Marty Friedman on Auditioning For Ozzy Osbourne’s Band: I ‘Failed Miserably’

Marty Friedman: Jun Sato / Getty Images
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Prior to his days rocking out in Los Angeles, California’s Megadeth, Marty Friedman auditioned to be part of Ozzy Osbourne‘s band during the late 1980s – however, according to the guitarist, he says he “failed miserably” at this audition.

Friedman spoke about this past audition during the Q&A portion of Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s “Metalmania III”, which took place on November 20th.

According to Friedman, he was invited by Sharon Osbourne to take part in this audition, and while he initially thought he did well, he ultimately didn’t make the cut. Reflecting on this experience and sharing why he feels he wasn’t invited to join Osbourne’s band, Friedman shares the following (as transcribed by Blabbermouth, video below via TheSilverdude):

“I failed miserably. I think it was probably because of the way I looked.

“I actually got a call from Sharon Osbourne way, way back, and I was living in San Francisco, and they said, ‘We’d like to fly you down to audition for Ozzy.’ 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 L.A. — they flew me down to L. A. 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. But our images were very different. Those guys in the band were, like — it was just like a rehearsal, and they 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. I just thought that… It was just a different air. It wasn’t like these three guys are gonna get together and jell, even though it sounded fine, I thought. I mean, I thought I played everything correctly.”

Friedman goes on to add:

“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 L.A. and I smelled like San Francisco, which was a different smell. Neither of us smelled very good. But they were cool. Everybody played everything great. They were auditioning thousands of guys. So I didn’t get it.

“A band is just… 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].”

Marty Friedman Q&A