Sharon’s father) to a London court. Of course they won the case, and they thought that they would get their royalties and that “Diary of a Madman” credits would be changed. It didn’t happen. Having had a long relationship with Ozzy, he still believed that it would be sorted out. Promises were made, however nothing changed. His life was threatened when he asked about his royalties.
Unbeknown to Daisley was that Ozzy and Sharon had bought the rights to Ozzy from Don Arden and Jet Records in 1983.
If Daisley was not good at what he did, why would the Osborne’s call him back to write lyrics and music for “Bark At The Moon”, “The Ultimate Sin”, “No Rest For The Wicked” and “No More Tears”.
Daisley was constantly ignored, until he took the Osborne’s to court for unpaid performance royalties for the “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman” albums. In response to that, the Osbourne camp removed both Daisley’s bass and drummer Lee Kerslake’s parts from the new re-issued versions of Blizzard and Diary, opting for Ozzy’s current drummer (Mike Bordin from Faith No More) and bass player (Rob Trujilo now Metallica) to record their own parts onto the CD. This happened for the 2002 re-issues.
However in 2011, the original tracks were reinstated for the 30th anniversary issue.
Entertainment attorney Steven Machat, who was involved in the deal Osbourne signed with Jet Records, said in his 2011 book “Gods, Gangsters and Honour: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Odyssey” that Osbourne’s soon-to-be manager and wife Sharon Arden was not happy with the level of creative input Kerslake, Rhoads and Daisley had in the “Blizzard of Ozz” album and did not want them to share the credit.
As a songwriter I have had people that were not even in the band when the song was created put in song writer percentages claims on songs. Those songs I also had registered years prior. It is a frustrating and unregulated process, where the onus was on me, the main songwriter to prove that I was the sole songwriter, while the fraud claimers on my songs just sat back. Because, they didn’t care. If I couldn’t prove that they were my songs, then they get a credit for something they didn’t do. If I could prove that they were my songs, then they just lied a bit more, until they lost interest. So I can feel the frustration and disappointment that Bob Daisley would have felt being written out of Ozzy’s history as merely a session player.
Especially when you look at the plethora of information out there that clearly states that Ozzy’s post Sabbath project was a band. All of the Randy Rhoads material written after his death states the same, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake state the same, initial publicity releases state the same, however Ozzy and Sharon state differently.
The sad thing is that if anyone reads the credits to the “Bark At The Moon” album, you will see it listed as “All music and lyrics by Ozzy Osbourne.” Like, yeah right, Ozzy really churned out all of those riffs. It is sad at to what level the Osbourne’s stooped at that stage. One more thing, read the book from Ozzy and tell me how many times he mention Jake E. Lee in the book. But that is a story for another day.