Guitarist Chris Impellitteri recalls being in discussions to join Ozzy’s band during Jake E. Lee’s era
Chris Impellitteri was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay and Perrin Wolfson for Canada’s The Metal Voice and the guitarist was asked if he had been asked to join established bands throughout his music career.
Impellitteri replied: “Yes I have been offered multiple times to join big bands. I am not going to say who they are, cause some of the guitar players still exist in those bands. If I was to join an established band, I have to recognize that I would need to be happy playing covers because really that is what you are doing is playing someone else’s creations. There is nothing wrong with that but for me I like to be able to express myself as an artist.”
In terms of when he was in discussions to join Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, Impellitteri recalled: “This was long time ago even before Zakk Wylde. Forgive me if I get my years confused cause it was so long ago, maybe it was 1986-87 and I think Jake E Lee was still in the band. I was living in Hollywood and one of my roommate said you have to listen to this message on the answering machine. I played the message and it was Sharon Osbourne. Sharon basically said her and Ozzy were checking me out and wanted to know if I was interested in playing guitar for Ozzy. I remember thinking about it and at the time we had signed to Relativity Records and Sony to do the album Stand In Line (with Graham Bonnet). I wanted to do join Ozzy because Randy Rhoads was such a hero of mine.
I remember they called me a few more times, I probably talked to them five or six times but I knew that legally speaking I had a deal with Relativity Records so I couldn’t go much further with it and that was the end of it. The reality is who knows how serious they really were because after 5-6 conversations it didn’t go anywhere and the Jake E Lee thing kept going. I don’t want to exaggerate the story too much let’s just say they had an interest in me. I think the whole thing was initiated by some A&R guy on Atlantic Records who was friends with the Osbournes, who turned them onto me. As a guitar player, I am flattered to have even been called and obviously they saw something and there was intent, but I don’t know how serious it was.”
On whether he would join Ozzy‘s band now if he was asked, Impelletteri indicated: “I guess the answer would be yes but I would want to do a record like Diary of A Madman but would the Osbournes allow it? I listened to Ozzy‘s newest record. Ozzy sounds great. A lot of the record sounds protooled. I listen to the album as a guitar player and I’m sorry, it doesn’t do a lot for me. It’s good music, don’t get me wrong. With someone like me, I’m hard headed. Let’s pretend Ozzy called me again and if he would allow me to do another record like Diary of A Madman or Blizzard [of Ozz], I would join in a heartbeat.”
Wikipedia summarizes Impellitteri‘s music career as follows (with slight edits): “Chris Impellitteri (born September 25, 1964) is the American lead guitarist and founder of the heavy metal band Impellitteri. In 2008, Guitar World magazine named Chris Impellitteri as one of the fastest guitarists of all time. In 2003, Guitar One Magazine voted Chris Impellitteri the second fastest guitar shredder of all time, behind only Michael Angelo Batio. Yngwie Malmsteen was dubbed the third fastest shredder.”
You can read other excerpts from the interview with Chris Impellitteri at The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below:
Chris Impellitteri Live Interview on The Metal Voice April 11 2020Like “The Metal Voice” on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/themetalvoiceFollow “The Metal …