A brush with rock royalty
Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, makes the day for kid learning to play
Cam Fuller, The StarPhoenix
Published: Saturday, October 27, 2007
You can't judge a guitar by its case and you can't judge a guitar hero's heart by his leather and chains.
Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde earned a fan for life on his visit to a Saskatoon music store this week when he gave 12-year-old Tanner Brayshaw his choice of any guitar in the place.
"It was pretty sweet. I was just really shocked," Brayshaw said Friday.
Wylde was taking a break from his autograph session at Long & McQuade on Tuesday when he noticed students taking lessons. Store manager Pete Woronowski asked him if he'd like to share some pointers with a student.
"He said, 'No way, can we do that?' " Woronowski said Friday.
When Brayshaw looked up, "his eyes just about fell out of his head and his teacher almost passed out."
After playing a few notes on the boy's guitar, Wylde decided he needed a new one.
"You come with Uncle Zakk and you go pick any guitar you want on the wall and your Uncle Zakk will buy it for you," Woronowski recounted.
"This guy has a heart the size of the city. It's incredible."
Brayshaw picked out a red Gibson SG. At $600 it was far from the most expensive axe in the woodshed, but it was the one he wanted.
"It's red, my favourite colour. I really didn't want to pick the most expensive guitar because I thought that would be pretty rude," said Brayshaw.
"It feels great. It's nice and smooth and has good action."
"It was pretty mind-blowing," said drum manager Arnold Nagy. "You don't expect this huge guy with chains and a beard to be as nice as he was to a kid."
Naturally, Wylde autographed the guitar. He also provided four tickets and VIP passes to the Ozzy Osbourne concert the next night. Brayshaw and his family met Ozzy and the band, checked out Wylde's guitars and watched the show from the side of the stage.
"It was just unbelievable. You rarely hear of something like that happening," said Tanner's mom, Lesli.
Wylde spoke about the importance of family.
He's married to his high school sweetheart and they have three kids. The youngest is named Hendrix.
"We were just really impressed with Zakk and what a family guy he was," Lesli said.
On his website, Wylde talks about never forgetting the excitement of rock 'n' roll.
"You've still gotta listen to music with a 14-year-old's ears. Remembering when you were like, 'dude, we're going to see Zeppelin this weekend!' That's what it's all about, man.
"If what I do inspires some kid to pick up a guitar and jam, that's the s---, without a doubt."
Brayshaw, who was on only his fourth lesson, says he'll keep it up.
"He's like my idol now. I just want to be like Zakk. He treated me like gold and he treated my family like gold."