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Marriage: Zakk Wylde

Happily married hard-touring musicians are thin on the ground.

Not everyone’s cut out for it, that’s for sure. Randy Castillo [Ozzy Osbourne’s drummer who died in 2002], God bless him, once told me he was jealous of my situation. I replied: “There’s not one woman you don’t want. You getting married would be like taking a bald eagle, clipping its wings and sticking it in a cage, and then putting it by the window to watch the passers-by.” It would be a disaster. But if it works… Look at Paul and Linda McCartney; I think they were apart for just two days during their time together.

You’ve been with Barbaranne for twenty-eight years, and you have four kids…

[Interrupting] Just like Manchester United, there’s been a couple of bad seasons but that doesn’t stop a real fan from supporting the club. For me, even in my darkest times in bar bands, I never thought it was over… “Aaah, we’re just having a bad season.”

What’s the secret of maintaining a good marriage while touring? Trust? Terror?

It’s terror, brother. I’m terrified of her. But it’s really about digging your situation. I see some amazing-looking women, but I don’t say: “I’ve got to have that.” I own a lot of guitars and I enjoy playing them all, but I’m endorsed by Gibson, you know what I’m saying? At the end of the day you’ve got to enjoy your situation. If I wanted Barbaranne to look more like a stripper I’d be with a stripper. I do know that she liked me better before I hit the iron so heavy. I’m up to 225 fucking pounds now. She’d prefer me to be around 170, but that won’t happen any time soon.

_You call Barbaranne “the immortal beloved”. _

She’s getting old and everything, and she asks: “Why are you still with me?” And it’s because I still love her.

_Does she wears the trousers in the Wylde household? _

No, we both do. It’s a partnership. If I asked Barbaranne to cook me dinner, rub my feet and make me dinner, she’s say: “You got the wrong fucking person. Look at the calendar, jackass – it ain’t the nineteen-fifties.”

We don’t hear of many childhood sweethearts staying together for fifty or sixty years any more. Have easy divorces cheapened marriage?

Like I said, you’re always gonna have good and bad seasons, but you don’t quit on the team. Just because Manchester City are suddenly the best team around, nobody throws away their Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle shirts, do they?

Some religions allow more than one wife. How would you feel about that?

Would anyone want more than one?

Wouldn’t that depend upon the wife?

Not for me. I’ve got filet mignon waiting at home, I don’t need Sizzler.

Dave Ling
Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.