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 Bass
Rig Markbass TA503, Markbass Standard 102HF Cabs
Strings Picato, .045–.105
Picks Dunlop Nylon .88mm
Order For Facts Sake, Bob Daisley’s autobiography, directly from his website. bobdaisley.com