Who is Ozzy Osbourne
"For the past twenty-one years I've been nothing but stoned and drunk all the time. I can remember names and faces, but when it comes to associating names with faces ...", admits Ozzy Osbourne in an interview in 1988. Little has changed in his way of life and his sifted memory since then.
Born in 1948 as John Michael Osbourne and raised in poor conditions in Birmingham, England, he decided to pursue a career as a musician after several juvenile sentences. For a while he kept his head above water with appearances in pubs and bars, but one evening he and his band passed a B-movie cinema.
"If people pay money to watch horror movies, why don't we make scary music?"goes through their heads, as Osbourne reported in an interview on his 2001 album" Down To Earth ". A flash of inspiration that not only explains the naming of Black Sabbath, but also Osbourne's musical identity.
For years the band has been considered to be pretty much the baddest thing you can imagine. The singer spreads his demonic heavy metal image not only on stage. His excesses are legendary and ultimately lead to his expulsion in 1979.
At the bottom of his career, he retired to a hotel for six months and finally crashed. It wasn't until Sharon Arden, the daughter of the Black Sabbath manager, came by to collect old debts that he managed to get up again. To get his solo career rolling, she gets him an appointment with CBS.
The performance should be extraordinary, so she recommends that he take three white pigeons with him and release them in the room. On the other hand, Osbourne, drunk, sits down on the lap of a lady who is present, lets two birds fly and bites off the head of the third.
An episode that is just as part of the Ozzy myth as eating a bat's head during a performance in 1982. The concert ends in the hospital - with a rabies vaccination. But he's already back at the top. Although he was banned from CBS for the time being, the record "Blizzard Of Ozz", which was released anyway, was a huge success. With "Crazy Train", "Goodbye To Romance" and "Hey, Mr. Crowley" it also contains three of his biggest solo hits.
A major contribution to this comes from his guitarist Randy Rhoads. Its virtuosity marks the beginning of a movement that culminated in the mid-eighties with Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett from Metallica. However, he will not develop his promising skills.
On the road in the spring of 1982, he took a jaunt in a small plane. The pilot brushes off the tour bus, a wing breaks off, the plane crashes into a barn and explodes. Osbourne, who is on the bus, is not injured, but the loss of Rhoad leaves deep marks. At first Randy's position was taken by Jake E. Lee, but later the Madman brought Zakk Wylde into his band as a guitarist and in 1992 presented a great album with "No More Tears".
With a constantly changing line-up, he continues his career successfully. He marries his manager Sharon Arden, has a few children, lives in Beverly Hills when he is not giving concerts, follows bottomless crashes with rehab and vice versa.
It was not until the mid-1990s that a new phase emerged, behind which his enterprising wife was standing. She breathes new life into the ailing Black Sabbath trademark, several reunion tours and best-of albums prove to be box office hits.
In 1996 the first Ozzfest took place, an annually held summer event from then on, which soon became one of the most important in its area. In the summer of 2001, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Papa Roach, Linkin Park and Crazy Town appear alongside Black Sabbath in the original line-up.
Ozzy Osbourne is not only considered a cult figure in his adopted home USA. On the one hand because of his musical past, but also because of his wit and irony. He is a welcome and entertaining guest on all kinds of talk shows, his duet with Miss Piggy on the "Muppet Show" ("Born To Be Wild") is as legendary as his participation in "Beavis & Butthead Do America." His appearance in Lita Ford's "Close My Eyes Forever" made the song a hit in 1998, he also worked with Ringo Starr on "Vertical Man", while rapping with Busta Rhymes on his cover version of the Black Sabbath classic "Iron Man" .
In November and December 2001 Ozzy Osbourne is touring the USA with his 'Merry Mayhem' tour. In January / February 2002 he will also present his album "Down To Earth" live in Europe. However, 2002 is all about "The Osbournes". MTV shows the life of the Osbourne family as a real life soap, which attracts viewers from all over the world to the telly. The "Osbourne Family Album" will be released immediately. This includes both daughter Kelly's Madonna cover "Papa Don't Preach" and the greatest solo success of the father: "Dreamer".
