Jake E Lee claims Ozzy ripped him off

Jake E Lee says Ozzy Osbourne took all the songwriting credit for the Bark At The Moon album despite the fact he wrote parts of the 1983 record.

And he claims manager Sharon Osbourne told him he would have to accept the decision or his guitar sections would be scrapped and re-recorded by another musician, despite the fact he’d previously been told his name would appear on the disc.

He tells Eddie Trunk via Blabbermouth: “Here’s the truth. This is really gonna get me in more hot water, but whatever. I’m in hot water and I don’t see a way out.

“I was told from the get-go, ‘If you write part of the songs you’ll get writing credit, you’ll get publishing – that’s part of your deal.’ We recorded the album at Ridge Farm Studios and I kept asking because I’m getting really close to finishing all my stuff on the record. Once I laid down the final track they said, ‘We have the contract for you.’

“In it, it said, ‘Ozzy Osbourne wrote all the songs. You had nothing to do with any of the writing, you have no claim to publishing, and you cannot say so publicly.’

“I said to Sharon Osbourne, ‘This isn’t what you told me before. Why do you think I’m going to sign it?’ She said, ‘Because if you don’t, we’ll give you a plane ticket, you go back home and you stand in line and you sue us. In the meantime, we have all your tracks, we’ll get another guitar player, he’ll redo your tracks, and you’ll have nothing.’”

And Lee says he didn’t challenge the decision as it would have been a legal nightmare.

He continues: “The only reason I’m saying it now is because that was just mean. What am I going to do? Am I gonna say, ‘Fine. I’m going home – take my tracks off. Some other guy will get all the credit for playing guitar, and I still have to try to sue you for the rights?’ It wouldn’t have been a good decision.”

For the album’s follow-up The Ultimate Sin, Lee got credit as he insisted on seeing his contract before he played a single note. He adds: “I refused to do anything until I had a contract in front of me promising me writing credit and publishing.”

Lee’s latest project Red Dragon Cartel released their self-titled debut earlier this year and became embroiled in an argument with agent Denise Dale which resulted in a UK gig cancellation in June. They are currently on tour across the US.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.