Jake Chessum of Rolling Stone has written a feature story on Ozzy Osbourne. Portions of the column appear below.

…For the past 50 years, Ozzy Osbourne has been heavy rock’s MVP. He gave metal a sense of menace during his first 10-year tour of duty with Black Sabbath, approximating the sound of a nervous breakdown on songs like Paranoid and Iron Man. Then as a solo artist, he redefined the genre in the Eighties, picking up the pace of his songs and injecting them with baroque noir. He introduced the world to a pantheon of guitar heroes, including Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and his longtime foil, the blond-maned dynamo Zakk Wylde. He became a concert draw and provided crucial stages for everyone from Metallica to Korn in their infancies. In the mid-Nineties, he concocted Ozzfest, hard rock’s answer to Lollapalooza.

And he’s reaped the rewards. All but two of his studio albums — which contain anthems like Crazy Train, Flying High Again and Shot in the Dark — have been certified gold or platinum, and he’s won a Grammy for I Don’t Want to Change the World. When Rolling Stone picked the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time in 2017, the list contained more recordings by Ozzy than any other artist. And don’t forget, he was able to translate his success into reality-TV megastardom on The Osbournes.

“I never thought I’d make it this far,” he says. “Fifty years is a lot. I don’t understand why I’m alive still after the hell-raising days. I guess whoever the man is upstairs, if there even is one, wants me to stick around.”

[When Ozzy first launched a solo career after being fired from his original band Black Sabbath] his [music started to] climb the charts. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath carried on with former Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio as their lead vocalist, and Ozzy embraced the competitive spirit. “I started a war with them and they just got all f–king pissed off,” he recalls. “I admired Ronnie Dio at the end of the day. He had a great voice and was a good singer. They should have had a go at me, but they all just got pissed off. It was more like a divorce, really.” Within a few years, he was seriously outpacing his former bandmates in sales…

…Although he seemed to enjoy Black Sabbath’s farewell tour when it was happening, Ozzy says now it wasn’t the case. “With Sabbath, all I am is a singer with a band,” he says on his day off. “This is a different thing. I’ve got a lot of freedom and I have fun with it.”

“[I’m} not allowed to have f–king fun with Sabbath,” he continues. “It’s too serious. Tony [Iommi] was trying to have a go at me, saying, ‘Don’t fucking talk over my solos.’ I go, ‘OK, are you sure? ‘Cause most of the f–king song is solos. The intro to the song is f–kin’ five minutes and then I sing for about two seconds and then it’s another one.’ With my own thing, I’m looking to have fun, and that’s what music’s about for me. I’m not a serious f–king singer. I’m just a frontman who’s trying to get the crowd going in front…”

…”I’d like to do another album with Zakk if I could.” Ozzy currently has a handful of song ideas that he’s just sitting on for the right time. “There’s one called Mr. Armageddon, which is gonna be a good song,” he says. And what will it be about? “What do you think? It’s not about Christmas. It’s a nice, sweet little song about a man called Mr. Armageddon” Ozzy laughs…

…“I had no idea when we did our first Black Sabbath album, 50 years up the road, I’d be doing all these shows in front of 20,000 people…,” he [says]. “I thought, ‘This will be good for a couple of albums and I’ll get a few chicks along the way.’ I left Sabbath and I did a great thing on my own. I met Randy Rhoads. He was a phenomenal guy. My life has just been unbelievable. You couldn’t write my story; you couldn’t invent me.”

Read the entire article at Rolling Stone.

source: rollingstone.com

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

30 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • shannon mehaffey on

    Lol…but, but….did any of that make you actually play like him? I’m just messin’ with ya…:)
    By the way, I have a 70’s BC Rich Mockingbird that’s worth some money even though the original owner put a dang Kahler on the thing.

    Ozzy is a phenomenal artist, great singer, one of the best…those melodies were his and they were brilliant…he can’t write words and is not proficient on an instrument except for harmonica I guess, he fiddles on the keyboard….but he’s got something so special that only the best musicians should work with him…he’s one of the best entertainers to ever work the stage.

    • Rattlehead on

      I agree, Shannon. Ozzy is indeed a great entertainer. But I respectfully disagree with you about his singing ability.

      Mockingbirds are great guitars! You’ve got a great one there! I used to want one cuz I thought the body shape was awesome! Bummer about the tremolo, though. You still playing it? I’ve got the Les Paul I mentioned, a Jackson Rhoads, a Jackson Kelly, a Gibson Explorer, and a Gibson Flying V.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Nice…no, it’s sitting in the storage closet, it needs a re-set and I haven’t touched it in years….I used it exclusively when I did a Sabbath tribute gig for 3 years from ’97-’00; I stopped doing that because of the realization that that applause wasn’t for me really, it was for Tony and Sabbath, so it ended up being a lose-lose situation….I would play a great show and then get depressed about it..lol…so I just do my own stuff and it’s pretty good but no one cares…lol…which is kind of a bummer but I’ll take that over being in a cover/tribute band any day with all of the money, “fame” and whatever else that comes with it…impostors! I can’t even go to any of those types of shows.

      Sorry for the somewhat rant..lol….and of talking about myself, but don’t we all like doing that? I know Ed does…lol….but his stuff is interesting so it works…

      But back to the subject at hand…Ozzy can emote Rattlehead, he emotes like no I’ve ever heard and I can really relate to him…..he is on the level of his audience but he is also someone who couldn’t do any other job but the one he has…there is no other vocation for someone like him…I could do other things besides music and so could a lot of rock “stars” now……Ozzy sure as hell can’t.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Rattlehead, I got a Michael Angelo Batio iV with a Floyd Rose, a really nice wide fretboard, nice elctronics, great paint job…for 300 bucks! You can’t not buy it…I mean, talk about bang for the buck I can’t think any better value anywhere than this axe…it plays great, stays in tune…I also have a Roland amp that you can input an iphone type thing so you can have backing music to play to…it has some effects, has a good sound, it’s really small…sits on my desk, I have a Fender Japnaese 1983 strat, but that’s it…I sold all my other gear. I just couldn’t not get that MAB IV for that price though.

    • Rattlehead on

      Rock on, Shannon! Thanks for sharing!

  • jeffrey heffernan on

    well not for nothing,but when i went to work yesterday i did not have too much fun either!!!!!,thats why its called work and not fun……

  • shannon mehaffey on

    That’s brand new! Batio is awesome in my book for putting that guitar out.

Leave a Reply