Zakk Wylde discussed a Grammy winning Ozzy Osbourne song being written originally as a complete joke song idea in a new 95.5 KLOS interview.
“I’ll just tell you the story about when we were writing ‘I Don’t Want to Change the World.’ So, I’m just sitting there, noodling in rehearsals at Joe’s Garage – Frank Zappa’s joint, his rehearsal place – and I’m sitting there just jamming, noodling on this riff. And the running joke was – I would play the riff, stop, and then go, ‘I live at home with my parents. I don’t have a job, and I’ve got gonorrhea. You’re never gonna get a date with a girl.’ And then I would do the riff again and then stop and go, ‘I’ve got syphilis. I’ve got three girlfriends, but once again, I don’t have any money.’
And then Ozzy walks in the room, he goes, ‘What was that?’ And I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he goes, ‘That riff you were playing!’ And I go, ‘It’s a joke, guys.’ And he goes, ‘Remember that riff, we’re gonna use that riff.’ And then the next thing you know, the song wins a Grammy. The secret to all this – when you go to Vegas, bring Ozzy with you…
The sessions with all that stuff, it would always be – we just jam riffs for Ozzy. Ozz would be like, ‘Zakk, what do you got?’ Me and Randy [Castillo, drums] would be jamming riffs and then Oz would go, ‘What’s that? Keep playing that one.’ It worked that way all the way from [1988’s] ‘Miracle Man’ [the lead single from ‘No Rest for the Wicked,’ Zakk’s Ozzy debut] on. That’s pretty much how it always went.
‘Mama, I’m Coming Home,’ I remember jamming in North Hollywood at my apartment, and I had a piano in there, and then we were jamming, we worked out the song on a piano. But it wasn’t until we got in the studio that I put it on an acoustic guitar. But originally, we wrote that song on the piano. As far as ‘No More Tears’ goes, that was pretty much actually as you hear it.
That was Mikey [Inez] playing the bass, and then Randy started playing the drums, John Sinclair started doing that keyboard part. And then I had a slide guitar around me because I love the Allmans and everything like that. I was just kind of playing like a ‘Free Bird’ type thing. We ended up putting that on and then I stopped playing, and then Mike was still playing the bass, and Randy’s playing, Ozzy was just sitting there, we’re jamming down at him… I was like, ‘Oz, just sing.’ And then I would play a riff, ‘War Pigs’ kind of thing. And then Ozzy sang the vocal line that you hear.
Very rarely did he ever go back and go, ‘I don’t like what I’m singing. Let me come up with something better.’ Very rarely because usually, he’d always just knock it out of the park, the first thing that would inspire him to sing over something, he would just kill it. And the same thing with ‘No More Tears’ – the first thing he sang over that riff.”