Randy Rhoads Documentary - Bob Daisley Speaks Out

Bob has received several messages via his website, MySpace and Facebook pages regarding insulting comments written on a Facebook page by Peter Margolis, the director of a film about Randy Rhoads.The comments were recently removed but not before they were circulated and discussed on various forums by fans wanting to know what happened between Bob and the film maker to prompt such animosity.

The following comments were made by Peter Margolis…

‘I interviewed 2 people in Australia.
One of them was one of the worst human beings that I have ever encountered in my years on this planet. The other was Scott Shelly, who was possibly the nicest person that I interviewed for the film.’

When asked if Bob and Lee were going to appear in the Randy Rhoads documentary Margolis wrote:

‘I interviewed both Lee and Bob.
Lee in England and Bob in Australia
Lee was a really great guy.
Does that answer your question?’

He was then asked..

‘Peter, I hope Bob wasn’t the other person you were talking about, when you stated that Scott Shelly was perhaps the nicest person you had ever met???????????????’

To which Margolis replied:

‘I met some of the greatest human beings while shooting this movie, and some of the worst.
People that don’t deserve to occupy space on the same planet that we all reside on.
That is all I will say on the subject until the film comes out.’

If the rumours are true, we may be in for a long wait to hear more ‘on the subject’ from Margolis. Fortunately, Bob has agreed to speak out and tell us exactly what went on during his involvement with the makers of the Randy Rhoads Documentary…

In 2007 I was contacted by Peter Margolis requesting that at some stage I be interviewed for a film being made by Dakota Films about the life and times of Randy Rhoads. I forwarded the email to my manager, Drew Thompson and replied to Margolis's email saying that I would consider the proposal without saying that I would or wouldn't get involved. Drew Thompson in turn contacted Margolis as well, but because nothing immediate was to take place, he said we'd wait to hear back from them. Drew never did hear back from Margolis or anyone else. Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) also contacted me via email with regard to the film. He warned me against getting involved with Margolis et al and told me that he was having nothing to do with any of them and that he thought the whole thing would be a fiasco. Kevin seemed to know more about Margolis and his cronies than anyone else I knew but unfortunately, I didn't get to ask him much more because by the time I'd had further contact with them, sadly, Kevin had died.

I agreed to talk to an affiliate of Margolis's called Andrew Klein on the 'phone about the possibility of me appearing in the film and eventually told him that I'd do a filmed interview which could be used in their movie. Being filmed isn't one of my favourite things, I did that really for the sake of Randy's story and to at least get some 'truth' out there in the public arena. I had many long 'phone conversations with Klein and relayed a lot of valuable information regarding many Randy-related topics such as the recording of 'Blizzard' and 'Diary', Ridge Farm Studios, dates and events, the Osbournes, my personal rapport with Randy, the record company and management and various other anecdotes too involved to list here. I spent many hours giving them free information to help make Randy's story complete.

Towards the end of 2008, Margolis, Klein and company planned a trip to England to film Ridge Farm Studios and interviews with Lee Kerslake, Don Airey, John Cook, Lindsay Bridgwater, Pete Way, David Arden and others. Originally, I was meant to go to England to be filmed as well but I had to have an eye operation and couldn't fly anywhere, so my interview was postponed. During some of our conversations, I mentioned to Klein that I had a lot of tapes of the original 'Blizzard of Ozz' band - Ozzy, Randy, Lee and myself - writing and rehearsing songs, jamming, having conversations, clowning about, and general historic, interesting material. He asked me if they could use any of it in their film and I told him that it was a possibility but that the material I have wouldn't be free, it wouldn't even be cheap, after all, that stuff's gold. Because I couldn't fly anywhere at that time, they agreed to come to Sydney to film my interviews. 'I was told that out of the hundred-plus people to be interviewed for the film, I was the most important 'key figure', as they termed it, and I would be filmed for longer than any other participant. I didn't expect any special treatment, I only wanted to keep everything business-like but they expressed a strange lack of respect towards someone who they regarded as their 'key figure'. When I mentioned to Klein that I had a lot of tapes of The Blizzard of Ozz writing, rehearsing and jamming etc., he said he'd like to hear them to see if they'd be suitable for the film. I suggested having them transferred to disc and done professionally in a studio so they could hear what I had more easily instead of rolling through tapes. They agreed to pay the studio costs of the transfers which was only a petty amount. I told them that I would reimburse their money if what I had was deemed unsuitable or if I regarded anything they chose as 'not negotiable'.

