By Ewan Wilkie
Ozzy Osbourne is being sued by former bassist Bob Daisley, claiming that Osbourne’s company Blizzard Music Limited has withheld over $2m in unpaid royalties from the 1980 hit Crazy Train.
According to The Guardian, Daisley has accused Blizzard Music of ‘short-changing’ him in connection with the track, a claim the company denies. Both Osbourne and Daisley are credited as the song’s writers.
Documents released after the filing at a court in Nevada on August 8, detail Daisley’s claims that an audit revealed Osbourne and Blizzard Music were “improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley’s rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs”.
Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake successfully sued for royalties and credit for their work on the 1981 album Diary of a Madman in 1986.
Allegations made by the pair in 2002 over alleged unpaid performance royalties were dismissed, however.
“While Mr Osbourne was benefiting from the songs co-authored by our client, the audit shows that he was systematically short-changing Mr Daisley,” said Daisley’s lawyer Alan Howard of the 2016 allegations. “Mr Daisley had no choice but to bring this action to secure his fair share of the proceeds those songs have generated.”
Osbourne has denied the charges. In an email to Rolling Stone his representative said: “For the past 36 years, Mr Daisley has been receiving biannual royalty statements and checks from Blizzard Music, totalling in the millions of dollars, which have been routinely cashed.
“We understand that Mr Daisley is now in retirement and that these funds are his main source of income, so it is his right to be diligent with his money, but after 36 years, this is tantamount to harassment. We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne’s success. Blizzard Music and Mr Osbourne plan to vigorously defend these proceedings.”
Earlier today it was also reported that Ed Sheeran is being sued over claims he copied a Marvin Gaye track in his song Thinking Out Loud.