Zakk Wylde Says the GRAMMYs Never Got Rock Music

posted by Andrew Magnotta -

Zakk Wylde doesn't get upset at awards-shows like the Grammys for ignoring rock music, like so many music fans do.

While there aren't many sure things in life, Wylde says you can bank on the fact that pop-culture-leaning awards shows like the Grammys have no idea what's really happening in pop culture, let alone rock music. 

The longtime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society frontman tells Songfacts it's always been that way.

"[Even] when [Black Sabbath] and Zeppelin were ruling the world, pop music was still dominating everything then," Wylde said when asked if guitar-based music will make a mainstream comeback. "I think if you looked at the Grammys back in 1974 or '73 when Zeppelin and Sabbath were just crushing everything, nobody even mentioned them, even though they were setting attendance records. Led Zeppelin was doing stadiums, a bigger attendance record than The Beatles when they played at Tampa Stadium, but they weren't even at the Grammys. They weren't even probably nominated."

In fact, Wylde himself won a Grammy before Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath did. He won in 1994 for Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Want to Change the World," on which Wylde is credited as a co-writer, along with Ozzy, Randy Castillo and Lemmy Kilmister

Wylde has a theory on how the Grammy voters came to give him that award.

"Put it this way: I think they just looked at the thing - Best Metal Performance or Rock Performance or whatever the hell it was [Best Metal Performance With Vocal] - and they went, "Ozzy Osbourne?" You know, they were all sitting around a table going, "That guy's still alive? I remember my older brother going to a Black Sabbath concert or a devil worship thing. I guess we'll fill him in. I don't know who any of these other bands are anyway. 'We have a winner – Ozzy Osbourne!'"

While Led Zeppelin was nominated for Best New Artist in 1970, the band was never awarded anything by the Grammys until 1999 when Led Zeppelin IV was enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Zeppelin has had several albums added to the Grammy Hall of Fame; the band also got a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. 

But Zeppelin still never actually won a Grammy until 2014 when the band's 2008 live album, Celebration Day, won for Best Rock Album. 

It's the only Grammy win Zeppelin is recognized for, according to the Grammys website, which also says that the most influential rock band of all-time has only been nominated three times.  

Black Sabbath wasn't nominated for a Grammy until 2000, when Sabbath a won Best Metal Performance for a reissue of "Iron Man," which was originally released in 1970.

Sabbath has been nominated for four Grammys and won two.

Wylde currently on tour with Black Label Society, promoting the band's new album, Grimmest Hits, a title the band settle on as a joke.

"People ask me, 'Grimmest Hits, is this a greatest hits record?' I go, no, in order for it to be a greatest hits record, you've got to have hits," he told Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke. "We don't have any of those."

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Photo: Getty Images

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