Who is Zakk Wylde?
Best known for his legendary association with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde is one of the most legendary names in the world of ‘heavy metal’. Starting his musical journey at a tender age, he created such music which has provided solace to listeners all around the globe. ‘Stone Henge’ was Zakk’s first band and only the beginning of what was to follow. Wylde had since associated himself with various local bands in New Jersey before landing his big break with Ozzy Osbourne. After a blazing debut and several record breaking hits, he left Ozzy to form his own band ‘Black Label Society’. However, he did return to Ozzy and has also appeared as a guest in several of his albums. He has also been a songwriter and producer. It has been a decade and ‘Black Label Society’ has inspired a number of rock bands and fans all over the world who are now popularly known as the ‘Berzekers’. The band spreads the mantra— ‘Strength, Determination, Merciless, Forever’, SDMF in short. Wylde has led the ‘Berzerkers’ to create a heavy metal band which has in every way stood firm to his beliefs and vision. Scroll further to learn more interesting information on this personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Zakk Wylde was born as Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967, in Bayonne, New Jersey. He was a child prodigy and started playing the guitar at an early age. He would often play the guitar for as much as 12 hours continuously and would sleep in school.
He graduated from Jackson Memorial High School in 1985. He took up his first job at Silverton Music in Silverton, New Jersey when he was just 14.
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A young Wylde started playing in New Jersey with his first band ‘Stone Henge’. ‘Zyris’ was the next local band with whom Wylde played for a brief period of time.
His big break came when Ozzy Osbourne selected him to be the lead guitarist and co-writer for his band, in 1987.
He was the lead guitarist for Ozzy’s band and was also the lead guitarist and vocalist for another band called, ‘Pride & Glory’, which disbanded later.
In 1995, he left Ozzy to form his own band ‘Black Label Society’ which went on to become one of the most popular bands of its time. The following year, he released his solo album, ‘Book of Shadows’.
He returned to Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 2001. Five years later, his band ‘Black label Society’ released the album, ‘Shot to Hell’, under Roadrunner Records.
In the ‘Ozzfest’ in 2006, Wylde played with the ‘Black Label Society’ and with Ozzy on different dates. The following year, Ozzy’s album ‘Black Rain’ which featured Wylde as the lead guitarist, was released.
In 2010, he appeared in the movie ‘Bones’ where he played the character of ‘Jed’.
In May 2011, the ‘Black Label Society’ released the single, ‘The Song Remains Not the Same’. He also played a solo on the cover version of Kiss’ ‘Unholy’ for ‘Black Veil Brides’.
Zakk is famous for his use of Gibson Les Paul Custom model guitars with a "bulls-eye" graphic on them. In 2015 NAMM show, he announced his new company called Wylde Audio and gave a glimpse of his new line of custom guitars and amplifiers.
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‘No rest for the Wicked’ was his first album in collaboration with Ozzy Osbourne, in 1988. It was his first big break and the album was certified gold and double platinum by the RIAA. At the time of its release, the album was at the number 13 position on the Billboard 200.
In 1996, he released his first solo album ‘Book of Shadows’. The singles ‘Between Heaven and Hell’ and ‘Way Beyond Empty’ were received positively by listeners.
Awards & Achievements
The ‘Guitar World’ magazine polls, voted Wylde the ‘Most Valuable Player’ for three years.
His name is inducted in the ‘Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame’, which also features his signature and his handprints.
Personal Life & Legacy
Wylde has four children with his wife Barbaranne: Hayley Rae, Hendrix, Sabbath and Jesse.
The song ‘In this River’ was dedicated by Wylde to his close friend Darell ‘Dimebag’ Abott who was murdered in 2004.
He staunchly adheres to his Irish Catholic faith and has done his part to promote the message of Christ.
His health has been a matter of concern, and he was hospitalized in 2009 for blood clots.