The Guide To All Of Ozzy Osbourne’s Guitarist Since 1979
Mötley Crüe and Ozzy Osbourne - Ron Galella / Getty Images
The next thing that Ozzy Osbourne discovered with him pursuing a solo artist career is how well he picks his guitarists. After working alongside Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi for eleven years, the Prince of Darkness was destined to have lofty expectations. Iommi practically invented the prototype for hard metal, and it’s easy to figure why Osbourne wanted his axeman to have the same traits as those of Iommi’s – but this time, in line with his own individual pursuit. Presented below are the following artists under the employ of Ozzy Osbourne, who helped solidify his career following his departure from one of the greatest metal bands of all time.
Because of Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne’s name and career will forever be iconic. The little guitarist was instrumental in transforming the Osbourne from a tired throwback to the 1970s into an innovator of a cheerful, pop-influenced heavy metal style at the turn of the 1980s.
After Rhoads’s death, Osbourne remained professional and hired Bernie Torme as replacement. Unfortunately, Torme, with all the pressure of filling the duties in only a week’s notice, left the ongoing tour after playing for seven shows.
Osbourne brought on Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis to finish out the Diary of a Madman tour after guitarist Brian Torme abruptly left the band.
Jake E. Lee
Osbourne selected Jake E. Lee to be a permanent substitute for Rhoads after failed attempts to find one. Lee had an immediate impact on Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon album, which featured the set-opening title track and one of the guitarist’s most recognizable solos.
Finding a new replacement for Lee, he stumbled upon Zakk Wylde’s audition tapes, and never looked back. Wylde holds the longest tenure as Osbourne’s guitarist, and his signature guitar style is second to Osbourne’s recognizable riffs behind his voice. Wylde has an on-again off-again partnership with the prince of darkness, but has since been under his employ in 2017.
It didn’t take long for Osbourne to come out of retirement when he announced it in 1992; by 1995, he was back on the road with Ozzmosis and the appropriately named Retirement Sucks Tour. Joe Holmes stepped in for Wylde on the road because he was unable to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band due to an informal audition with Guns N’ Roses. Since Holmes had previously studied guitar with Randy Rhoads as a youth, he was uniquely prepared to perform with the Prince of Darkness.
Under Cover was a cover album released by Osbourne in 2005; most of the songs had previously appeared on his Prince of Darkness box set. The album has an all-star supporting unit, including Jerry Cantrell (guitarist, Alice in Chains), Mike Bordin (drummer, Faith No More), and Chris Wyse (bassist, the Cult). The band, especially Cantrell, offers a wealth of melodic and powerful music for listeners to enjoy.
Upon explaining to the world how he wanted to replace Wylde as a guitarist back in 2009, he immediately held auditions and got Firewind guitarist Gus G to fill in the role. He was with Osbourne for nine years, departing (amicably) in 2017 when Osbourne welcomed back Wylde.
Andrew Watt and Friends
Osbourne wanted a new sound for 2020 album Ordinary Man, so he collaborated with acclaimed producer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Watt. Watt produced the album, played most of the guitar, and enlisted the help of some notable friends like Slash and Tom Morello. By Patient Number 9, released in 2022 (again produced by Watt), it featured guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Zakk Wylde, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and, for the first time in Osbourne’s solo career, an aid from his old friend Tony Iommi.
Steve Vai, Gary Moore, Alex Skolnick, George Lynch
All of the aforementioned guitarists played supporting roles in Osbourne’s solo career at various points.