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Zakk Wylde (born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt; January 14, 1967 in Bayonnemarker, New Jerseymarker) is an Americanmarker musician, who is best known for his roles as a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. He was the lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist he released Book of Shadows in 1996.


Early life

Wylde started playing the guitar at the age of 14 and worked at Silverton Music in Silvertonmarker, New Jerseymarker. He grew up in Jackson, New Jerseymarker, and went to Jackson Memorial High Schoolmarker, where he graduated in 1985. Wylde has stated that he would practice playing the guitar as much as 12 hours per day and often would play the guitar almost non-stop between coming home from school and leaving for school the next morning, then sleeping through the school day.

Growing up, Wylde played locally with his first band, "Stone Henge", then later with local Jersey band Zyris. Years later, the then unknown 19 year-old Wylde landed the coveted role as lead guitarist and co-writer for Ozzy Osbourne. He sent Ozzy a demo tape in 1987 and was hired to replace Jake E. Lee, who had replaced the deceased Randy Rhoads; Ozzy's principal guitarist in the post-Black Sabbath period which began in late 1979. Wylde has stated that he has no respect for musicians who release material "not true to themselves". The late Randy Rhoads, a rock original, remains Wylde's foremost guitar-playing and stagecraft influence.

"The Grail"

Wylde gravitated toward a particular Les Paul guitar, which has become known as "The Grail"; his infamous bullseye-painted Gibson Les Paul custom. The guitar somehow became lost to Wylde for some time when it fell from the back of a truck transporting equipment as he was travelling between gigs in Texas. Rewards were offered to anyone that had information about the guitar. Wylde and 'The Grail' were reunited years later when a fan bought it at a Dallas pawn shop and saw the initials "Z.W." carved into the humbucker pickups backs. He contacted Wylde's former webmaster Randy Canis to arrange its return to Wylde. He was eventually able to barter for it, in exchange for two other Les Pauls.

Return to Ozzy

Osbourne is said to have always adopted a flexible attitude with regard to his backing band, leaving his band members free to leave as they wish, but Wylde has remained largely faithful to Osbourne. Wylde was replaced in Osbourne's band by Joe Holmes, from 1995 until his return in 2001.

On January 17, 2006, Zakk Wylde was immortalized at the Hollywood Rock Walk of Famemarker located at 7425 Sunset Blvd, featuring his handprints and signature, in recognition of his successful career as a musician and his contribution to the music industry. The event was open to the public and many rock celebrities were present, including Ozzy Osbourne.

Ozzy Osbourne held auditions for new guitarists for the recording of future material in 2005/2006, but announced Wylde as the official guitarist for his new album, Black Rain. On stage with Osbourne, Wylde has been credited for lending a high level of energy and passion to performances.

Black Label Society's most recent album, Shot To Hell, was released on September 11, 2006 in the UKmarker, and September 12, 2006 in the U.S.marker through Roadrunner records, with production by Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Black Label Society headlined the second stage at the 2006 Ozzfest, with Wylde playing double duty with Ozzy on certain dates. Ozzy Osbourne's album, Black Rain, was released in May 2007. Wylde is currently working a new film called The Berserkers, taking on responsibilities for script and production.

Exodus from Ozzy's band

In the fall of 2009, Zakk and Ozzy both stated in respective press releases that the two were no longer to be touring together, and Zakk would no longer be Ozzy's live or studio guitarist. Ozzy states that the influence that Zakk had on their new studio material was making the result sound far too similar to Zakk's side project Black Label Society. Also adding that their touring schedules didn't mesh well and Zakk would have to choose either Ozzy's band or BLS. Black Label society was the obvious choice due to the fact that Wylde is the Lead guitarist and vocalist, and is currently working on new material with BLS in one form or another. Although they two have somewhat severed their ties for now, it is rumored that there is a strong possibility of the duo once again working together in the not so distant future.


He is known for his use of Gibson Les Paul Custom model guitars with a "bulls-eye" graphic on them, a design he used to deliberately differentiate himself visually from Randy Rhoads - who was also frequently identified by his white Les Paul Custom. Interestingly, one of Wylde's favorite stage guitars of late is a replica of Rhoads' Flying V. The "bulls-eye" paint job was originally supposed to look like the spiral from the movie Vertigo, but when it came back incorrect from the luthier, he liked the result and stuck with it.

Wylde's signature Les Pauls include a red flame-maple bulls-eye model, a black and antique-white bulls-eye model, an orange "buzz-saw" model, the pattern on which was inspired by a design on a Zippo lighter , and a "camo" bulls-eye model with mother of pearl neck inlays and a green camouflage paint scheme. His original bulls-eye Les Paul was purchased from one of the owners of Metaltronics Amplification. Metaltronics was building a one-off live rig for Wylde that was designed around one of the owner's guitars, a creamy white Les Paul Custom with EMG pickups, which would later become known as "The Grail".

Personal life

Wylde and his wife, Barbaranne have three children; a daughter, Hayley-Rae, a son, Jesse John Michael (named after Ozzy Osbourne), and another son, Hendrix Halen Michael Rhoads (named after Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Mike Piazza, and Randy Rhoads). He and his family live outside of Los Angelesmarker. He and Barbaranne both attended Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, New Jersey. Zakk was a close friend of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, founding member of Pantera and Damageplan, since 1993, exchanging guitars in admiration for one another as fellow guitarists. Wylde had given Dimebag one of his custom Gibson guitars with the trademark "bulls-eye" design on it shortly before Dimebag was shot and killed while performing in Columbus, OH on Dec. 8, 2004. Likewise, Dimebag had a customized Dean Razorback painted with the bullseye design for Wylde. Zakk dedicated the song "In This River" to Dimebag, citing that although the song wasn't originally written for him, the lyrics were fitting to the situation. The song gained a new importance and was changed from its original format during the live performances with the addition of more solos, with Zakk playing with the Dean Razorback guitar Dime had given him. He dedicates each live performance of the song to Dimebag and, several times, he has cried on stage when playing the song. He has also stated it will be played at every Black Label Society concert as long as he is touring. Zakk has stated in interviews that he hates bullies, and has said (quote) "If a man doesn't fuckin' bleed and he doesn't cry, you don't trust him. He ain't a fuckin' man." Zakk is Irish Catholic.

Appearances in media


Live performances

  • On August 1, 1993, Wylde appeared on stage with the Allman Brothers on lead guitar since Dickey Betts was unable to make the show, and they needed a guitarist at the last minute. This show is documented on the bootleg "Zakk Goes Wylde".
  • Wylde is a New York Yankees fan. He performed the National Anthem on the electric guitar during a New York Rangers game in October 2005. He has also played the anthem at Los Angeles Kings and Dodgers games. A video of a Kings performance is included as an extra feature, on the DVD Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned.
  • On February 1, 2007 Wylde and Nick Catanese began a tour of acoustic shows at the Hard Rock Cafe in various cities across North America. Although Catanese had to leave mid-tour due to unspecified personal reasons, Wylde continued to play shows alone. He performed several songs, on both the acoustic guitar and keyboard. The tour was eventually canceled due to unspecified reasons.

Film and television

  • Wylde's film credits include Rock Star (As "Ghode", guitarist of the fictitious band Steel Dragon) and the concert DVD Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned (Certified Platinum), recorded at Harpo's Concert Theatre in Detroit, Michiganmarker. It was the first time in the concert hall's history that all of the alcohol had been consumed on one night (Wylde's favorite beer is Sierra Nevada ). It should be noted that his next concert DVD The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' was released in 2006. He has also done a comedy skit show alongside Jim Breuer, titled "Crapshoot", which is available on DVD.
  • Wylde also appeared on the TV show Angel in the season four episode "The Magic Bullet" where he plays acoustic on the song "Mandy" while Angel and Conner sing along.
  • Wylde has also appeared as a guest star on the TV show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. In it, he plays guitar on a track produced by Master Shake that is supposed to become the next big birthday song, which is called "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary." Wylde becomes irate when he finds out that Shake cannot pay him for his input on the project. Later in the show, Wylde is killed when caught between the crossfire of two robotic banjo-playing scorpions that apparently were, for some reason, armed with laser cannons.
  • On September 26, 2003, Wylde appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and sat in with the house band. During the course of the night he repeatedly made fun of and threatened to beat up Fred Durst, the front man for Limp Bizkit.
  • On January 30, 2007, Wylde, alongside Black Label Society, were the musical guests for MTV's Wrestling Society X debut episode. He worked the night as a guest commentator as well.
  • On February 2, 2007, Wylde guest hosted on Seattlemarker's 99.9 KISW on the afternoon program The Men's Room.
  • On the May 18 edition of WWE Smackdown!, Wylde appeared with Ozzy Osbourne to perform the song "I Don't Wanna Stop", at the First Mariner Arenamarker in Baltimore, Marylandmarker.
  • Wylde, with his Gibson Bullseye ZV guitar, performed alongside Osbourne on the 2007 VH1 Rock Honors broadcast (featuring tributes to and performances by ZZ Top, Heart, Genesis, and Osbourne).
  • WWE Chris Jericho's latest version of his intro song "Break the Walls Down" features Wylde's signature riffs and solo, making the song slower and more grinding than its previous versions.
  • On October 18, 2009, Zakk Wylde performed the National Anthem on TNA's biggest PPV, Bound for Glory before the matches officially started.

