Zakk Wylde’s Guns N’ Roses Jam Inspired Black Label Society Song
Zakk Wylde revealed that his mid-'90s jam sessions with members of Guns N' Roses inspired a song that ended up on Black Label Society's debut album.
The BLS bandleader and longtime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist linked up with Slash, Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed for a pseudo-"audition" around 1995. While the dual-lead guitar approach proved unsuccessful, the ensuing jam sessions gave Wylde some material for Black Label Society's 1999 debut album, Sonic Brew.
Discussing the songs that emerged from those jam sessions with AL.com, Wylde said, "Well, one of them was 'Rose Petalled Garden' that ended up on the first Black Label album. And then I'm trying to think … It was more in that vein of that kind of stuff. Kind of chunky. But 'Rose Petalled Garden' was one of the ones that we had during that session that, you know, never made it, so I was just like, 'I'll put lyrics to it.'"
Listen to Black Label Society's 'Rose Petalled Garden'
Wylde previously reflected on his GNR jams on a 2015 episode of That Metal Show. "We just had some ideas laying around and stuff like that, but nothing amounted to where Axl sang on stuff and had lyrics written and everything like that," he said. Nevertheless, he added, "It was great hanging out. 'Cause all the guys were there, you know what I mean? It was Slash, Axl, Duff, Dizzy, Matt; it was all the guys. We were all jamming and stuff like that. It was a good time."
Wylde, who was between stints with Osbourne at the time of the Guns N' Roses jam sessions, said they inspired him to launch his own band. "I just had a batch of riffs and ideas laying around. I just said, 'I'll do it myself,'" he explained. "And that's when Black Label Society was born. And that's why I'm still living in a van down by the river. I figured, 'Maybe I wanna do this myself.'"
The guitarist also recently revealed he will play on Osbourne's forthcoming solo album, marking their first studio collaboration since 2007's Black Rain. Wylde will be playing alongside other guitar heroes including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Tony Iommi. "On those tracks I'm playing rhythm guitar for my heroes … it's crazy!" he said. "It sounds awesome, and I'm beyond honored to be doing it."