Their trip to Sydney was scheduled for May, 2009 and they wanted to film my interviews over several days at my house. Because the film was costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and I would be the 'key figure', as they put it, I enquired about payment. After all, I didn't want to give up my time and information so that some fat cat behind the scenes could make a load of dough through my input. One thing I want to make clear though, is that if it had been to help young musicians, a 'Randy Rhoads School of Music' fund or anything similar or charitable, I wouldn't have hesitated to give my time free of charge but being that it was a business venture on their part and a saleable product, I asked about payment. I was told that no one was being paid, not even Mrs. Rhoads but I found out later that that was a lie, Mrs. Rhoads was indeed being paid a sum, and rightly so, a money-making venture about her beloved son with her help should produce remuneration for her efforts.

On the 4th of May, Klein and a colleague of theirs called 'A.J.' who was the cinematographer, arrived in Sydney and came to my house to meet me for the first time and look through some photos I had of us with Randy, and through various other snap shots. I let them scan a few as a donation to the film on my part and told them that once I'd signed off on my input, they could use them how ever they liked. Margolis arrived the next day and the three of them came to my house on Tuesday, the 5th of May. My manager Drew Thompson had 'phoned them at their hotel that morning to ask about remuneration, release forms and to make general enquiries but he was fobbed off with, "We'll get back to you later," of course none of them ever did get back to Drew. Filming began later that afternoon and continued until around 10pm but the next day Margolis told me that he wasn't completely happy with some of the results, so I agreed to let him film what he needed again.

On Wednesday the 6th of May, a chap by the name of Scott Shelly was interviewed and filmed at my house after I'd agreed to their request to film him in my home. Scott had been Randy's guitar teacher when Randy was quite young and Scott had moved to Australia from California many years ago, hence his interview being filmed here. Like many of the other participants who'd done comparatively brief interviews, Scott signed the release forms on the spot. Lee Kerslake who'd also only done a brief interview, signed the release forms straight after his filming. Don Airey, who likewise did a relatively brief interview signed off but told me personally that he wishes he hadn't and would rather have not been involved with these people.

Later that day I played Margolis and Klein some of the treasures I'd had transferred from tape to disc and I still remember Klein's words when he heard what I had, he said, "People would just shit if they could hear this stuff!" I had termed it the 'Holy Grail' because no one else had anything like it. It is the ultimate, unique, rare 'Blizzard' material. Margolis then told me that he could possibly get my tapes released because he had the rights to the name and likeness of Randy Rhoads for three years to do the film and that he represented the Rhoads estate. I 'phoned Mrs. Rhoads to see if that was true and I didn't even get to finish my question before she interrupted me with, "I own the name and likeness of Randy, no one else."

Margolis demanded a percentage from my tapes if he was to get them released but I wasn't prepared to give that away in a hurry. Then I began to analyse the situation, they wanted to come into my home, film the so-called 'key figure' of their movie for days and not pay a cent or give away any percentage of profits, while insisting on a percentage of the 'Grail'.

My filmed interviews resumed on Thursday, the 7th and continued all day until around 7pm. During a break that day, Klein handed me three release forms and a pen, expecting me to sign off on all I had done and was to do. I told him that I never sign anything without professional legal advice and without my manager looking it over. I knew that many other people involved in the film who had done interviews had already signed off but my interviews were to be much longer, and I wanted to see the context in which what I'd said would be used. Another thing I wanted to know regarding the film was which music would be featured. They weren't even sure if they'd get permission to use the 'real' versions of material from the 'Blizzard' and 'Diary' albums with Lee Kerslake and me on them or if they'd have to use the 'substitute' bogus re-recorded versions. There was no way that I was prepared to sign off on something which would contain bogus music and be an insult to Lee, me and Randy as well. I told them that I didn't want to hold them to ransom after them having come all the way to Australia and that I'd like to be able to work everything out and sign off on what they needed me to but at the same time, I didn't want to sign off prematurely. More filmed interviews took place the following day on the top of the building where my sister lives, as there's a good view of Sydney Harbour and the bridge up there and they wanted some scenic footage to make it obvious where we were, and I was happy to oblige.

On Saturday the 9th they were back at my house to scan some more photos and some of my original hand-written sheets of lyrics that I'd written for songs on 'Blizzard' and 'Diary'. Later that night we all went out for dinner together and they left on the 10th. They had in the region of eight or nine hours of filmed interviews of mine. They returned to America with what they'd come for but not one of them bothered to contact my manager, Drew Thompson, to discuss anything, they'd just ignored him. Drew was pissed off at them and sent an email demanding payment of $10,000 for the week's work and everything involved, and then things began to turn nasty. An excerpt copied and pasted from one of Drew's emails follows…

The audio tapes were transferred so that your team could listen to them conveniently, with only the possibility of being used. Mr. Daisley agreed to reimburse the cost of transfer if for whatever reason they weren't used.

Mr. Daisley did mention to you more than once about a fee, and you actually told him to speak with Peter Margolis; the goal posts seem to be moved at your own convenience.

