Dean Markley USA Welcomes John 5 to the Family
Dean Markley USA Welcomes John 5 to the Family
A lot of people have recently become aware of John 5 through his guest appearances on That Metal Show and as the guitarist for Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. His career however, is quite impressive. He has done studio work with Matt Ball, Avril Lavigne, Rob Halford, k.d. lang, Garbage, Meat Loaf, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, FeFe Dobson and has written and recorded with southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. One of my favorite projects he has done was RED SQUARE BLACK. Featuring: Mark Binder – Vocals, John Lowery (later to become John 5) – Guitar, Randy Castillo – Drums, Angelo Barbera – Bass they released one EP in October of 1994 entitled “SQUARE”.
With tones of metal, and industrial this band was ahead of its time. Sadly they only had the one release and the members moved on to other projects. Here’s a listen to “Violent Pause” from the EP:
John 5 also co-wrote “The Monster Is Loose” with Nikki Sixx and Desmond Child for Meat Loaf’s 2006 release Bat Out Of Hell III.
Currently John 5 is playing with Rob Zombie, a new record and tour are in the immediate future. Here’s “Foxy, Foxy” from the 2010 release Educated Horses:
John recently released his sixth solo record God Told Me To on May 8th of this year.
A great release full of smoking and innovative licks I HIGHLY recommend getting this. Here is the video for “Welcome To Violence”:
If I had to sum up John 5 in one word it is, AWESOME!
I often wonder if Ozzy himself reflects on his history of guitarists. I know I have on several occasions. I have also wondered about other guitarists and how they would have fit in Ozzy’s band. Let’s look at the history of Ozzy’s guitarists and then we’ll imagine some other players and see what we think.
RANDY RHOADS 1979 – 1982
Blizzard of Ozz (1980), Diary of a Madman (1981), Tribute (1987)
Any fan of Ozzy knows of Randy. When the world first got their ears filled with the sounds of Randy’s guitars they knew everything had changed. It is in my opinion that Randy changed the game forever.
“Crazy Train” -Randy version
BERNIE TORME 1982
No albums made with Ozzy
Bernie was the immediate successor to Randy following his death. Big shoes to fill as he was hired to play makeup dates, and he was playing through Randy’s gear, AND he had to learn all of the songs in a week. Bernie only stayed on tour for three weeks before leaving to form his own band.
“Crazy Train” – Bernie version
BRAD GILLIS 1982 – 1983
Speak of the Devil (1982)
Brad came in following the departure of Bernie. He filled in and recorded a live album with Ozzy before leaving for Night Ranger.
“Crazy Train” – Brad version
JAKE E LEE 1983- 1987
Bark At The Moon (1983), The Ultimate Sin (1986)
Jake E Lee was in the running with George Lynch for the coveted spot. He obviously won out which I think was good move for Ozzy as Jake seemed suited for his band. We got some good songs from the Jake E Lee lineup as well.
“Crazy Train” – Jake E Lee version
ZAKK WYLDE 1987–1992, 1995, 1998, 2002–2004, 2006–2009
1988: No Rest For The Wicked, 1990: Just Say Ozzy (live album), 1991: No More Tears, 1993: Live & Loud (live album), 1995: Ozzmosis, 2001: Down to Earth, 2002: Live At Budokan (live album), 2007: Black Rain
Zakk Wylde (he seems to make a lot of my blog posts) was, in my opinion, Ozzy’s strongest guitarist. The successful period with Zakk cannot be ignored. The writing combination of Zakk/Ozzy made some of the most memorable in Ozzy’s career.
“Crazy Train” – Zakk Wylde version
STEVE VAI 1994
After one of Zakk’s departures Steve filed in temporarily for Ozzy. Vai began writing and recording with Ozzy Osbourne. One track from these sessions, “My Little Man”, was released on the Ozzmosis album. Despite Vai penning the track, he does not appear on the album.
No video found.
ALEX SKOLNICK 1995
No recordings made
Alex had a brief stay in supporting Ozzy and not much else was done other than that.
“Crazy Train” – Alex version
JOE HOLMES 1995–1998, 1999–2001
Song “Walk on Water” From Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack (1996)
In 1995, after Ozzy Osbourne had finished recording the Ozzmosis album, a replacement for Zakk Wylde was needed for the tour. Joe got a call from Dean Castronovo (Oz’s drummer) to let him know they were seeking a guitar player. Joe went down to Audible studios in Los Angeles and played three Ozzy classics. Holmes did not mention that he had taken lessons from Randy Rhoads as he thought it would hurt his chances at the job.
“Crazy Train” – Joe Holmes version
JERRY CANTRELL 2004–2006
Under Cover (2005)
Jerry did Ozzy’s cover album for him and it was a damn fine job. If you haven’t heard it you should definitely check it out.
No video found
GUS G 2009-present
Gus was brought in when Ozzy and Zakk parted ways. Ozzy was trying to get away from what he perceived as a blurring of the lines between himself and the BLS sound. We shall see what becomes of writing future records with Gus. More power to him!
“Crazy Train” – Gus G version
Whew! What an impressive list of players! But what if Ozzy had tapped Dime, EVH, Herman Li, Buckethead, John5, or DJ Ashba? Something to think about…..thanks for playing!
P.S. thanks A.J. Greene