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Jimi Bell Tells What It Was Like To Be A Finalist For Ozzy Osbourne (1/30/2006)

Jimi Bell was recenly interviewed by Brian Rademacher. Jimi told Brian what it was like to be one of the finalists to be the next guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne (of which Zakk Wylde was crowned, back in 1987).

The entire interview can be on Some excerpts are as follows:

You were one of the finalists to be the next guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne? But Zakk Wylde got the gig. Do you think Zakk got it because of him looking more like Randy Rhoads?

I think that had a major effect on it. Zakk and I are great friends and we see each other when he’s in town. I got to play five songs with Ozzy and when I got done auditioning, Sharon (Osbourne) sat me down in front of Ozzy and said it’s between you and Zakk. They took me out to dinner right after that. We went to this really expensive restaurant with them. I went back to Ozzy’s place after that and then we went out to the Troubadour night club. I don’t know exact what happened but Zakk already auditioned and they decided to stay with Zakk.

How did they tell you Zakk got the gig?

They never told me anything. Ozzy’s personal mate, who has been there forever, gave me a call and said I was going home. I actually never got an explanation why I was going home or why that decision was made. But they must have had a good interest in me that they tuned my stuff over to Geezer Butler. It wasn’t like I was gone and forgotten which was really cool.

What was your impression of Ozzy?

I think he's a totally insane person in a good way. Ozzy is a father too. When I went to Ozzy’s bungalow, Amy was there. The daughter that wasn’t in the TV show and Amy was young at the time. We were sitting in the living room watching MTV and the Black Sabbath “Paranoid” video came on. Ozzy is bouncing Amy on his knee saying “look Amy, there’s daddy.” It was funny. He is an awesome dude; his portrayal of being a madman is great. He is in the entertainment business. He is eccentric though. I remember this happening right after he shaved his head and we were going out to dinner: The scene… Alone, walking into this expensive restaurant, where you get this rolled up pasta thing with caviar across the top of it (which I don’t eat any of that stuff). But just imagine walking in the place with all these business people and Ozzy walking in and everybody just looking over at him -- that’s Ozzy. He has more money than any of those people in the restaurant. I asked him if he wanted the little cherry tomatoes in my salad which I don’t eat. He said no. The next thing I knew he had his hand digging in my salad (laughing)! I was kind of laughing, saying to myself that this is great - Ozzy having his hand in my food. (laughing).


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