“Hey, what’s up… I’m Laura from Oshawa, Ontario Canada and today I’m the Ultimate Sinner on OZZY’S BONEYARD!” that’s how I started my stint as the December 8, 2016, Ultimate Sinner on Ozzy’s Boneyard, the hard and heavy classic rock station on Sirius XM network. Back in July 2016, I applied to be the host of the Ultimate Sinner show. If chosen I would have the opportunity to share 5 of my favorite tunes and the reason I chose these songs with North America. As I wrote to the producers of the segment “I believe there should be more female Ultimate Sinners. I am a Museum Director from Oshawa, Ontario, and people, especially in my professional circle, are often surprised that I am a fan of heavy metal and that I still, at age 51, maintain an active schedule of attending live performances.”
Five months later I got the call to be an Ultimate Sinner – that very day! Fortunately, I had my script ready and when the producer called back two hours later I was ready to go. Recording the show was fairly easy. Ozzy’s Boneyard provided me with a script which outlined the transitions and where my stories were to go. Less than 10 minutes later the show was recorded and all there was to do was wait until 3 pm for the show to air.
Ozzy’s Boneyard provides a script to follow that deals with the transitions between songs and keeps the flow going, however, Ultimate Sinners are responsible for choosing five songs and letting everyone know why you chose those songs. The hardest part of the gig was narrowing down my favorite tunes to just five. I decided to start with my 5 favorite artists and go from there. Still not easy, however, it was a place to start.
These are my picks.
“Hallowed Be Thy Name” – Iron Maiden – Like many fans I first experienced the magic of Iron Maiden on the Number of the Beast album. Bruce Dickinson once said singing this song is like “narrating a movie to the audience.” His soulful vocals and Harris‘ philosophical lyrics paint a picture of a prisoner about to be hanged for his crimes. In my opinion, this is one of the best live Maiden songs and it sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. Make no mistake, Dickinson is one of the best metal singers of all time as evident by a track like “Hallowed Be Thy Name”.
“Sinner” – Judas Priest – Rob Halford has one of the most iconic heavy metal voices of all time and his range and power comes out in this tune. I got to see Priest perform “Sinner” at my very first Judas Priest concert on the Metal Conqueror tour in 1984 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. I’ve seen Priest many times since then and I was in the crowd on August 19, 1991, the final night of the Operation Rock n Roll tour in Toronto when Halford rode his Harley on stage for the opening song “Hell Bent for Leather” and collided with a half-raised drum riser. He fell off the motorcycle and we later found out he was knocked unconscious and broke his nose. Halford returned for the second song, “Heading Out to the Highway”, and finished the concert. Little did the crowd know at the time we were witnessing Halford‘s final performance with Judas Priest for more than a decade.
“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” – Black Sabbath– Always a favorite of mine, the riff in the song has been referred to as the one that saved Black Sabbath from Tony Iommi‘s writer’s block. Released in 1973 it appears on the album of the same name. I was so excited to finally see Ozzy reunited with Black Sabbath and looked forward to a Toronto date. Unfortunately, the date of the show coincided with my 9th month of pregnancy and I couldn’t attend. I had to wait over 2 years to finally see Ozzy and Sabbath together on the 2001 Ozzfest tour. The band didn’t disappoint and it is hard to believe I will not see them perform together ever again.
“Evil Eyes” – Dio – Dio is one vocalist that is sorely missed in heavy metal. From his career in Rainbow to fronting Black Sabbath and then heading his own band, Dio was a great combination of a fiery front man and voice made for metal. “Evil Eyes” from the album Last in Line contains strong verse and a catchy chorus. One of the highlights in my life was meeting Dio‘s widow, Wendy, on the Monsters of Rock Cruise in 2014 and having the opportunity to tell her how much her husband’s music meant to me.
“Bastard” – Motley Crue – I’ve been a Motley Crue fan since the beginning and so it only made sense that I would be there for the final show in LA on December 31. Over the course of my 30+ years as a Cruehead I’ve seen the band more than 80 times in concert. I can still remember the first time I heard “Too Fast for Love” and what started my lifelong love for this band. The track “Bastard” landed on the PMRC‘s “Filthy 15” list and comes from Motley‘s sophomoric release Shout at the Devil. No matter what you may think of Vince Neil‘s ability as a singer, his vocals are perfectly suited for a song like “Bastard”. The intensity of the vocals combined with Sixx‘s bass, Mars‘ guitar work and Lee‘s drumming, put this song in my list of best ever Crue songs. Motley represents the soundtrack to my life – the life-defining moments, the good times and they always helped me get through the bad times. I’m going to miss this band more than you can imagine but they left behind a musical legacy that is evident in songs such as “Bastard”.
It was a lot of fun being the Ultimate Sinner. Deciding on only 5 songs was not easy however I loved being able to reminisce about some of the great concert experiences I’ve had in my life.