Former Ozzy Osbourne bassist and songwriter Bob Daisley has filed a lawsuit against the singer over claims of unpaid royalties from the 1980 classic “Crazy Train.”
NME reports the bassist’s suit against Osbourne and his company Blizzard Music Limited seeks $2 million in unpaid royalties, while alleging that "although royalties have been paid to Daisley over the years, an audit conducted in 2014 showed that Osbourne and his company had been improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley’s rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs.”
"While Mr. Osbourne was benefiting from the songs co-authored by our client, the audit shows that he was systematically short-changing Mr. Daisley,” said Daisley's lawyer Alan Howard. “Mr. Daisley had no choice but to bring this action to secure his fair share of the proceeds those songs have generated.”
Daisley was the original bassist in the band Blizzard Of Ozz, which included Osbourne, guitarist Randy Rhoads and drummer Lee Kerslake. The group’s 1980 debut morphed into Ozzy’s solo debut under Jet Records, which was launched by Don Arden – the father of Sharon Arden, who later became the singer’s wife and manager.
Although Daisley and Kerslake were fired by Sharon after the completion of sessions for 1981’s “Diary Of A Madman”, the bassist continued to work with Osbourne on albums up to and including 1991’s “No More Tears.”
“For the past 36 years,” responded Ozzy’s camp in a statement regarding the legal action, “Mr. Daisley has been receiving bi-annual royalty statements and checks from Blizzard Music, totaling in the millions of dollars, which have been routinely cashed. Mr. Daisley has audited Blizzard Music accounts over the years using several different auditing firms who found no discrepancies. He has previously filed lawsuits in the UK and the US and has lost on each occasion.
“We understand that Mr. Daisley is now in retirement and that these funds are his main source of income, so it is his right to be diligent with his money, but after 36 years, this is tantamount to harassment. We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr. Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr. Osbourne's success. Blizzard Music and Mr. Osbourne plan to vigorously defend these proceedings.”
As for “unhealthy personal obsession and resentment”, legal actions by Daisley and Kerslake through the years led to a revenge move by Sharon Osbourne that saw her have the pair’s work on “Blizzard” and “Diary” re-recorded by Ozzy’s then-current band members – Robert Trujillo (now with Metallica) and drummer Mike Bordin – for a 2002 re-release of the records.
“Believe me, it wasn’t my doing,” said Ozzy in 2010. “I mean, I didn’t know that was being done, ’cause Sharon was fighting all the legal things that were going down at the time. I said, ‘What did you do that for?’ And she said, ‘The only way I could stop everything was if it went to that level.’ And I said, ‘You know what, whatever the circumstances were, I want the original thing back.’ I mean, I wouldn’t have done that.”
An expanded 30th anniversary edition of “Blizzard” released in 2011 presented the original recordings that included Dailey and Kerslake’s work.
Ozzy and Black Sabbath will launch the final series of North American shows on their current farewell tour at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in New York on August 17.
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