Monday, April 18, 2011

How Zakk Wylde wound up on American Idol

Most headbangers get sore necks from headbanging.

Last week, a lot of headbangers had sore necks for a completely different reason: for throwing their necks out while spinning their head around at the news that Zakk Wylde had appeared on American Idol.

Wylde joined contestant James Durbin for a raucous performance of “Heavy Metal,” the Sammy Hagar tune from the film of the same name.

So how did Zakk end up on the show?

“Father [Chris] Jericho called me up," says Wyle, leader of the Black Label Society. "He's on Dancing With the Stars, so we've been busting his b**** about that." According to Wylde, Durbin asked Jericho to make the call on his behalf.

"It was that easy," says Zakk. "I was, like, yeah, no problem. Then the American Idol people gave me the song to learn. Sammy Hagar, no problem. I bought it from iTunes: off and running."

For his part, Durbin shared the news with his fans via Twitter.

“For the record: I ASKED for Zakk Wylde to play. I ASKED for a flaming piano. If it's possible, they'll make it happen. They love it! :-)”

Following the show, another tweet from James said it all.

“Zakk is a LEGEND! I have so much respect for him! His presence fueled me to push it! I've NEVER back bended that far!”

What's Wylde's professional assessment of James as a metal singer? "I think he did a great job. We all know Sammy Hagar's got a killer voice. He sang his b**** off, man."

Zakk’s having some fun with the whole thing: he now asks that the other members of his band Black Label Society refer to him as "The Idol."

"I told J.D. [bassist John DeServio] and the other guys in the band, 'You know, I'm also known as 'Icon'; they use the word 'legendary' around me. I guess now we can just throw 'Idol' in there.'" he says. "J.D.'s like, 'Dude, I'm not going to puke, I'm going to go hang myself.' So I'll definitely get some mileage out of this"

Up next for BLS is "The Song Remains Not the Same," an album that features acoustic versions of songs from their 2010 "Order Of The Black" album - it comes out May 10.

American Idol American Idol

James Durbin - Heavy Metal
With guest guitarist Zakk Wylde
Original by Sammy Hagar
American Idol – April 13, 2011

See also:

VIDEO: James Durbin, Zakk Wylde rock Sammy Hagar on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks The Beatles on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Elton John on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Stevie Wonder on American Idol
VIDEO: James Durbin rocks Bon Jovi on American Idol