Jake E. Lee, who was Ozzy’s guitarist from 1983 to 1987 and recorded two albums “Bark at the Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin,” talked to UG’s David Slavković about his contribution on those albums. He also talked about his allegedly comeback to the band.
On his contribution to “Bark at the Moon”:
“Most of the music. I would say I wrote at least a portion of every song on there except for… What was the ballad? I hated that ballad. Oh, ‘So Tired.’ I had nothing to do with that. That was just Ozzy and [keyboardist] Don Airey that wrote that, and [bassist] Bob Daisley who wrote all the lyrics for the record.
“But I’d say every other song other than that one, I wrote the majority of the music for. Specifically for ‘Bark at the Moon,’ I wrote the riff. Which I’ve seen people argue that that doesn’t mean you wrote the song. But it does.
“It’s not just melody and lyrics – riffs are also a part of the song, they’re also copyrightable parts of the song. I just recently read somebody saying how I didn’t write ‘Bark at the Moon’ because I didn’t write any melodies or lyrics and that’s bullshit.
“Riffs are big. Riffs are huge. Look at Black Sabbath – those songs are basically the riffs that have singing on top of it.
“But yeah, I wrote the riff for ‘Bark at the Moon.’ I wrote the chorus part, I wrote the first part. I can say specifically Bob Daisley wrote the bridge, the F# part. And then Ozzy hummed out the middle part, where it goes… *sings the melody*. I remember he specifically said, ‘Throw this in there.’
“But I wrote, I would say, 80% of the music for that song and 75% to 80% of the music on everything else. Except for ‘So Tired.’“
About the songwriting credits if he has them:
“No, I do not. And that is… I’m not going to say a point of contention. I mean, I realized a long time ago that’s just the way that it’s going to be. But the couple of times that I’ve been approached to possibly work again with Ozzy…
“The first time was 2008, somewhere around there. Sharon actually called me and asked me if I would be interested in doing some festivals that they had coming up and possibly another record.
“And they had Zakk [Wylde] in the band at the time but she said Zakk was out of control. She said he was drunk all the time and she didn’t want that around Ozzy. So she asked me if I’d be interested in it.
“And basically I said, ‘That sounds interesting. I would like to get writing credit for my stuff on ‘Bark at the Moon.’ If we can do that, then we can talk some more. I don’t want any money, I’m not gonna go back and get retroactively paid. And I don’t want the publishing.’
“I said, ‘In fact, I don’t care if I don’t get a penny off of it. If we can work it out to where my name is on the music that I wrote, then we’re good and we can discuss this further.’ She was supposed to call back the next day. She never did. [Laughs]
“And then the second time was through [producer] Kevin Churko. Because he lives in Las Vegas and I live in Las Vegas. He got a hold of me and he said he wanted to talk to me, and so we got together. Originally, he was asking me what it would take to work with Ozzy again.
“And I told him the same thing. I said, ‘If I can get my name on the songs that I wrote.’ And I said, ‘There’s no money involved. And I never sued him before, so I’m not gonna sue him now, I don’t do that.’ And I said, ‘If we could do that, I would feel a lot whole better about working with him again.’
“So I think Kevin brought that up to Sharon. And once again it was a ‘no.’ [Laughs]”