Doing an interview with Zakk Wylde (Ozzy, Black Label Society) over phone, ended up to be one of the best interviews I ever did. It ended up on the front cover of Muzikus magazine, I received few fan mails and I was really looking forward to meet Zakk personally during his show in Prague. I wanted to give him one copy of the magazine, get another signed, but the evening didn’t go according to a plan.
I’m an insane Ozzy fan since I was a kid and therefore I chase down all his musicians whenever I can. One of the first interviews I did was with Gus G. right after he joined Ozzy at Řípfest in Czech Republic. I desperately wanted to meet the prince of darkness, who was just few meters away from me locked inside, but I was simply not allowed. Hopefully, I will manage until he dies. Next was Adam Wakeman, followed by Jake E Lee, therefore with Zakk I managed to finalize all his crucial guitarists, who are still alive. RIP Randy. Interview with Zakk over phone was hell of a fun. You could use all the journalism rules you learn, but with him, you just need to keep a casual system of questions and just keep the bar talk going. We started with a bullshit talk on Marshall’s 50th anniversary show in London’s Wembley Arena and moved on a gear, which is always a good starter, especially with a musician, like him. We also got to a topic how his guitars were stolen and later found by his fans in random pawn shops all over the states. Later we discussed Black Label Society’s new album, his departure from Ozzy and naturally his new lifestyle without any drinking. Since it’s a Czech magazine, we also remembered how they threw a TV with Ozzy from a Prague’s hotel and dealing with it for weeks with hotel’s management. When he announced a show in Prague, we simply couldn’t miss it.
I couldn’t miss it, not for being a Black Label Society fan, but I really wanted to finally meet Zakk. Plus a buddy of mine with his older cousin, both big fans, joined me. As usual, I wanted to ensure the meeting with Zakk in advance, but local organizer couldn’t promise anything and we left it, to deal with it on site, after the show. Well packed Roxy club enjoyed the show, but even though I respect his band and skills, I was full of his playing and pinch harmonics after few songs. Therefore I rather relied on the beer and waited for the show to be over asap. Right after the last piece from the bonus songs at the end of the show, I moved to the meeting point at the upper part of the club, next to a security guard somewhere between the club’s balcony and bathrooms. Musicians have their dressing room, right behind the security guard, where they also have a shortcut for the stage. When the local organizer came back from the backstage to check Zakk, he mentioned, star of the night is not meeting anyone and if I want to give him anything, he will deliver it personally. Naturally I protested and reminded him how many people were involved to get him on the front cover, and all I want is to shake hand, give him a copy and get one signed. He went to check it again, but came with a same statement, but with a message from Zakk, he will go out in a hour or two, to meet few fans on the way back to the tourbus, in front of the venue.
As this was the only chance for few upcoming years, plus the guys are big fans, we waited and once again relayed on the lofely Czech beer. We sat on the corner, with a view on the venue and enjoyed many jokes on the passing tourists, homeless drunks, wanna-be-secret drug dealers and diehard fans standing right at the door of the venue waiting for Zakk. Nearly two hours have passed, when most of the gear was packed and the security was buzzing in the front, which meant guys will be leaving soon. We finished our drinks and stood somewhere between tourbus and a venue’s door. We did it right on time, as the security guards started to bring metal fences from the inside and created a corridor on the way from the venue to the tourbus. You rarely see this, as there were only few fans still waiting with all of their booklets, but even rarely you see that he went to the tourbus right away, with a quick gesture: “I will come back right away”. We couldn’t even make a move behind the fences, as the security jerk, with a double digit IQ and a hard core fan of Sparta Prague looked at us, showed us few of his fancy teeth and said: “I like to break hands”! VIP was still not coming out. When few of us “yelled” in a friendly way: “Hey man, come on!”, I was instructed by one teenage girl to shut up, as such a musician deserves to do whatever he wants. I didn’t have to say anything, as she was instructed to shut up herself, by all the others, as they waited nearly three hours, with all of their fan collectibles.
Yes, you are guessing right, soon after that, the tour bus driver turned the key and they all left. Me and my buddies, we were pissed, especially for waiting that long, but imagine the people that are really big fans, they brought all of their collectibles and counted every minute in order to see their idol. Every musician is alive only because of his fans. He screwed few of the most loyal ones…
The front cover copy above is a message from all fans, who waited for Zakk that night…