Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Rainbow
Bob Daisley has the distinction of co-creating
two of the most influential heavy metal albums
of all time: Blizzard of Ozz [Jet, 1980] and Diary of a
Madman [Jet, 1981], both with Ozzy Osbourne. It’s
important to note that he was not “just the bassist” on
the albums, but rather a prolific contributor in terms
of songwriting and lyrics. And yet, his contributions to
those records—as well as many others by Ozzy, Gary
Moore, Black Sabbath and Rainbow—have somehow
either flown under the radar or been obscured by the
attempts of certain individuals to rewrite musical history
(the sacrilegious 2002 reissues of the aforementioned
masterpieces, for example).
Daisley recently completed the four-year task of
writing For Facts Sake, his long-awaited autobiography,
which should finally set the record straight with
regard to who did what when. Compiled from Daisley’s
personal photos and detailed diaries, which he has kept
since the early ’70s, For Facts Sake is an intimate look
at the life of one of hard rock and heavy metal’s most
prolific and enduring bassists.
What makes For Facts Sake different from all of the
other musician biographies out there?
Several things set it apart. Judging from the feedback
I’ve gotten, people love that the photographs are
within the text. There’s not a single photo section. So,
if you’re reading about Gary Moore or Ritchie Blackmore
or Randy Rhoads, you don’t have to go searching
for photos; there’s a picture right there. Also, the dates
and timeline are accurate, because I could just look back
in my diaries. And it also covers a lot of different acts.
Many autobiographies are about one particular band, but
because I’ve been fortunate to play with so many great
people, there’s a big cross section of musicians and bands.
When I finished writing the book, I said to myself, “Did
all of this happen to one person?”
Did being a lyricist and wordsmith help you put
this book together?
Writing the book came naturally to me. I am a bit
pedantic, as you know. I’m interested in word pronunciations
and how sentences are constructed, which helped
when I’ve had to wear the lyricist hat. I did learn about
certain things as I went along. I’ve got a friend who is
an English master, and if I had any technical questions, I
phoned him. I’m glad that I could write the book myself,
because that’s another thing that sets it apart; so many
so-called autobiographies aren’t actually written by the
person. If it’s from your own mind, your own memory,
and your own heart, I think that makes a difference, too.
It’s been three years since Gary Moore died.
What’s your favorite memory?
When we went into the studio to do the Power of
the Blues album [Sanctuary, 2004], it was fairly spontaneous.
We would do a quick rehearsal, then record the
track with Gary singing a guide vocal and playing rhythm
guitar with bass and drums. And that’s how the album
was done. He wanted it to be a bit more rough and raw.
It really comes across as a band playing together, rather
than something that was put together bit by bit. I really
enjoyed making that record.
To what do you attribute the chemistry of the
first two Ozzy albums?
I can’t put my finger on exactly what the magical ingredients
are. It was a gradual process. It wasn’t like, “Oh,
we’re the best band in the world,” but it just felt like we
were a force to be reckoned with. We just did what we
were good at. It was genuine and from the heart and
unpretentious—just one of those things that felt like it
was meant to happen. It just clicked.
Hoochie Coochie Men,
Danger: White Men
Dancing [Edel, 2007]
Basses Bob Daisley
Black Beauty Signature
Rig Markbass TA503,
Picks Dunlop Nylon
Order For Facts Sake,
Bob Daisley’s autobiography,