Personalities | Zakk Wylde | The Last True Hero | Guitar Heroes

Though he maintains a gruff, beer-drinking, hell-raising public persona, guitarist Zakk Wylde (b. 1967) is one of the most talented, dedicated and hard-working guitarists of the past 20 years and, as some in the guitar community have speculated, the last true guitar hero.

Wylde was born Jeffrey Phillip Wiedlandt in Bayonne, New Jersey. He started playing guitar at the age of 15, drawing influence from such guitar legends as Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. He soon started a band called Stone Henge, playing Animal House-style house parties in central New Jersey. A few years later, while playing a gig in Sayreville, New Jersey, a photographer offered to get his press kit into the hands of Ozzy Osbourne, who was looking for a new guitarist. A short while later, Wylde was making his debut with the Prince of Darkness at Wormwood Scrubs prison, in London, England.

Wylde’s first album with Ozzy was No Rest For The Wicked (1988), featuring the hits ‘Miracle Man’ and ‘Crazy Babies’. From the start, Wylde’s minor pentatonic-based lines, aggressive vibrato and screaming pinch harmonics proved a perfect fit for the Osbourne sound. Their next studio record, No More Tears (1991), which produced the hits ‘No More Tears’ and ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’, solidified Wylde’s reputation as a guitarist who’s here to stay. Indeed, since that time, Wylde has recorded three more studio records with the madman, including 2007’s Black Rain.

In addition to his Ozzy gig, Wylde has worked on several side projects, such as Pride And Glory (1994) and a solo album titled Book Of Shadows (1996). But Wylde’s most prolific work has been with his own Black Label Society, formed in 1999. BLS has released 10 studio records, along with live albums and DVDs. Additionally, Wylde has several signature-model Gibson Les Paul Customs – the most famous being his black and antique-white bulls-eye design – and a signature-model Marshall head.

Essential Recordings

Ozzy Osbourne: No Rest For The Wicked

Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tears

Solo: Book Of Shadows

Black Label Society: Sonic Brew

Personalities | Angus Young | On a Highway to Hero | Guitar Heroes


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.