Brad Gillis recalls mistake that he did during first gig with Ozzy Osbourne back in 1982
Long-time Night Ranger and former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Brad Gillis was recently interviewed in a two part interview by AXS and spoke during part 2 of the interview about his time with the Black Sabbath frontman in the latter’s solo band and having to replace the icon Randy Rhoads.
Gillis stated: “Randy Rhoads was such a great player. It was an honor for me to get picked but it was a big challenge to conquer. I sat in my hotel room for four days with a cassette, boombox and guitar learning the songs. 12-14 hours a day of practicing. Rudy Sarzo helped me out a lot. On that fifth day was the show in front of a sold out crowd in Binghamton, NY, it was a very scary situation. Out of the 18 songs we played I screwed up on this one song called “Revelation Mother Earth,” which is a ballad that halfway through kicks into this metal chunk groove. I ended up going into that section a little too early and Ozzy turned to me and gave me this look of death which said, “You screwed up!” I stopped playing, regained my composure and got back into it and finished the song out. The next night Sharon Arden, now Osbourne, came up to me and said, “Bradley, you did great last night, but tonight don’t f**k up.” No pressure there!
The more we were on the road the more I smoothed into that gig. Two weeks in we were in Memphis, TN, and did a live King Biscuit Flower Hour nationwide broadcast. That was pretty scary too. All I could think about was the whole country is listening to me including all my family and friends back home as well as the Night Ranger guys. It turned out pretty good and actually gave me a lot of cred with the fans. They began accepting me more in that position. At the end of ’82 the tour was pretty much over, Rudy Sarzo left the band to join Quiet Riot and Night Ranger had an offer on the table. I decided to roll the dice and also quit Ozzy and return to Night Ranger. Here I am now 35 years later with the same band, I think I made the right decision.”