Zakk Wylde Quotes About Life, Guitars & Black Label Society

Zakk Wylde
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Zakk Wylde has been a consistent presence in the metal scene for over three decades. From doing his own thing with Black Label Society to playing with Ozzy and battling his own demons, the man is a living legend. And here’s some of Zakk Wylde’s best quotes…

Born Zachary Phillip Wylde, the man and legend we now know as Zakk Wylde grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey. Born January 14, 1967, Wylde began playing guitar at the age of eight years old. By the time he was in high school, he was playing non-stop between getting home from school and the next morning.

Wylde graduated high school in 1985. His first band was called Stone Henge, a local Jersey band. He then formed another band called Zyris. His big break, however, came when he landed lead guitar in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, replacing Brad Gillis, who had previously replaced the legendary Randy Rhodes.

Wylde also briefly played with Guns N Roses too, following an audition in 1995. During this time, Zakk was replaced in Ozzy’s band by Joe Holmes in 1995 until his return in 2001. During this time, Wylde founded Black Label Society; its first album, Sonic Brew, dropped in 1999.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the albums Zakk Wylde worked on during 1988 and 2020:

With Ozzy Osbourne

  • 1988: No Rest for the Wicked
  • 1990: Just Say Ozzy (live album)
  • 1991: No More Tears
  • 1993: Live & Loud (live album)
  • 1995: Ozzmosis
  • 2001: Down to Earth
  • 2002: Live at Budokan (live album)
  • 2007: Black Rain

With Black Label Society

  • 1999: Sonic Brew
  • 2000: Stronger than Death
  • 2001: Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!! +5
  • 2002: 1919 Eternal
  • 2003: The Blessed Hellride
  • 2004: Hangover Music Vol. VI
  • 2005: Mafia
  • 2006: Shot to Hell
  • 2009: Skullage
  • 2010: Order of the Black
  • 2011: The Song Remains Not the Same
  • 2013: Unblackened
  • 2014: Catacombs of the Black Vatican
  • 2018: Grimmest Hits
  • 2019: Nuns and Roaches: Tasty Little Bastards (EP)

Other Projects

Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society are Wylde’s main gigs. But the great axeman also found time to form a Black Sabbath covers band, Zakk Sabbath, as well as two solo albums with 1996’s Book of Shadows and 2016’s Book of Shadows II.

Acting Career

Zakk Wylde isn’t just a killer guitar, the man is also an accomplished actor too. Wylde has earned himself parts in movies, TV shows, and cartoons, including Mark Wahlberg’s Rock Star, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Californication, Angel, and Bones. In the latter, Wylde played Bones’ uncle, Jed.

Zakk Wylde Quotes About Life, Jesus, Guitars, Gear & Ozzy…

Zakk Wylde

Zakk Wylde is a very interesting guy. He’s a brilliant, creative guitarist. He has amazing technique and a killer ear for tone and melody, as well as a near-supernatural skill at creating crushing riffs. And he’s an actor and former alcoholic too, who describes himself as a “soldier of Christ”.

Here’s a selection of quotes from Wylde about how he’s developed as a guitarist, his career, his views on religion, family life, and his plans and thoughts about the future.

Zakk Wylde On Alcohol And Getting Clean

“One day my wife went and saw the accountant and said she’s pulling the plug. She said you guys are done. I said, how bad can it be? 10 grand? She said you’re not even close. It came out to almost $50,000 in alcohol for two months.”

“We were sitting on the bus one day and there were 5 of us hanging out. There was only one beer left in the cooler and we actually all took a little cup and split it. It was a pathetic day in a rock and roll when five grown men have to be sitting there sharing a beer.”

“I’ve messed myself up more playing music than when I played football.”

Zakk Wylde On Playing Guitar

“You’ve got certain guys that just want to be famous and then you’ve got the real musicians that just love playing music.”

“If I’m playing with Ozzy it’s just a guitar thing. But with the vocals I feel like I’m studying for the SATs.”

Zakk Wylde On Who Influenced Him Most

“As much as I love heavy riffs, I like The Eagles, Neil Young, Elton John, Crowded House.”

“There’s only one Sabbath guitarist and he is the architect for everything, Tony Iommi.”

“Without a doubt, Eddie Van Halen is the greatest guitar player who has ever lived.”

Zakk Wylde on Religion

“I’m a soldier of Christ, man. Without a doubt. The bottom line is that he’s with me all the time”

Zakk Wylde Guitars: All The Model He’s Used Throughout His Career

Zakk Wylde’s most iconic guitar is, of course, his Gibson Les Paul Custom, dubbed The Grail. If you’ve ever seen Zakk play, chances are he has The Grail strapped around his neck. You’ll know it’s The Grail because of its black and white bullseye paintwork.

Here’s a quote from Wylde about how he came to own The Grail (AKA his first Gibson Les Paul Custom):

Yeah, we got it for $800, new from the dealer. I wanted to get one like Randy Rhoads’. I had $500 to put down, and I had to wait until I could get the rest. Now you can get a $3,000 Les Paul, put some money down, then make payments on it, like a car. When I bought mine, they didn’t have that s***, or I would’ve gladly paid $60 a month until I paid the thing off.

Anyway, when I graduated – and how that happened, God only knows! It was like Jeff Spicoli graduatin’ high school (laughs)! But all I remember is my parents saying, “We got something for you,” when I came home that day. And there it was, sittin’ on the kitchen table. I was like, “Holy s***!” They’d chipped in the other $300.

After I started my endorsement with Gibson, they sent me a black doubleneck. But Scott Quinn at Garden State Music, back in Jersey, had another white Les Paul that played great, and he offered to swap the doubleneck for it. So we did, and I that’s the one that I had the bullseye painted on.


But The Grail isn’t the only guitar Wylde uses or has used; in fact, like any professional guitarist, he has amassed a pretty extensive collection of guitars during his going-on-forty-year career. Here’s a full list of Zakk Wylde’s guitars:

  • 1980s Gibson SG Firebrand Deluxe
  • 1980s Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
  • 1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom “The Grail”
  • 1980s Gibson Les Paul Standard “Shattered Glass”
  • 1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom “The Rebel”
  • 1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior
  • 1980s Gibson Les Paul Standard “Red Bullseye”
  • The Glory Guitar by Andy Beech
  • Gibson Les Paul Custom “Mirror”
  • 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom “Camo”
  • Gibson Les Paul Custom Pelham Blue
  • Gibson Les Paul Custom “Buzzsaw”
  • Gibson Bullseye Flying V
  • Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck Guitar
  • Gibson/Epiphone ZV
  • Epiphone Graveyard Disciple
  • Karl Sandoval Polka Dot Flying V
  • Dean Razorback
  • Gibson Chet Atkins SST
  • Gibson Dove
  • Alvarez 12 string Acoustic Guitar
  • Loucin Guitars Zakk Wylde “Fiddle of Doom”
  • Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE

And if you’re in search of a new guitar? Make sure you check out our guide to the best guitars for metalheads – it covers every possible budget and all the guitars listed are freaking amazing.


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