Bassist Bob Daisley thinks owed millions in royalties from Ozzy Osbourne’s two first solo albums
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Rainbow bassist Bob Daisley was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay of The Metal Voice and spoke about his time in both bands.
When asked about his dismissal from Rainbow during the Ronnie James Dio years, Daisley stated (as transcribed by The Metal Voice with slight edits): “In 1978, Ritchie Blackmore decided that he wanted to go a little more commercial he wanted to have hit records, chart success, so he got a new line up. Ritchie did have the chart success that he wanted with his new singer Graham Bonnet but I think it was at the expense of a certain amount of respect because Rainbow became sort of poppy and commercial. You can’t knock the success but I don’t think it was the best versions of Rainbow. The classic lineup what other people say is the lineup with Ronnie James Dio, Blackmore, Cozy Powell and David Stone and myself.”
On his first rehearsal with Ozzy, Daisley advised: “I took the train to Stafford England, I got to Ozzy‘s house and he had a couple of other guys there a drummer and a guitarist and I don’t know who they were, nice blokes but I wasn’t sort of knocked out by them, no real spark there, it was just ok no real chemistry. So I went to the kitchen with Ozzy and I said look if you want to be serious about this I would like to form a band with you but I don’t think these two other guys are world class players. Ozzy said ok one minute, Ozzy walked back into the rehearsal room and he told those two, pack up fellas it’s not going to work out and they were gone, on the spot.”
When asked about his original contract stipulations with Jet Records and how he was fired from Ozzy‘s band, Daisley stated: “An average deal in those days was around 12% of retail so we were suppose to have 12% for the whole band and because Ozzy had just come out of Black Sabbath and he was already signed to Jet Records as their artist we decided that we thought it was fair that Ozzy gets 6% for himself. The other 6% was supposed to be split between guitarist Randy Rhoads, drummer Lee Kerslake and myself we were suppose to get 2% each. And that would change as we went further down the line as it became more of a band. Also It was a band it wasn’t a solo project, it was a band called the Blizzard Of Ozz. We didn’t actually sign the contract because things were getting changed all the time, we had our law firm and they had their law firm and lots of back and forth.
The two albums Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman were done about 10 or 11 months of each other including a UK tour in between. We wrote the songs then we recorded the album. The first album was recorded and out before the contract was signed. Then when it came to write the second album Diary Of A Madman we said hang on a minute we haven’t got the money from the first album yet. Don Arden, the manager at the time, said on the phone to us don’t worry carry on the work and it will be all sorted out you will have your contract and money so we believed him and we carried on working. Then we recorded Diary Of A Madman and Lee Kerslake and I got fired. Ozzy wanted Tommy Aldridge in the band and Tommy was a friend of Sharon Arden‘s as well. During the UK tour, they kept pulling me a side saying ‘Let’s get rid of Lee. Let’s get Tommy.’ and I just didn’t think it was the right move. They asked me several times and I said no all the time, so eventually they got rid of me and Lee.”
When asked about Ozzy Osbourne‘s musical contributions to Blizzard Of Ozz, Daisley replied: “Randy Rhoads had riffs and ideas. Randy and I would sit on a chair next to each other and work things out together musically most of the main riffs were Randy‘s but the music part we did together. We would play a backing track and Ozzy would sing a melody over it and a lot of these melodies were very good. Ozzy had never written lyrics, Randy wasn’t a lyricist and neither was Lee so I did the lyrics. I just wrote lyrics that would fit with Ozzy‘s phrasing and his melodies.”
When asked about the court case against Jet Records and Don Arden, Daisley advised: “We had gone to court against Jet Records and Don Arden. We didn’t get credited on Diary Of A Madman. They put bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge and credited them on playing on Diary Of A Madman when they hadn’t played a note or beat on it. We got our songwriting credits but we didn’t get our co-production credits and we didn’t get our performance credit royalties. We were going to court against Jet Records. Ozzy and Sharon Arden were helping us because she had a big fallout with her father but [what] we didn’t know at the time was Sharon had bought the rights to Ozzy‘s catalogue from her father Don Arden in 1983 and they were getting the royalties. We went to court in 1986 and Don Arden and Jet Records paid us an amount but in 1986, those albums weren’t multi-platinum. They done a million and a bit each. We thought we would continue to get royalties but we didn’t because there wasn’t an actual judgment against Don Arden or Jet Records because he waived a white flag and made an offer and the lawyers advised us to take it.”
When asked if he would keep pursing the court cases against the Osbourne‘s camp over unpaid royalties after his latest loss, Daisley succinctly replied: “Oh no.”
Finally, when asked how much money he believes he was owed in unpaid royalties today, Daisley opined: “The Blizzard Of Oz and Diary Of A Madman have probably sold 4 or 5 million each and the record royalties from performance that’s got to be in the millions that we didn’t get paid.”
Video interview by The Metal Voice with Bob Daisley:
Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice (https://www.facebook.com/themetalvoice) recently spoke to legendary Ozzy Osbourne Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Gary Moore and Uriah Heep bassist and songwriter Bob Daisley.