Zakk Wylde Once Got Kicked Off a Church Baseball Field on Ozzfest
If Zakk Wylde stories were currency, guitar tech Freddy Kowalo would be one of the world's richest men. He was a recent guest on the Eric McKenna Project podcast, telling tales of teching for Black Label Society, Megadeth, Alice in Chains, Shinedown and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, including one about Wylde getting kicked off a church baseball field while trying to relax on the road on Ozzfest.
Prompting Kowalo for a story he heard about Wylde and the Black Label Society crew playing baseball with a group of kids, McKenna got the actual version of the events. "I got it on video and the video I entitled 'At Play in the Field of the Lord,'" the guitar tech began.
"Wherever we went, we took this [aforementioned] baseball bat — it's the [Mike] Piazza bat — Zakk went off and bought a whole shitload of softballs. If we wanted to play baseball, we played baseball and that meant if we went to a mall parking lot and hit home run derby against the walls of the mall that's what we did," said Kowalo. "If we wanted to stop and play baseball, we played baseball and we found a field in Montana on our way to The Gorge [Amphitheatre] in Washington. We pull up and we play — the field was empty when we pulled up and the idea was we're playing baseball and shit like that and it's great," he added.
This is where the story takes its dramatic turn.
"And this church van pulls up and people get out and we're out there," the guitar tech went on, describing the scene the church group was looking at. "Now you've got to picture — we're on Ozzfest in our leather vests, in our boots and we played like that and it's 98 degrees in Montana. I have this on video and it's one of the funniest things ever."
The story continues, "This church group comes up — we're playing on a church field in Montana and they come up and they go, 'Hey, what are you guys doing?' And Zakk's like, 'Ah, dude we're fucking sitting here fucking out on tour with the fucking Ozzfest and we're fucking busting off some steam fucking smacking some fucking balls around dude, playing some fucking home run derby. You got the fucking guys out there...'"
Confused, the church group asked for clarification. "And this lady goes, 'Excuse me, what are you doing?' And [Wylde] goes, 'Dude we're out here fucking busting our fucking balls on this fucking baseball fucking field fucking out here. We're out there on the fucking Ozzfest fucking touring and shit. I'm out here fucking busting my balls doing double duty with like Black Label and fucking Ozzy Osbourne and so we're out here trying to relax,'" Kowalo recalled.
This still didn't clear up the picture for the group. "She goes, 'What do you do?' He goes, 'Oh, I play fucking guitar for Ozzy Osbourne.' And they look and they go 'Get off our field. Right now,'" said the tech. "And he goes, 'Ah dude it's all cool we're just out here trying to —' 'Get off our field right now.'"
This all culminates in the highlight of the story.
"They go, 'Jesus would not want you to play baseball on our field.' [Wylde] goes, 'What the fuck? Motherfucking Jesus invented fucking baseball. Dude, don't tell me I'm not down with J.C. I've got a six foot fucking crucifix of Jesus fucking Christ fucking hanging above my fucking — don't tell me I'm not down with J.C.,'" revealed Kowalo. The church group re-upped on their promise and replied, "We're calling the cops."
Listen to Part 1 of the podcast below.
Catch Black Label Society on tour from late April through May as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Sonic Brew. An updated version of the album, dubbed Sonic Brew - 20th Anniversary Blend 5.99 - 5.19, will be out on May 27 through eOne. Head here to get more album details and to see the list of tour dates.
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