Ex-Ozzy Osbourne bassist Bob Daisley talked with Jimmy Kay about when he unsuccessfully sued the Osbournes for unpaid royalties.
Read what he said:
“I went to a lawyer in LA as soon as I found out that Sharon had bought the catalog from her father in 1983, so Lee [Kerslake, drums] and I didn’t know about that.
“I phoned her accountant in London and I said, ‘These royalties that Lee and I were meant to get – that we don’t get – where do they go? Does Don Arden get them? Does Jet Records get them? Do Sharon and Ozzy get them? Are they going to charity?’ We didn’t know.
“We found out that Osbournes were getting them after they bought the catalog from her father. So I went to see a lawyer in LA and he said, ‘You’ve got a good case here.’ So we started suing them over those royalties. And that was in about 1999 I think.
“Anyway, [Sharon’s father] Don Arden found out that I was suing her. And [Sharon] still wasn’t talking to him. And I talked to him on the phone and he said, ‘Come and meet me.’ He was in London and fortunately I was going to London around that time anyway. So Lee Kerslake and I met up with Don in London and he said, ‘I’ll help you.’
“Once Sharon found out that her father was gonna help us she made up with him. [Laughs] She hasn’t spoken to him in 18 years and she told her children that their grandfather was dead. They didn’t even know they had a grandfather.
“Don was brokenhearted and he cried on the phone to me. Once she found out that he was gonna help us, she made up with him.
“So I phoned up Don and said, ‘Look, I know you can’t help us anymore. You made up with Sharon. Good luck to you, I hope you get the joy out of it, see your grandchildren and all of the rest of it.’
“What we didn’t know was a couple of weeks later we had an affidavit signed by Don saying that we bribed him and offered him money to be our witness. And that shot down the case so there you go.”
Will you pursue them again?
“Oh, no, no.”
How much money do you think that they actually owe you?
“[Laughs] That’s difficult… Who knows how many of those albums have sold, probably four or five million each. And the record royalties for performance… It’s gotta be in the millions that we didn’t get paid.”
If they invited you, would you play with Ozzy again?
“Well, I never say never. [Laughs] I don’t burn bridges and I don’t hate people. If there was a way to do it where we could work something out in a nice way – I wouldn’t say that it’s completely out of the question. It’s a possibility I suppose, depending on the circumstances and how they set up and offered it.”
During the rest of the interview, Bob remembered the day Randy Rhoads died, saying:
“Oh, it was devastating. It was horrible. Lee and I arrived in America in Houston, TX – we were playing in a club with Uriah Heep. When we checked in the hotel we went down to the club to have a look at the place.
“So as we were waling in the girl on the door – I still remember her name, Pam – said, ‘Didn’t you guys play with Ozzy?’ We said ‘Yes.’ And she said, ‘I think some of them got killed this morning in a plane crash.’ When she said that I envisioned some sort of commercial airliner going down with the band on it. She said ,’I don’t know much about it, talk to the DJ, he knows.’
“So Lee kept walking and he went and sat at the bar and I went and saw this DJ and he told me that Randy was killed in this small plane that morning. So we would have been flying to Texas when they were dying, which was really weird.
“I went and sat next to Lee at the bar and I was speechless. He looked at me and said, ‘What’s wrong with you? You’ve got all pale.’ I said, ‘I just found out Randy got killed this morning.’
“We found out a little bit more about it, some more details. And Lee and I just went back to the hotel then and sat at the bar and we drank toasts to Randy. Because Randy used to drink all these weird exotic drinks. So we drank Randy drinks and sat and cried at the bar. And that was it.
“And then I had to organize some flowers to go to the funeral. We couldn’t make the funeral because we were contracted to do shows and were nowhere near where Randy’s funeral was. I had a big bow tie made because Randy liked bow ties and collected them. Even the fret markings on his guitars were little bow ties.
“Phoning the florist and ordering it – my god, it was so difficult because I was crying. It was just horrible.”
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG