Jakey Lou Williams

Jakey Lou Williams

Jake E. Lee has recently returned to public view with his band Red Dragon Cartel. But he may always be best remembered for his work with Ozzy Osbourne and the amazing Badlands in the Eighties and early Nineties. When this Spectraflex ad was brand new, Jake had recently issued his first solo album, A Fine Pink Mist.

Scanned from Guitar World, June 1996.

Joe Holmes, best know for his stint as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, has returned with new music and a new band. His group Farmikos will issue a batch of tunes in 2013. Holmes, of course, has an impressive resume. From Gibson.com:

Aside from several Ozzfest tours with Ozzy – and participation in the writing sessions for the Ozzman’s Down To Earth album – he played with Lizzy Borden and also replaced Jason Becker in David Lee Roth’s band for the A Little Ain’t Enough tour.

Read more and listen to Farmikos at Gibson.com.

Right here.



Though he’s now burly and rustic, Zakk Wylde was more on the pretty boy side when he joined up with Ozzy Osbourne. This Morley ad is from early on in that relationship, following the gigantic No More Tears.

Pulled from Guitar School, September 1992.

From the Rooney Archive.

Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt

Zakk Wylde has amassed quite the discography since first appearing on Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for the Wicked in ’88. This EMG ad is from relatively early in his career, during the southern rock informed days of Pride & Glory.

Taken from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, November 1994.

Amp makers Blackstar have collaborated with Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind guitarist Gus G to create the Blackfire 200 head. The company’s first signature amp is a device of many options. From Music Radar:

(T)he most interesting feature of the new amp is the addition of integrated custom-voiced ‘Fire’ and ‘Fury’ overdrive channels, as featured on Gus G’s signature HT Blackfire pedal. That means a total of four amp channels, including Clean and Crunch options (each of which have two modes).

Read more and take a look at Blackstar’s official press release at MR.

Right here.


Have you perused Guitar World‘s archived interviews? They provide some great glimpses into moments in time. For example, Brad Tolinksi’s 1990 interview with Ozzy Osbourne took place at the outset of the Madman’s relationship with Zakk Wylde. At this turning point, Ozzy reflected on his guitarists past and present.

On Randy Rhoads:

It was a bit like going to music school. Randy was very instrumental in bringing me out of me. The first two Ozzy albums are by far the greatest things I’ve ever done. He was too good to last.

(I tend to agree with that sentiment …)

On Jake E. Lee:

(He) was fine for the first three days, then he wanted to take over … To be fair, Jake did have a fantastic presence and he was a great guitar player.

And on Zakk Wylde:

There were lots of benefits in choosing Zakk. He had followed my career and he knew my songs better than I knew them myself. We knew it wouldn’t be hard to break him in.

No mention of Bernie Tormé or Brad Gillis.

Read the entire piece at GW.

Right here.

"A heavy metal marriage that makes it." Err, ok.

The late ’80s were a golden age for guitar advertisements. Perhaps only during that period would you find copy like, “Her performances are sizzling, filled with explosive chords that demand power strings.” Umm, huh? This ad, taken from Guitar World March 1987 (cover price $2.95) precedes the release of her biggest commercial album, Lita, by nearly a year. That record, of course, went platinum due in large part to her duet with Ozzy Osbourne on “Close My Eyes Forever.”

In conjunction with the issuance of the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom, Gibson is featuring an article listing the late maestro’s “top five” solos. They did a pretty good job, nailing highlights like “Mr. Crowley” and even a pre-Ozzy Quiet Riot rarity, “Laughing Gas.” Here’s the summary of “Revelation (Mother Earth)”:

One of Randy’s more technically challenging solos, which is saying a lot, “Revelation (Mother Earth)” is a dazzling piece of guitar work that shows a true master at the height of his powers.

I’d give a personal honorable choice to the solo in “Believer,” which always struck me as a revved up splicing of Bill Nelson and Ace Frehley.

What made Number 1? Find out right here.

Thanks to Gerry Monks for the article tip.


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