Haunted Happenings

Bernie Torme (Ozzy Osbourne, Dee Snider, Gillan)

The first gig I did with Ozzy was Allentown Pennsylvania I think, or someplace in that area: Randy Rhoads funeral had only been a day or so beforehand, and I guess I had only been in the states for three maybe four days in all. All my gear was still in transit via rocket cargo, amps, pedals and most of my spare guitars and stuff. We got in early to the gig so that I could have my first run through the live set with the band, up till then all I’d played with them were four tracks at the auditions in L.A. I was shitting myself, I was still jet lagged, I didn’t really know the songs or the set at all well, I’d only heard most of it for the first time four or five days ago, so I was totally on a wing and a prayer.

All my pedals were still in transit, and an old strat cranked through a few marshalls on Ozzy’s stuff sounded pretty much like an electric banjo, really crap. Someone suggested that I try Randy’s pedals, which were still in the truck for the run through, so I agreed. I was still hoping my stuff would arrive before the gig, but just before the gig someone came in and told me that my stuff had only just cleared customs in LA and that I would only get it all the next day. I really did not want to use Randy’s pedals on the gig, it seemed disrespectful, but there was no choice, it was either that or the electric banjo version of Crazy Train, so I used them. For that whole gig those pedals were turning on and off of their own accord: I saw the lights on them turning on and off when I was nowhere near: to be honest me turning them on and off was the least of my worries at that stage, I was just trying to remember what chord came next! Someone said to me after the gig that it must have been damp in the switches, but the thing was that in a few places they went on and off at the right times! I think Randy must have been there looking at me struggling, and thinking “that poor bozo really needs some help”… And also doing it in a few wrong places to keep me on my toes in case I got too cocky. It was very very freaky.

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