Joan May writes: from December 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine – apparently a regular feature where a prominent guitarist is asked to put together a 60-minute tape for his listening pleasure.
The Hour of Music that Rocks my World
60 Minutes with Ozzy Osbourne
(excerpt from introduction by Vic Garbarini)
Ozzy: 'A lot of these new bands have the aggression – but where's the melody?'
Mr Osbourne says he doesn't want to go off on a rant here, but while he's on the subject: 'I don't fucking run out and buy the latest records by Snot or Sepultura or Megadeth,' he admits. 'That music is not new for me – and what I do for a profession and what I like are two different things. For my 60 Minutes tape, I selected music I really like to listen to, the music that turned me on when I was a fan.'
The 12 songs he selected are not in alphabetical order, but the first one is: A Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum [from the album] Procol Harum (Deram, 1967)
'My dad always said, "If you have a great melody you have a great song," and this one has a terrific hook as well. I still get the same thrill listening to this today as I did the first time I heard it. Actually, it's based on Bach's Air on a G String, which goes to show that even 300 years on, a great melody is a great melody. When John Lennon first heard this song, it inspired him to write 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'
If you can impress a Beatle, you must be on the right track.'
Ozzy's other favorites were by: Them, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, The Beatles (3 tunes), Free, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, and Elton John.
Yan Friis writes: Beware of Ozzy, the biter of bats and eater of doves, his memory doesn't serve him well. John Lennon could not possibly have been inspired by A Whiter Shade Of Pale when he wrote Strawberry Fields Forever (during the shooting of How I Won The War in Spain, autumn 1966), neither could he or The Beatles have been inspired by it when they recorded the song (December 1966 – January 1967). But it could have been the other way round as Strawberry Fields Forever was released in mid February 1967, four months before the release of A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
Credit where credit's due.
Bob Moselle writes:
23 August 2002: The Fox "News" show, On the Record, with attorney-turned-talk show host Greta Van Susteren, featured an exclusive interview with Ozzy Osbourne. This show was repeated on 2 September.
Asked about his influences, Ozzy cited the Beatles, while acknowledging that they, in turn, had been influenced by the blues greats, Jerry Lee Lewis and other early entrants to R&R. He also expressed a great admiration for Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
Pressed to state what he would listen to when he got home at night, "who he likes," he stated: "Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale, Genesis, Pink Floyd and the Beatles."
The Times 3 July 2009
Inspired by music: celebrities on the songs that have inspired them
In a new book for the Prince’s Trust, celebrities reveal the songs that have most inspired them — with surprising results
A Whiter Shade of Pale: Procol Harum – Ozzy Osbourne
This may surprise most people who are well aware of my complete and utter obsession with the Beatles, but when I sat down and really thought about my favourite song of all time, I think I even shocked myself by choosing the Procol Harum classic, A Whiter Shade of Pale. To this day I do not know what the lyrics are about, but when I hear that haunting melody on the Hammond organ I immediately become transfixed.
I remember about four or five years ago I was in my home studio with my producer, working up a list of songs that I wanted to record for an album of rock covers which we later titled Uncovered. A Whiter Shade of Pale was at the very top of my list, when I was made aware of the fact that a close musical associate of mine had just recorded the song for his new album. It would have been odd for me to record it then so I took my pen and put a big fat line through the title. Oh well . . . I’m hoping to get around to recording the song one day for a movie soundtrack or maybe just for my own pleasure!
Ozzy Osbourne in the UK's
The Independent (15 May 2013) [scans
Some of the world's biggest music stars reveal the records that changed their life
“A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum. It taught me when a song is perfect, not to attempt a poor copy. It’s been covered by so many people and I was tempted – but it’s been over-covered, so I decided not to. And I’ve learnt I was so right. It’s difficult with covers, even doing one of your own material.”