The Story of Zakk Wylde’s Iconic ‘Grail’ Les Paul

When Zakk Wylde joined the ranks of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band in 1987 he obtained a white Les Paul that would serve as his weapon of choice for the majority of his career. That guitar took on the famous “bullseye” design which would become synonymous with Zakk Wylde’s gear in the ensuing years. Sometimes the story of a guitar is almost as harrowing as the stories of the musicians themselves. This is the story of the 1981 Les Paul.

The vertigo design would show up on later guitars in his collection, but the bullseye design became an iconic look synonymous with Zakk Wylde. The Grail served Wylde well for the majority of his career, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The guitar famously took a tumble out of an equipment trailer when he was on tour with Black Label Society, but miraculously was returned.

The loss of Zakk’s beloved Les Paul occurred in 2000 during a stint when Zakk’s regular tech, Fred Kowalo, took some time off after the birth of his daughter. The guitar was put into the band’s trailer after a gig, and someone forgot to lock it. During the drive from one to the next show, the door came open and several pieces of gear fell out of the trailer and were strewn across a highway in Texas. One of those pieces was The Grail. Thankfully, the guitar was eventually recovered.

The Grail remains one of the most iconic signature Les Pauls in existence, largely thanks to a paint job that Zakk never wanted anyway, along with the press coverage of the guitar’s disappearance and miraculous return to its owner. The Odin Grail is now a name bestowed on one of his Wylde Audio guitar models.



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