Zakk Wylde, Lars Ulrich and Sebastian Bach go into a bar…
Drinking game: Zakk Wylde
Black Label Society mainman Zakk Wylde recalls a night in the early 1990s where even rock star status didn’t excuse himself and members of Metallica and Skid Row from a bar queue.
It led to a celebrated story in which Lars Ulrich wound up handing cups of Wylde’s piss to fans, thinking it was beer. But the guitarist is more surprised the event took place at all.
He recounts the memory in his new book Bringing Metal to the Children, and tells Guitar International: “It doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t want to lose my spot in line for drinks. I was putting them on the bar and I was going to throw them out when I was finished pissing – there was a garbage can a few feet away.
“The funny part was that it took place in 1990 or 1991. To have Lars Ulrich from Metallica, the guys from Skid Row and me all having to wait in a long line to get a beer in a packed club? We didn’t get any special attention there. I’m just trying to picture that now – it would never happen.”
Wylde gave up drinking in 2009 after being treated for near-fatal blood clots, but he says it’s hardly impacted on his life and doesn’t affect those around him. “People ask me, ‘What are you going to do when you get out on the road?’ I tell them, ‘Pretty much the same fucking thing I do now – I just won’t be drinking.’”
He admits he occasionally took to the stage drunk while a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, saying: “I’m sure he knew a few times. When it starts getting in the way of things you have to put a lid on it.”
But his overriding memory of his years with Osbourne is the laughter. He singles out one night on tour when the singer insisted his crowd were calling for Ronnie James Dio, his replacement in Black Sabbath.
Wylde says: “His sense of humour is off the charts – he’s the coolest guy and doesn’t give a shit about his stardom.
“We were playing at a festival somewhere and we were backstage waiting for the encore. The crowd is going nuts chanting: Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy! He says to me, ‘Zakk, do you hear? Listen good – I swear they’re saying: Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie!’ We’d be crying laughing. He’d do stuff like that all the time.”