"How can they roast me? I'm a good Catholic boy," said Zakk Wylde after agreeing to be the guest of honor at the first-ever Guitar World Rock & Roll Roast.
Last night, he got his answer.
Wylde may be one of the most beloved members of the guitar-playing community, but for two hours last night at The Grove in Anaheim, California, a dais of comedians, musicians -- and a wrestler -- gathered to roast the Wylde child.
On hand were comedians Jim Norton, Jim Florentine and Brian Posehn, as well as former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor, wrestler and Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. The night also included video roasts from Steel Panther, the Ultimate Warrior, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Gus G, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and even William Shatner.
"This is a celebrity roast," said roastmaster Sharon Osbourne to kick off the night, "but who forgot to put the word 'celebrity' in quotes?" And with that, the roast was on. And boy, did they let him have it.
"Zakk, not only are you not a great guitarist, you're not even the best guitarist with a beard on this stage," quipped Norton, referring to fellow roaster Scott Ian. Zakk's guitar playing took a beating all night, with his replacement in Osbourne's band, Gus G, saying: "Zakk, I grew up learning all of your riffs and solos. Then I learned how to play real music."
Although now sober, Wylde couldn't get away from his younger days as a heavy drinker. "Zakk's guitar playing is way less diatonic and way more gin and tonic," said Scott Ian, who brought along some embarrassing photos of the guest of honor to go along with his roasting.
And who could be on stage roasting a man that looks like a modern-day Viking without taking a few shots at his looks. "I didn't know Asgard was a suburb in New Jersey," Taylor said.
But before all was said and done, the Wylde man got his shot at revenge. Before commencing to roast his roasters, Wylde took a moment to remind everyone to keep Tony Iommi in their thoughts as he battles lymphoma, as well as sending a shout-out to his late buddy, Dimebag Darrell. "If Brother Dime was here, this roast would be way more brutal than it already is," he said.
Then Wylde got down to business.
"There's a lot of faces up here, and Sharon's is probably the newest," he said, adding, "I'm kidding, Mom. You don't look a day over artificial."
The big man didn't show his fellow musicians any mercy, either, telling McKagan that he looks like "the white Danny Trejo."
Then it was Scott Ian's turn. Wylde joked with his longtime friend, "Scott's been playing lots of poker lately, and like Anthrax, they can both barely pull a full house,"
Taylor might have taken Wylde's best shot of the night, however, when Wylde said: "Corey Taylor was in a Tenacious D cover band called Pugnacious P. Now he's in a Nickelback cover band called Stone Sour."
As famed celebrity roaster Jeffrey Ross likes to say, "We only roast the ones we love," and last night was no exception. There were few people on the stage or in the room last night that didn't have a great Zakk Wylde memory, and in spite of all the vitriolic humor, there was nothing but love in the room for everyone's favorite Viking guitarist.
Photos: Damian Fanelli