So Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake’s lawsuit against Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne has been dismissed.
For those who don’t know, bassist Daisley and drummer Kerslake along with the late guitarist Randy Rhoads wrote the music together for the first two solo records from Osbourne.
In recent years Daisley and Kerslake had claimed that they had not been getting their share of the royalties from the sales of those records. According to Daisley’s website they had had an oral agreement from then co-manager David Arden (Sharon’s brother) that they would be paid.
I can only guess not having seen the judge’s decision, but not having the agreement in writing must have factored in to the suit’s dismissal.
The suit caused much bad blood between Osbourne and his former mates: Sharon re-released the first two albums with the original drum and bass tracks replaced by work by Mike Bordin and Robert Trujillo so that Daisley and Kerslake were nowhere to be heard on future releases of those records. This amounted to an effective rewriting of history with, by almost universal accounts, a clumsly cut and paste job that makes for inferior recordings.
I find this very sad since Ozzy and Daisley had a long term working relationship; Daisley played parts and wrote lyrics for several more subsequent Ozzy albums until the mid-90s. My impression of Ozzy is that he is a decent bloke who values friends and family highly. To see the fragmentation of this once fantastic musical relationship disappoints me.
It’s also curious. Did the Osbournes continue to string Daisley along for more than ten years, not paying him For Blizzard of Oz or Diary of a Madman, during that time always assuring him that the check was in the mail? Did Daisley at one point understand that he wouldn’t get paid and accept it, only later to change his mind and file suit?
Whatever the cause, it seems to me that Ozzy could have offered to share his wealth with his old chums, even if they were too dense to get it in writing that they would be paid. After all, those two highly acclaimed albums owe a great deal of their success to the contributions that Kerslake and Daisley made. It seems that Ozzy could have reached into his deep pockets and made good with those that “brought him to the party,” to borrow a Sharptonism.