“I played everything correctly, but being in a band is so much more than the playing”: Marty Friedman recalls failing “miserably” during his Ozzy Osbourne audition

“And, actually, the playing is kind of down on the list.”

Ozzy Osbourne and Marty Friedman

Image: Kevin Mazur / Jun Sato / Getty Images

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Ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman has revealed some of the takeaways from the time he “failed miserably” during his audition for Ozzy Osbourne’s band.

During the Q&A session of this month’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s “Metalmania III”, Friedman says that he got the audition call from Ozzy’s wife and manager Sharon at a time when he was struggling to make ends meet as a musician in Los Angeles..

“They said, ‘We’d like to fly you down to audition for Ozzy,'” Friedman recalls [via Blabbermouth]. “And I’m, like, ‘Oh my god. This is great.’ I was practically homeless at the time, living with my then-girlfriend and dealing with the rent and all that stuff, as California rock musicians do. And I was so happy to get the call.”

“So I learned the music, went down to LA – they flew me down to LA to play with the band. And it was, I guess, the guys who were in the band at the time. And I thought I played everything absolutely just fine, and I thought it sounded great.”

“Everybody was friendly enough,” the guitarist adds. “But our images were very different. Those guys in the band were totally decked out in 1980s Sunset Strip – what do you call it? – skull t-shirts with handcuffs and long necklaces. And they were just ready to go out on the Strip, and I was just in jeans and a t-shirt, totally normal.”

But as Friedman explains, now, “Being in a band is so much more than the playing. And, actually, the playing is kind of down on the list.”

“If you have the same kind of vibe with the people, you can just kind of smell it: ‘This is the guy I wanna hang out with.’ And it was different on that level… They smelled like LA and I smelled like San Francisco, which was a different smell.”

Ultimately, the musician says that “everybody played everything great” and that “they were auditioning thousands of guys. So I didn’t get it.”

Touching on how bands work, Friedman says “it’s like more of the personalities between the people. Because there’s so many great players who can play every gig, you know what I mean? It’s really about who do you wanna hang out with?”

“I would have loved to have got the gig, but they were probably just getting ready to go back out drinking, and I’m not a very big drinker, so it wouldn’t have jelled so well. But at the time I was, like, ‘Oh, I played it perfectly. Why didn’t they call me back?’ But I get it [now].”


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