Recently Guitar World caught up with the ever-affable Zakk Wylde before he and his band, Black Label Society, trounced scores of fans at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California, as the opening act for Judas Priest.
In musical taste, Wylde has a diverse palate and has, over the years, bagged many gigs as a guest guitarist for artists of nearly every genre, including a spot on American Idol with singer and Idol finalist James Durbin earlier this year, wailing away on the Sammy Hagar classic, "Heavy Metal," from the movie of the same name.
Wylde says, "Music is music. I listen to disco all the time and classic rock on radio stations, or whatever."
So when the guitarist was approached to accompany William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk, on the Black Sabbath classic, "Iron Man," it was an easy decision for the ex-Ozzy Osbourne axeman and Star Trek freak.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I was a trekky and shit like that. I had all the fuckin' toys and went to a Star Trek convention when I was 11," he confesses. "I love Star Trek, so why would I not?"
As to how his name was pulled out of the hat, Wylde recalls, "Oh yeah. The guys that were working on it said, 'Zakk, we're working with William Shatner. He's putting this record with all these fuckin' tunes. It's got this 'Seeking Major Tom' theme in it and we just threw your name in the mix and said, 'Why don't we call Zakk up and see if he wants to do it?' And I said, 'Fuck yeah. Why not?'"
With boyish excitement, Wylde goes on to tell what it was like working with, and getting to know, the man who played Captain James T. Kirk on the television series he so loved as a kid.
"You don't think he's 80 years old, the way he carries himself and everything like that. He'd have more in common talking to my father than he would with Ozzy. Ozzy's 20 years younger. Ozzy's 62 ... Ozzy's a baby next to him. It's like me hanging out with my son, Jesse, and his friends. They're 18, 20 years old. I'm 44. I have more in common talking to someone 10 years older than me.
"Talking to William Shatner, I was like, 'Dude, did you ever see Led Zeppelin when they first started or whatever?' He said, 'Zakk, if you want to ask me about Elvis, I can tell you about Elvis.' I'm just sayin' because that's the Vietnam generation," Wylde says. "William Shatner has more in common with people that were in World War II than fuckin' Vietnam. He's a sweet guy. The guy's a living legend."