Born on this day, 3rd Dec 1948, Ozzy Osbourne, (John Michael Osbourne), vocals, Black Sabbath, who had the 1970 UK No.4 single ‘Paranoid’. The bands self-titled 1970 album was voted as the best British rock albums ever by Kerrang! in 2005.
Ozzy Osborne should be dead. Not because he bit the head of a bat, no, Ozzy has consumed more than his fair share of illegal substances, and that’s not even taking into account the legal ones! Like Keith Richards, Ozzy has snorted, slurped and swallowed far too many chemicals during his rock star existence. You could write a book (and I’m sure someone has) about the singer’s exploits, Ozzy has hung out with the best of them: Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, all the bad boys. I wonder how much money Ozzy has spent on drugs in his lifetime?
During an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1982, a member of the audience threw a bat onto the stage. Stunned by the light, the bat lay motionless and Ozzy thinking it was plastic, (of course he had to be drinking) thought it would be a good laugh to bite its head off. As he attempted this, the bat started to flap his wings and Ozzy soon realized it wasn’t fake, but in fact a living thing. After the show Ozzy was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for rabies shots. He later described the incident as “one of the most horrible, painful experiences of my life.”
Another Ozzy moment took place in 1982 when the singer was arrested in San Antonio, Texas for urinating on the Alamo. This was during a very dark period of his life when drink had taken over. Osbourne was wearing a dress at the time of his arrest, due to the fact that his wife Sharon had hidden all his clothes so he couldn’t go outside to buy booze. So he went out wearing a dress! Osbourne, who apparently thought he was relieving himself on a pile of rubble, was banned from ever playing in San Antonio, Texas again, (a ban which was lifted in 1992).
His concert tours have witnessed all sorts of mayhem and disasters. Fans have rioted when Ozzy has failed to show up, (due to illness). In 1992 over a $100,000 (£58,800) worth of damage was caused at The Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, California, when Ozzy invited the first two rows of the audience on stage. Several others took up the offer and the band was forced to exit the stage.
In 1989 Ozzy was charged with threatening to kill his wife Sharon. (Can’t think why?), Ozzy was later released on the condition that he immediately went into detox, which he did and the case was later dropped when the couple decide to reconcile.
Three years later the singer announced his retirement from touring after a gig in California, saying, “Who wants to be touring at 46.” He changed his mind and went out back on the road under the careful guidance of his wife and manager Sharon.
Everything changed for the Osbourne family on the 5th March, 2002 when the first episode of The Osbournes TV show was aired on MTV in the US. Focusing on the madman and his family who appeared oblivious to the camera, was an immediate hit with the public who couldn’t get enough of bickering, squabbling, cursing and the antics of their mad family life.
Ozzy confirmed in an interview on BBC Radio 2 in May 2009 that he was “stoned during the entire filming of The Osbournes.” But it didn’t matter to us the viewers; we couldn’t believe what we were seeing! The show also elevated Ozzy and Sharon onto the A list celebrity circuit, and the success of the show made the couple a cool $60m in the process.