West Side Dave Interview

Bassist Bob Daisley is without a doubt one of THE hardest working musicians out there; the guys' resume reads like a condensed history of Rock, having played with some of Rocks' most legendary figures and, as well as co-writing and performing on some of the most popular albums of all time! Not too shabby, eh? Yet instead of having a jaded "seen-it-all" attitude, Bob's outlook on music and performing is as fresh as it was since arriving in London [via Australia] in 1971. As a longtime fan, it's truly an honor to have done a Q & A session with someone of Bob's stature.

West Side Dave: Hello, Bob! Thanks for taking time to do this. How are you?

Bob Daisley: I'm alright, thanks.

WSD: I only JUST got the US release of the Living Loud CD and am enjoying the hell out of it! Can you tell us how the whole project came about?

BD: After we had done a show here in Sydney in 2003 with my blues band called The Hoochie Coochie Men, (named after the Willie Dixon song "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man") with Jon Lord (Purple) on keyboards, it was suggested that Jon and I record something together with Jimmy Barnes (who had got up and sung a few songs with us that night) on vocals. The obvious drummer choice was Lee Kerslake and although it evolved into a "band" situation, originally it was to have many guests on the recording too. People like Gary Moore, Brian May, Steve Morse, Jake E. Lee, Ronnie Dio, Don Airey, etc.etc. It was when Steve Morse, Lee and I first got together at Steve's place in Florida that we realized that we had something special that we didn't want to change, so the idea of a "project" with lots of guests involved, went quickly out the window. When Jimmy Barnes came in and began singing we knew we had the line-up we wanted, no other guitarists or singers were needed . As it turned out, Don Airey played all the keyboards on the album as Jon Lord wasn't available when the keyboards had to be done. It was meant to be shared by Don and Jon but it turned out better with just one keyboardist, more of a band feel. The Ozzy songs we did were NOT in retaliation to what the Osbournes had done to the original recordings, Lee and I had talked for many years about re-recording some of those classics, just as our own personal tribute to our friend Randy.

WSD: Could you provide a little info about The Hoochie Coochie Men, for those who've never heard about them?

BD: When I returned to Australia in 1997, I hooked up with an old friend of mine called Tim Gaze that I'd been in a band with called Kahvas Jute in 1970. He was playing blues with various people and eventually we decided to form a blues band together and I named it The Hoochie Coochie Men. When Jon Lord was in Sydney in 2003, Jon and I had dinner together and I invited him to play a few shows with us, one in Melbourne, one in Sydney and one in Queensland. The show in Sydney was filmed and became a live DVD and double album CD. The Hoochies are in the process of recording the basic tracks for a studio album, which will also feature Jon Lord on Keyboards. This time the material will be a little harder-edged blues with a bit heavier sound.

WSD: Early in your career, you moved from your native Australia to London. How old were you and what prompted this move?*

BD: When I left it was 1971 and I had just turned 21 and went to rejoin a band I had been in in Sydney called Kahvas Jute who had gone to London soon after I had parted company with them in Sydney. I didn't go back with them but stayed in London and joined Chicken Shack, a well known blues band in the UK.

WSD: After playing with several prominent bands [including Mungo Jerry and Widowmaker], you joined Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. This line-up recorded "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", one of THE all time Rock classics. What were the circumstances that led you to join?

BD: It was 1977 and I had just finished a tour of the US with Widowmaker and hooked up with a friend of mine, Dick Middleton, in LA. Dick told me that Ritchie was looking for a bass player and introduced me to him. I went for an audition and was offered the gig.

WSD: What are some of the things that stand out in your mind of your tenure with Rainbow?

BD: It was a professionally run organization with an abundance of talent within the band and road crew. I enjoyed the music and the discipline that was prevelent in all members.

WSD: After Rainbow, you went on to form a new band with Ozzy Osbourne. What got you interested in working with him?

BD: I had left Rainbow and was looking for a rock gig. I went out one night with a mate of mine to a club in London called The Music Machine and saw a band called Girl playing there. I went because Girl were on Jet Records, the record Co. that Widowmaker had been signed to, so I knew I'd see people I knew. I saw Arthur Sharpe from Jet Records who introduced me to Ozzy, who was in the bar and he asked me if I'd be interested in getting a band together with him. I went to his house in Stafford soon after that where we had a jam together with a couple of his musician mates of his. Ozzy and I decided there and then that we'd like to work together and get some serious players involved. Soon after that Jet Records flew a guitarist over from LA that Ozzy had met there previously. The guitarist was a young chap named Randy Rhoads.

Interview by West Side Dave • 17th April 2006