Hero: Zakk Wylde
Written by Dux, March 2008
his man has played
with the grandfather of heavy metal, Ozzy Osbourne, for 17 years. He is
a successful solo artist. He has been praised by many guitar and music
magazines and handed countless awards of guitar achievement. He is dedicated
to his craft, his country, and his friends. And above all, in his own
good ole boy style, this man is as humble and down to
earth as they get. I cannot honestly say that there is a person more deserving
of the title hero, especially in the music and entertainment
business, than Zakk Wylde.
orn Jeffrey Phillip
Wielandt, Zakks ascension to master-of-the-6-string began at the
age of 14. Hearing that Ozzy Osbourne needed a replacement guitarist on
the Howard Stern show, Zakk went to an audition, thinking that he probably
wouldnt get the job. It turned out that his hard-work, dedication,
and practicing of classical and unorthdox techniques would grab him the
gig. Zakk Wylde would go on to replace guitar-legend Rhandy Rhoads (R.I.P.)
and join the Ozzy Osbourne band at the ripe age of 20. In addition to
selling millions of records under the Ozzy banner, Zakk has gone on to
front his own band, Black Label Society. Zakk has won many guitar achievement
awards, including mos recently the Riff Lord award at the
2005 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. Despite his commercial exposure,
Zakk remains a muscians musician and sings, song-writes,
and plays damn good guitar.
art of what makes
Zakk so admirable is his dedication to the important things in his life.
Upon listening to his playing, its easy to tell that the man is
skilled. If hes not touring or working out, Zakk is using every
minute of his free time to refine his craft, even on the tour bus. Zakk
is also very patriotic and dedicated to Old Glory the United States
of America. On several occasions, Mr. Wylde has visited the troops in
the Middle East for free concerts and autograph signings. During concerts,
Zakk is constantly dedicating songs to the troops in Afghanistan and showing
his unadulterated enthusiasm for our nation. Lastly, Zakk is dedicated
to his friends. Most notably, late Pantera member and guitarist-in-arms,
Dimebag Darrell Abbot, was gunned down in Columbus. For months
after that, Zakk was all over the media discussing the heinous act. He
even wrote a song on his album that came out afterwards about memories
with Abbot, and created a "Dimebag Darrell Young Guitarist"
award to honor his friend.
inally, there is
something about Zakk Wylde that just screams hero; a certain
x-factor that cant be defined. I believe the term badass
most succinctly sums up what Im talking about. Zakk has a certain
old south charisma about him that attracts your attention
and makes you feel like the guy is genuine and like a friend youve
known for years. Yet, just like the southern generals of the Civil
War, Zakk has a no-bullshit attitude that commands your respect. If the
man feels strongly about something, hell tell you, in his own profanity-laden
drawl, and stick to his guns to the bitter end. Yet, despite his rough,
laid-back disposition, Zakk is a gentle, introspective man who cares for
his family, his trade, and traditions of the past.
akk Wylde might
not fit the popular preconception of a hero; rather, some
might see him as a sort of anti-hero. However, it is this atypical image
that makes Zakk such an inspiration. His laid-back, down to earth style
make the man easily accessible to the many who look up to him, despite
his status as a rock star. Even though the man sells records and makes
a load of money, he never lets it get to his head, always honoring his
roots, humbling his prowess, and taking time to connect with the fans.
Wylde may not be the mild-mannered Clark Kent no, quite the opposite.
Zakk Wylde is one of the most ballsy, respectable, skilled, dedicated
men you may ever meet and thats why I call him my hero.
(Originally written for Riff
Dux - March 2008