George Lynch states he was up for Ozzy on three occasions including when Randy Rhoads got the gig
Lynch Mob, The End Machine, Sweet & Lynch, KXM and The Ultraphonics guitarist George Lynch was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon for Canada’s The Metal Voice. Lynch was promoting The End Machine‘s new album Phase2, which was released yesterday (on April 9, 2021) via Frontiers Music Srl.
In terms of his connection with the late legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads (who passed away back on March 19, 1982), Lynch indicated (with slight edits):
“I taught at Musonia. We (Randy Rhoads and himself) played shows together frequently. We rehearsed in the same rehearsal facility and shared the same rooms. We had a lot of opportunities to hang out, share licks, talked occasionally. We weren’t like friends or anything but we were in the same business and ran in the same circles and ran into each other all the time. I know that he appreciated my playing and liked my playing. He would bring people to see me frequently including his mom. We were both up for Ozzy. I was up for Ozzy on three different occasions and one of the times was when Randy got it over me and then the understanding was that between whichever one of us got it the other one would teach at Musonia. Well, I got the consolation prize. Randy told his mom if anything ever happened with him, that he would want me to fill in if possible (teaching) if I would be willing to, so I did. “
Wikipedia states the following about Lynch auditioning for the lead guitarist gig with Ozzy Osbourne (with slight edits): “Twice, Lynch auditioned for the position of Ozzy Osbourne‘s lead guitarist, once in 1979 – losing to Randy Rhoads – and another time in 1982 to replace Brad Gillis. According to Lynch, he was hired for three days before Ozzy changed his mind and decided to go with Jake E. Lee. Lee noted that Lynch “got the gig, but only went on the road for two weeks to watch the show, and never actually played with Ozzy.” Lynch stated in an interview that he had played soundchecks at the side of the stage on a European tour with Ozzy and Brad Gillis as part of an extensive audition. He also rehearsed with the band in Texas and was let go by Ozzy as the band moved operations to Los Angeles.
Jake E. Lee had auditioned on the day of Lynch’s dismissal and while Lee admittedly didn’t play well the day of the audition, he looked the part and was offered the gig. Ozzy fired Lynch on the spot in front Lee, whom Lynch had just met. Lynch has stated that he was devastated and was struggling financially in those years. At the time, Lynch had been working as a delivery man for a liquor store and had short hair as required by his employer. Sharon Osbourne had fancied Lee’s “look” over Lynch’s playing and her influence likely finalized Ozzy’s decision to hire Lee. Lynch looks back on the situation positively though he has said “I won the consolation prize. Randy got to tour with Ozzy… and I got to teach at his mom’s school.””
You can read other excerpts from the interview with George Lynch at The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below: