A Brief History of Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeJeffrey Philip Wielandt, best known as Zakk Wylde, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Wienlandt. He was born January 14, 1967 in Jackson, New Jersey. Before he had the nickname Zakk, he used to be called “flip”, short for his name Philip, by his friends and family.

Zakk Wylde first played the guitar when he was at a very young age of eight, only to quit a short time after due to lack of interest. At the age of 14, Zakk Wylde picked up where he left off. He began taking guitar lessons from his high school football coach’s son, LeRoy Wright, at Jackson Memorial High School. Later on, he studied classical guitar with a guy from Freehold, New Jersey. Zakk Wylde then formed his first band, which was called “Stone Henge.” They played songs at parties like Ozzy’s “Park at the Moon” and other songs by Black Sabbath and Rush.

Upon graduating from Jackson Memorial High School at the age of 18, Zakk became a member of another band. He replaced the guitarist of “Zyris” who left to form his own band. It was with this band that Zakk Wylde started to write his own originals. And upon joining “Zyris”, he referred to himself as Zakk Wyland.

Hearing on the Howard Stern Show that Ozzy would be auditioning unknown guitarists, Zakk never thought it to be more than a fantasy. At one Zyris show, Zakk was discovered playing by rock photographers Mark Weiss and Dave Feld. Amazed at Zakk’s playing, Dave confronted Zakk, and mentioned that Ozzy was looking for a new guitarist and that they would pass along a press kit. Zakk tried the audition with Ozzy. During the audition Zakk played a few Ozzy songs and some acoustic and classical stuff. After the audition he returned home thinking he didn’t get the job. One day he received a phone call from Sharon Osbourne asking if he would join the band.

Zakk had joined up with Ozzy at the age of 20, in May of 1987. It was then he was given the last name “Wylde.” Ozzy introduced Zakk as his new guitarist at the Hard Rock Café in New York City, on Dec.15, 1987. Zakk Wylde made his debut with Ozzy Osbourne on album in 1988 with "No Rest For The Wicked." Zakk quickly became a big name in the guitarist community, due to his instantly recognizable guitar sound and style. In 1989, Zakk got to tour the world playing guitar for Ozzy.

In the early 1990s, Zakk Wylde had formed his own solo band Pride & Glory, playing a mixture of bluesy southern rock with heavy metal. However, after one album, they disbanded in December 1994. Zakk Wylde subsequently recorded an acoustic solo album, Book of Shadows (released 1996). In May 1998, after limited commercial success with Book of Shadows, Zakk Wylde and drummer Phil Ondich recorded what became Black Label Society’s debut album, “Sonic Brew”.

Zakk Wylde found success in playing lead guitar in Ozzy Osbourne’s band as well as in his own band, Black Label Society, who have been a part of the Ozzfest tour many times. Zakk has been voted “Most Valuable Player” for three successive years in the “Guitar World” magazine polls. In 2005, he was also voted “Best Metal Guitarist,” “Number 1 Shredder” and received the “Metal Hammer” (UK magazine) “Riff Lord” and “Golden God” awards. So basically, Zakk Wylde went from an unknown kid playing in small clubs in New Jersey, to playing huge arenas.

Zakk Wylde’s Most Famous Songs

Zakk Wylde’s style of a Les Paul played loudly through a marshal amp helped Ozzy to score some of its biggest hits, including a Grammy for “I Don’t Want to Change the World.”

When Zakk Wylde formed his own band “Pride and Glory”, the world got to see the range that he possessed. Zakk’s albums have highlights for rock fans and guitar purists. Here are some of Zakk’s greatest tracks.

1.) "Horse Called War" from Pride & Glory
2.) "Between Heaven and Hell" from Book of Shadows
3.) "Bored to Tears" from Sonic Brew
4.) "Counterfeit God" from Stronger than Death
5.) "Stronger than Death" from Stronger Than Death
6.) "Speedball" from 1919 Eternal
7.) "Stillborn" from The Blessed Hellride
8.) "Crazy or High" from Hangover Music Vol VI
9.) "Fire it Up" from Mafia
10.) "Doomsday Inc." from Kings of Damnation

Zakk Wylde is the hardest working man in metal. Black Label Society consistently releases a new album every year and is a staple of the Ozzfest tour where Wylde also pulls double duty as Ozzy's guitarist.

Some of Zakk Wylde’s Famous Guitars

There are many different Zakk Wylde guitars that have gained notoriety and popularity. Of the Zakk Wylde Ephiphones, made by Gibson, the most famous is of course the bullseye guitar, where the whole body of the guitar is made to look like a bullseye with concentric circles.

One of Zakk Wylde’s famous guitars is the Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Electric Guitar - Bull's Eye. In a tribute to his scorching riffs and remarkable stage presence, Gibson honors one of heavy metal's premier lead guitarists with the Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Electric Guitar. It features Wylde's trademark black-and-antique-white bull's-eye graphics. Billed as "The Ultimate Shred Weapon" there are few who can dispute that in Zakk Wylde's skilled hands, this solid-body guitar truly screams.

Another guitar is the Epiphone's Zakk Wylde Camo LP Custom. Despite its competitive price tag, the Camo is a faithful version of Zakk's Gibson original. Under the camouflage maple top you'll find a mahogany body that offers warmth and sustain. And there is also Epiphone’s Zakk Wylde Buzzsaw Les Paul Custom. Based on Zakk's guitar, the Epiphone Buzzsaw has a deep mahogany body to enhance its sustain, with a maple top that replicates the orange and black custom graphics with total authenticity.

These are just some of Zakk Wylde’s famous guitars. There are many others out there. He also has guitars from his DimeBag collection, designed by Dimebag himself. It is with these awesome guitars and his great talent that Zakk Wylde became famous.

One Response to A Brief History of Zakk Wylde
  1. Steward
    February 24, 2012 | 10:14 pm

    Zakk ya F****k AWESOME, ya killing me with you’ your incretable GUITAR talented….

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