It is important to note that if the proceeds were being distributed to a charity or the Randy Rhoads Foundation, I would have no hesitation in waiving Mr. Daisley's fee, but this is not the case as you note in your email.

In consideration of the many hours acting as a consultant and the lengthy filming process undertaken by Mr. Daisley, a fee of $10,000 USD will be required for use within the documentary. Any further exploitation including, but not limited to, DVD and digital rights will require further negotiation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,
Dr Drew Thompson.

In the end I told them that I didn't want payment and that if we could work everything out I'd sign off on what I'd done. They seemed to think that they had the right to use some of my 'Grail' in their film just because they'd paid the pittance for the transfers, which was absurd. When I told them that what I had was 'gold' and there was no way I was going to just give it away, they got nastier. I was told that unless I signed off on my part in the film by the 1st of June, that I wouldn't be in it. I ignored that and let them get on with it, I wasn't going to be pushed or threatened into prematurely signing. Soon after, when I was trying to help resolve the situation, I offered to let them use a couple of 'snippets' of the 'Grail' free of charge. Here's an excerpt copied and pasted from one of Klein's emails in reply…

Peter (Margolis) wanted me to mention that just getting "snippets" of the grail for the film is not fair, being that he paid for the transfers. So, he asked me to get reimbursed from you in full and we will make the film without any snippets from the Grail.

Following is an email of mine to Andrew copied and pasted…

Hello Andrew,

I'm not going to debate about the reimbursement of the trivial costs regarding the tape-to-disc transfers, but I'd like to reiterate on the original terms and conditions we discussed. It seems that there's been a lack of accurate communication between you and Peter with regard to the original conversation between you and me. Does Peter think that because the costs of the transfers were paid by him/Dakota, that he has a right to choose any amount of the material from The Grail for the film free of charge? That would be unrealistic. Before we even talked about a box-set of the Holy Grail, I told you - and I remember my exact words - that if I agreed to the use of any of the material in the film that "It won't be free, it won't even be cheap." Why would I give my valuable asset away for a pittance such as the cost of the transfer? It was transferred to disc for your convenience and ease of listening purposes, to save time. The reason being, for possible use in the film at a substantial cost, not free, as I established. After all, I can listen to the tapes any time I like at my leisure, it was for your benefit. What I did guarantee was reimbursement for the costs if the material was deemed unsuitable, either in quality or content, or if some part of it was chosen that I regarded as 'not negotiable'. Recently when you requested 'snippets' of The Grail for the film, snippets in your words being, "only a few seconds here and there," and I said, "So you mean a total of a minute or so?" Your answer was, "Not even." So I told you that if that was the case, it wouldn't be a problem, you could have it and it would be free; I think that was a generous offer. I just wanted to make those points clear.


I couldn't believe that they really did think that because they'd paid for the tape-to-disc transfers, which was done for their convenience, they had some kind of unrestricted claim to the 'Grail' for their own use. Even when I offered some snippets of rare, unheard, historic material free of charge, they turned it down to get reimbursed the pittance it cost to have the transfers done.

I paid them back their money as promised and lived up to my word. I told Klein that I was still prepared to sign off on my part in their movie if I could be guaranteed that the music used would be the 'real McCoy' containing Lee's and my performances and that if I could see the pre-release edits to review how my interviews were used and in what context. There was some delay with their reimbursement and because I still hadn't signed off on my film parts, the threats and insults continued. Here's another excerpt copied and pasted from an email I received from Klein…

If you can't afford to pay Peter back, then you need to FEDEX us a copy of the Grail. This CANNOT wait any longer - you promised not to hold the film for ransom and you promised to pay us back if you would not let us have a copy of the Grail. Now, here we are. I don't do business this way and I am blown away at the way you have conducted yourself. I can tell you without a shred of doubt that if this situation does not have a happy ending, the worst shit storm you can ever imagine will rain down upon you.

I sent that email to my lawyer in L.A., just to have the threat on record. After seeing the threats, demands and insults which were sent from Klein on Margolis's behalf, my lawyer advised me to dissociate myself from the project. There was no guarantee which version of the music would be used in the movie and my requests to be able to review the edits of my extensive interviews for the film had been ignored, and my lawyer was not happy about that either.

Later down the track Margolis relinquished his claim to a percentage of the 'Grail' and discussions about my signing off on the film continued. Then I began to hear through the grapevine that Margolis was badmouthing and slandering me every chance he got but coming from someone such as him, that didn't bother me in the least. I wanted to be able to sign the release forms and be a part of the historic tale of the great Randy Rhoads, for the sake of his memory and out of respect for him but not if it meant bowing down to unprofessional, unreasonable, insulting, slanderous people such as Margolis. Maybe one day someone with more class, intelligence, professionalism and integrity will make a proper, credible tribute to Randy Rhoads movie. I certainly hope so.

Bob Daisley.
April, 24th, 2010.