Official website the ex Nazareth guitarist and Rock Radio host

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Listen to Fred and me at the BBC

If you missed my spot on Fred MacAulay’s Radio Scotland show on Monday, here it is in glorious, em, mono as we talk about how we first met, my book, the rock’n’roll lifestyle and how everything has changed since oor day.

Now, Rock Radio was a family station so the BBC are even more careful, and I couldn’t quite tell my Ozzy story the way I did in Billy Rankin’s School of Rock. So here’s that wee bit from the book, told the way I’d prefer to tell it…


Shit in the dark

Once when Nazareth played in Little Rock, Arkansas, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were staying at our hotel, and came down to our concert.

Ozzy was meant to be on the wagon at the time, so Sharon wasn’t too happy when she caught him in our dressing room taking a swig of out of a Jack Daniel’s bottle. After a serious rammy, she stormed off back to the hotel.

Ozzy came back with us after the gig then went off to bed. Next morning at breakfast, he came down alone.

‘Where’s Sharon?’ we asked.

‘She’s gone, replied Ozzy. ‘But she was in bed when I got back last night’.

‘So how to you know she’s gone?’ we wanted to know.

‘Bit of a no-brainer really,’ he said. ‘There’s a massive great shit in my suitcase…’


Rock’n’roll will never die

ROCKER Billy Rankin has seen it all – and done even more. He has toured the world “with every band on the planet”, played in front of crazed audiences of thousands and met all his music heroes.

ROCKER Billy Rankin has seen it all – and done even more. He has toured the world “with every band on the planet”, played in front of crazed audiences of thousands and met all his music heroes.

Now the former guitarist with Nazareth has come full circle as a DJ on 96.3 Rock Radio, Scotland’s first classic rock station and the first in the UK to be broadcast on FM.

The station has just marked its first birthday with a mega bash at The Garage, starring the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Gun, Thunder and others, raising over £12,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Scotland, a music therapy charity.

Scots legend Frankie Miller was guest of honour at the gig, which may now become an annual event.

Kirkintilloch-born Billy is delighted to join such Rock Jocks as Tom Russell and Wild Willie – playing, as he puts it, “tracks by all the bands I’ve got the dirt on”.

“I was invited in by Jay Crawford, the programming director, on a totally different matter.

“I lent him a tenner about 20 years ago and thought I was going to get it back – instead he offered me a position as a presenter.

“But I’m having a great time here. I was a musician for 30-odd years and I’ve got a lot of interesting stories.

“I know my music, so I’m able to say more than just here’s another one from Van Halen’. I can actually tell you what I did to Van Halen.”

Our ears prick up. What did you to Van Halen?

“Not half as much as what I did to Iron Maiden,” he laughs.

Read the full article at www.eveningtimes.co.uk