Jake E. Lee has revealed that he was approached to re-join Ozzy Osboune’s band following the singer’s decision to use someone other than Zakk Wylde for his 2010 album ‘Scream’. Lee, who was a member of Ozzy’s band from 1983 until 1987, made the comments whilst speaking to eonmusic.
Currently promoting his band Red Dragon Cartel’s second release ‘Patina’, which is due for release via Frontiers records on 9th November 2018, Jake revealed that it was producer Kevin Churko who made the approach, in an effort to reinstate the guitarist who had been let go from Osbourne’s band following the completion of the ‘Ultimate Sin’ tour in 1987.
Said Lee, who had been absent from the music business for over a decade before working with Churko on Red Dragon Cartel’s 2014 debut album; “I did start to get a little itchy after ten years or, and I was jamming with bands every once and a while here in Las Vegas, and eventually, Kevin Churko, he initially contacted me because he was doing Ozzy’s albums”.
It’s no doubt that music improves one’s mental wellbeing so it’s no wonder Lee wanted to get back into the business at some point. The Las Vegas resident continued; “To be honest, I haven’t listened to Ozzy in a long time, so I don’t know which albums he did, but I know he did a couple of albums with Ozzy, but he initially contacted me because he also lives in Las Vegas, about what it would take for me to come back and play with Ozzy”.
Although a tantalising prospect for fans of Lee’s period with Osbourne that garnered two releases; 1983’s ‘Bark At The Moon’ and follow-up ‘The Ultimate Sin’ (1986), a dispute over royalties stopped the idea from ever going any further. “Those talks didn’t last long”, admitted the former Badlands man; “I mean, basically I said; ‘Look, all I want is song writing credit for the stuff I wrote on ‘Bark At The Moon’, that’s all”.
The guitarist admitted that the prospect of working with Ozzy again was one that appealed to him, however, the sticking point was never going to go away; “If they do that, I’d be happy to, you know see what could happen with Ozzy and me, all these years later. But, yeah, that was never going to happen”.
Although the Osbourne reunion came to nothing, it was this contact, and Churko’s persistence that led to the formation of Red Dragon Cartel. Said Jake: "He asked me if I’d be interested in doing anything. He he said; 'Just come into my studio, put some ideas down. I hadn’t been excited about music in a long time, and that excited me, so I decided to do a whole album".
However the idea thought of working with his former boss didn't end there, with Jake admitting that an approach to the Osbourne camp had been made, for a team up on Ozzy’s current ‘No More Tours II’ jaunt, that could have seen the pair working together again for the first time in more than three decades.
“I did actually offer”, he said; “I said that what would be really cool, I think, would be if you could have Red Dragon Cartel open for the tour, and in payment for doing that, I would go up, and play a couple of songs, like ‘Bark At The Moon’, ‘The Ultimate Sin’, whatever; the songs that I actually played with him”. However, it sadly came to nothing, with Lee admitting; “The offer was out there, but it wasn’t taken”.
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Read the entire interview HERE, where Lee discusses how he was sacked from the Osbourne camp, guitar techniques, and the proudest moment of his career from Friday 26th October 2018.