Hair Metal Guitarist Turned Down Ozzy Osbourne Gig, His Band Broke Up 3 Weeks Later
Seasoned shredder Nuno Bettencourt recently remembered when he turned down the guitarist position in Ozzy Osbourne's band because he was busy performing with Extreme. A short while later, Extreme had called it quits, and Bettencourt probably wished he had made a different decision.
That's how the hair metal guitarist told the story last month on the Oh Say Can You Stream podcast alongside Ozzy and Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde plus rock photographer Mark Weiss. Hosts Thom Hazaert and Megadeth's David Ellefson conducted the conversation.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
It all goes back to Bettencourt's childhood when the young and confident guitarist presumed he was talented enough to perform with Osbourne at the ripe age of 15.
"I remember reading Circus or maybe Hit Parader [magazine] and there was an ad that said, 'Ozzy looking for guitarist — send your demo here,'" Bettencourt recalled, as reported by Guitar World on Monday (June 15). "I just quit high school and I'm like, 'This is my gig. I'm getting this gig!' You believe it at 15 years old."
The dream was nearly realized after the guitarist established himself with Extreme, the Gary Cherone-fronted glam metal act. In between Wylde's tenures with Osbourne, Bettencourt might have had a shot.
"Cut to 1994 and [Extreme] is opening for Aerosmith in London," Bettencourt remembered, "and [agent] Rod MacSween comes over" with word of the offer that Bettencourt ultimately turned down. It was a "stupid mistake, because then [Extreme] broke up, like, three weeks later," the guitarist said.
As the musician recalled, MacSween had told him, "Hey, I just got a call from Sharon [Osbourne] on the way here. She said, 'Talk to Nuno. If he wants, there will be a jet at London Heathrow. If he leaves right now, he can go straight on tour [with Ozzy]. No audition.'"
Of course, we all know the musical collaboration never came to fruition in the end. But it's still interesting to think about what might've resulted from Bettencourt backing Ozzy for a spell.
Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde, Rudy Sarzo + More on "Oh Say Can You Stream"
Photos: Ozzy Osbourne Through the Years