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…’
Billy Rankin’s School of Rock is available now – as featured in the national press and radio
Over 4000 hours of live broadcasting he shared tales of wine, women and song starring big names like Ozzy Osbourne, Guns n’Roses, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Metallica, Status Quo, Ted Nugent, the Who, REM, the Beatles and many others.
With the end of Rock Radio in October 2010 came the end of Billy’s broadcasting stint. But he decided to leave his listeners with a written memento of his audio lessons, in the shape of his book, Billy Rankin’s School of Rock, stuffed with hundreds of his favourite anecdotes. The foreword is written by award-winning Scottish rock broadcasting legend Tom Russell.
Billy Rankin was a member of Nazareth from 1980 to 1983 then again from 1990 to 1994. Before finding fame with the Fife rock heroes he played with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and went on to a successful solo career. He worked and/or drank with many of the stars of his book and became the host of cult station Rock Radio’s breakfast show from its launch in 2007 until its “rebrand” this week.