Duff McKagan Discusses Playing on Ozzy Osbourne’s Record
This past week Duff McKagan appered on the January 20th episode of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones radio show Jonesy’s Jukebox on 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles. Him along with Slash have been frequent guests of the show over the years.
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Duff McKagan discussed how he got involved playing on Ozzy Osbourne’s upcoming album Ordinary Man, which was recorded in Los Angeles with Red Hot Chili Peppers member Chad Smith on drums and producer and guitar player Andrew Watt.
McKagan revealed how he got called to play on the record saying:
“The session I got called to do. I’d been playing these gigs with Chad Smith, the drummer from the CHILI PEPPERS — these wild cover-band things. Like, we’d play VAN HALEN with Taylor Hawkins singing and Mike McCready playing guitar. And we played Montana. But playing with Chad, playing bass, he’s such an aggressive drummer, and our styles are pretty similar. And we love playing with each other as a rhythm section.
“This guy Andrew Watt called,I think it was a Saturday, and I happened to be in L.A. He said, ‘Do you have some days this week in the daytime? I need to write an Ozzy record. We have four days to do it.’ So, we showed up at Andrew’s studio. Everything was kind of set up — Chad’s drum kit was set up. And it was basically one of those things: ‘Who’s got a riff?’ And it was really inspired. The three of us — Andrew Watt and Chad and myself — we’d never written together, and that can go sideways in a hot second. But it didn’t. The first riff that we threw down… Mick Bob was there, my tech. He’s, like, ‘You know Ozzy likes THE BEATLES. Make sure there’s some BEATLES in there.’ So we just [approached it like], ‘Who’s got a riff, man?’ And we just threw down in four days and wrote nine songs. ‘Ordinary Man’, the ballad, with Elton John on it, is one of ’em. And ‘Straight To Hell’ [was another one]. I think we wrote and recorded nine songs in four days, and the sounds and everything, which is perfect. And that was it. We were done.”
McKagan would claim that he, Watt and Smith “wrote all the music” for Ordinary Man and gave”melody ideas” before Ozzy got involved in the project saying:
“Ozzy came and Ozzy just loved it. He just came in and started writing words and laid down the vocals. And it was kind of like that. There was definitely urgency to the whole situation. We had so much time to do it, which was only four days… So, it just happened to work out great. And I think the record is really, really good.”
To date three songs have been released from the record including Straight to Hell, which features guitar solos by Slash, Under the Graveyard and the title track, which features Slash and Elton John.
Ordinary Man will be released on February 21.