The song is created in collaboration with the successful songwriter Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Pink, Sheryl Crow). The ballad climbs into the top ten in Germany. Only Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" made it to the top in 1970: to number one.
In the years that followed, Ozzy struggled with health problems, not just because of an accident with the quad bike, the consequences of which kept him in bed for a few weeks. When bassist Rob Trujillo switched to Metallica, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted stepped in for him.
At the end of 2004, Ozzy suddenly got together again with his old companions, and it was thought that he no longer even knew the first names of his ex-colleagues. "Under Cover" is not the screamer and only comes up with cover versions, but for 2005 there are at least some concert dates with Black Sabbath. However, on the Ozzfest tour, in which Iron Maiden also take part, an unpleasant incident occurs (Maiden are pelted with eggs), to which Sharon in particular contributes her part.
Some of the reunion concerts are canceled because Ozzy has increasing problems with singing. So it seems only logical that he announced his departure as headliner of the Ozzfest tour in August 2005. In the future, Ozzy Osbourne will only rarely be heard live in selected cities.
When almost nobody is expecting it anymore, Ozzy announces that he will work again with Zakk Wylde, Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums and Rob 'Blasko' Nicholson (ex-Danzig) on bass. In the cast he plays "Black Rain", which sounds unusually modern and unimportant in places, not least thanks to the collaboration of producer Kevon Churko.
While Zakk has been concentrating more and more on Black Label Society for years, but remains loyal to his boss at all times, there are always legal disputes between Ozzy and Black Sabbath. When his old troupe wants to start again with Ronnie James Dio (who officially replaced Ozzy earlier), Sharon puts a stop to it. So Dio, Iommi and Co. have to compete under the name Heaven & Hell.
Ozzy draws the conclusions from the rather mediocre "Black Rain" and strangely puts Zakk Wylde and almost the entire rest of his team in front of the door. While the Rob Zombie rhythm group around bass player Blasko and drummer Tommy Clufetos is responsible for the groove, Firewind guitarist Gus G. is now allowed to shake the riffs out of his sleeve. He has already gambled for Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy and Nightrage and is making his debut on the album "Scream", which will be released in mid-2010.
When Dio dies unexpectedly in mid-May, Ozzy announces a little later, despite the ongoing legal dispute with Tony Iommi, that he does not want to rule out another reunion with Black Sabbath. This will actually come about in 2011 and will lead the old people all over the world until 2017, before the myth of Black Sabbath is to be buried in Birmingham on February 4th. With due honors, of course.
So that he doesn't get bored anyway, Ozzy is filming a TV show called "Ozzy & Jack's World Detour" with his son on the side. It will be running in the summer of 2016 on the History Channel and, if health allows, it should not be the Madman's last sign of life by a long way.
Almost exactly one year after the end of Black Sabbath, Osbourne announces the dates of his own farewell concert tour "No More Tours 2", which will start in April 2018 in Jacksonville at the Welcome To Rockville Festival. After he had already struggled with a life-threatening infection in his thumb in October, a flu in early 2019 forced him to rebook the European tour with Judas Priest, which was planned from February, to September.
However, fate strikes even harder. In April, Ozzy had an unfortunate fall in his house at night and had to undergo severe neck surgery. As a result, he cancels all concerts planned for 2019 and postpones them to 2020.
In autumn 2019 Ozzy recorded the single "Take What You Want" with Post Malone and Travis Scott, which appeared on Malone's album "Hollywood's Bleeding". Shortly afterwards, the Mandman announced a solo album for the beginning of 2020. Even in that year, however, the blows of fate never end. In January, Osbourne announced that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2003.
One month later, after ten years of abstinence, his twelfth solo album, peppered with star guests, is released with "Ordinary Man". Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, the Guns N 'Roses warriors Duff McKagan and Slash, Post Malone, Sir Elton John and Tom Morello play among others. On the album, Ozzy delivers a mature performance and is fitter than his health would suggest.
Even at an advanced age, Ozzy always remains one thing above all else: an incorrigible dreamer. Despite the severe setbacks, the Prince of Darkness persistently pursues his path. "I am not ready yet", he shows himself in the usual defiant manner.
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