I am always fascinated by the history of rock music and the stories behind the scenes. Recently, I came across an interview with Rick Wakeman, a keyboardist and composer, and of course, a huge part of Yes. Rick contributed to Black Sabbath’s 1973 album “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. In the interview, Wakeman shared his wild experiences with Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne.
During the recording sessions, Ozzy Osbourne was incredibly drunk and would often pass out when he would get way too lit. However, at one point, he abruptly woke up and complemented Wakeman’s playing before passing out again. This story may seem bizarre, but it’s just one example of the larger-than-life tales that have become synonymous with Black Sabbath.
In an interview with The Metal Voice, Wakeman said: “The only person who was sober was the tape operator, a young lad who was terrified. He said, ‘I’ve set it up where they want you to play it and Ozzy said you’d know what to play.’ I said, ‘I haven’t a clue!’ So they put it on. I listened to it a couple of times, worked out things to do, then did that. ‘Well, hopefully, that will work, and if it doesn’t, I’m sure they’ll let me know and I’ll come and do it again.'”
This is the point where Rick Wakeman was startled heavily by Ozzy as he just came to life out of nowhere.
He continued: “And at that moment, Ozzy opened his eyes and came forward a bit — and I’ll change the adjective — he just went, ‘Blooming brilliant!’, and then went unconscious again.”
In addition to the Ozzy incident, Wakeman also revealed that the band recorded a jam session with Led Zeppelin during the “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” sessions, but unfortunately, the recording was never released. These stories provide a glimpse into the unhinged and unpredictable nature of the recording process during this era which is unmatched to this day.