Video games

357 Customs controversy and lawsuit

In December 2005, a promotional offer was posted on Wylde's official webpage, stating that anyone who bought a $100 merchandise gift certificate and a miniature model of a chopper would receive an $800 Epiphone guitar. The offer was posted by custom chopper company 357 Customs, through the then webmaster of Wylde's webpage.On June 2, 2006, Bob Ringe, Wylde's manager, stated on the website that "357 Customs ran a promotion directed toward Zakk's fans, and [...] 357 has not delivered merchandise ordered during the promotion. Zakk has not authorized or otherwise been involved with this promotion, and has not received any compensation from it." Ringe went on further to state that he has instructed his lawyers to "contact 357....monitor this situation and follow up with 357." During and after the timeframe in which the 357 Customs offers were being advertised,numerous conversations, both via email and telephone were held with then current and former members of Wylde's management team, including Tim Bolin and Bob Ringe, and also Wylde's wife, with all parties confirming and supporting the promotion. A number of statements, both from the webmaster and Wylde himself, posted on the webpage repeatedly stressed the legitimacy of the offer, and even went as far as placing blame on guitar maker Epiphone and electronics manufacturer EMG for the shipping delays. No order had ever been placed and these statements seemed to be offered as a means of placating the increasingly concerned customers. Several telephone conversations were reportedly recorded of staff from 357 and Wylde's management staff confirming the promotion but no longer exist.

On June 14, 2006, Wylde's attorneys filed suit against 357 Customs Inc. in the Superior Court of the State of California. The suit alleges trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, false advertising, breach of contract, as well as several other counts. The text of the lawsuit indicates that it was brought about to prevent any further victimization of Wylde's fans and to recoup unpaid royalties from 357 Customs. There is nothing in the suit indicating specific damages to be recovered on behalf of fans.

On July 5 2006, Black Label Society's webmaster, Chad Dyer, resigned from the website. He admitted being hired by 357 Customs as their webmaster and claimed that he wasn't aware of the conflict of interest. To this date, reports are that he has not been paid for the work on, even after it cost him his position with the Black Label Society he held in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006. Various reports note that Dyer was a paid employee of Black Label Society, which was not the case. The posted resignation letter on Wylde's webpage that was written by Dyer, and signed off on by Wylde's manager Bob Ringe, confirmed that he provided webmaster services at no-charge on account of his friendship with Wylde.

Seeking to bring an end to the episode, on May 8, 2007 Wylde's Attorney filed a Request For Dismissal of the case, ending the court litigation and any hope that 357 Customs Inc would be held to account for their actions.


With Pride and Glory


With Derek Sherinian

With Black Label Society

With Ozzy Osbourne

Other appearances


  1. LaGorce, Tammy. "MUSIC; Thor, With an Electric Hammer", The New York Times, November 27, 2005. Accessed October 6, 2007. "But the frustrating part for Zakk Wylde -- born in Jersey City, raised in Jackson and possessed of a gift for heavy-metal noise that regularly earns him the cover of any magazine with guitar in its title -- is that the six-string inner circle rarely widens.... I was in Sayreville at this place called Close Encounters with my buddies in Stone Henge, a band formed with friends from Jackson Memorial High School in the mid-80's, Mr. Wylde said in a recent phone interview from Columbus, Ohio, where he was touring in support of Mafia (Artemis), a Black Label disc that entered the Billboard Independent Album chart at No. 1 last March."
  3. PRLog
  4. Independent Music Awards - 8th Annual IMA Judges
  6. [1]

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