Ozzy Osbourne claims guitarist Zakk Wylde's drinking was the main reason behind his decision to recruit new axeman Gus G.
Wylde found out he had been dropped from Ozzy's band in an interview the Brummie rock legend gave to Classic Rock magazine.
The Black Label Society frontman seemed to take the news well, telling his Twitter followers: "This is news to me. I haven't heard anything about this. Until I talk to the Boss, I don't know. I love Ozzy".
But later in a live radio interview with Oregon's KLFY Radio, Wylde tore into Osbourne, saying: "Call me, man. It's like, dude, you don't wanna play with me anymore? Fine. Play with whoever the hell you wanna play with."
Speaking about latest album Scream, Ozzy tells Guitar World Magazine: "Zakk came in at the beginning of the new one, but he was still drinking. When you're drunk and somebody else is drinking, it's okay, but when you're sober and somebody's blabbering away in your ear, it ain't.
"I mean, Zakk's a great player and I love him. I love his playing. But in the end, it came to the point that I had to get another guitarist. Not because I fell out with Zakk, but it was hard for me to be around someone who is actively drinking. I heard he's not drinking anymore. I don't know if that's true or not.Ozzy adds: "We're good friends, and we're like family. I feel that the whole thing was partly my fault, because Zakk was doing his own band, his own tours and helping me out when he got back.
"On the last tour he was with his band opening the show and my band closing the show, and that's really hard. So I'd been thinking of getting a replacement for a while.
The Brit legend had feared that his band was turning into Wylde's Black Label Society in terms of sound, so approached Gus G of Firewind to be his new guitarist.
Ozzy explains: "Zakk is Black Label. I love his playing; he's one of the greats. But it was the drink getting the better of him. I couldn't watch him die. In one sick respect, it was good for me to see, because that's what I was like, and worse.
"Believe me, if I started drinking now you'd think F'ck, this is bollocks! I've got to get out of here.' That's how I felt around Zakk toward the end."
Wylde has since been told by doctors he cannot drink alcohol because of high pancreatic enzyme levels, and is currently taking medication.
Thanks for the report to RockRadio.