Ozzy Osbourne would need no introduction as a wild man and front man to the band Black Sabbath and through an extensive solo career. Song writer and front man extraordinaire Osborne has managed to carve an internationally recognised music career and reach legendary status despite coming through a lot of adversity. John Michael Osbourne was born in Aston in Birmingham to John (a tool maker) and Liilian (a factory worker) on 3rd December 1948, (shares the same birthday as my wife!). He grew up in Birmingham with his 5 siblings in Aston and was nicknamed Ozzy from primary school - whilst being involved in school musicals he was interested in music from an early age. He was 14 when he heard the Beatles single ´she loves you´ and became a big fan. It was at this point that he knew that he was going to be a rock star. Upon leaving school, Ozzie had several labouring jobs that he couldn’t hold down and turned to burglary to gain money. This was a career he was clearly not cut out for and he spent six weeks in Winston green prison after not being able to pay a fine for burglary….A fine his father refused to pay on his behalf. Ozzy joined and left a series of hard rock outfits before finding Earth, which later adopted the name of an old Boris Karloff movie, giving birth to the legendary Black Sabbath. The band were signed to Warner Brothers Records and their first album Black Sabbath was released in 1970 and reached platinum sales in the USA. A series of hit albums followed including; Paranoid (Gold in UK Platinum USA) Masters of Reality (Million sales in UK and USA) Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Technical Ecstasy which did achieve gold sales in the US but received a lot of criticism from the critics and some saying that the band, were unravelling at an alarming rate. During these years the inimitable Oz also gained a wife Thelma, two children, a substance abuse problem and a very bad reputation. His hoteltrashing incidents became infamous and rumours of Satanism began to circulate. “The only black magic we ever got into was a box of chocolates,” he insisted. But the media’s appetite for “Ozzy’s-a-looney” stories was insatiable and his angry outbursts including one in 1976 when he shot dead a coopful of chickens didn’t help matters. The following year his father died and Ozzy’s enthusiasm for the band waned. His persistent absence from rehearsals eventually resulted in him being fired. Ozzy returned to Black Sabbath after 3 months and the band went to Toronto Canada to record the album Never Say die. According to the band, the recording was made difficult by the bands drug and alcohol abuse and it was difficult to get anything done. The album was eventually finished and a supporting tour was arranged with Van Halen supporting. On the tour the more youthful Van Halen stole the limelight with critics labelling Sabbaths performance as ´tired and uninspiring´, while Van Halen earned rave reviews. On the tour, Ozzy played what was to be his last Sabbath gig in Albuquerque for a long time. In 1979 Ozzie was fired by the other band members as tensioned flared in the studio. The official reason for the sacking was ¨substance abuse¨. Osbourne maintains his drug use and alcohol consumption at that time was neither better nor worse than that of the other members. Ozzy disappeared into a deep depression and pattern of drug use, which eventually cost him his marriage. On leaving the band Ozzy received around £96,000 for his share of the band and Ozzie went on a three month binge, «I›d got £96,000 for my share of the name, so I›d just locked myself away and spent three months doing coke and booze. My thinking was, ‘This is my last party, because after this I’m going back to Birmingham and the dole´…The Ardens had other ideas though and under their management Blizzard of Ozz was formed. They were signed to Jet Records and the band consisted of Lee Kerslake (ex Uriah Heap) on drums, Bob Daisy (ex Rainbow) on Bass, Don Airey (ex Rainbow) on keyboards and Randy Rhoades (ex quiet riot) on lead guitar. Two hugely successful albums followed; The debut album Blizzard achieved multi-platinum sales without having a top 40 hit. The following album Diary of a Madman was just as successful achieving triple platinum sales in the USA, and the press’ obsession with him became as strong as ever. Needless to say, his antics only served to feed their appetite. When a fan threw a bat at him during a stage performance and he famously bit its head off, it wasn’t just animal rights activists that branded him as sick and sadistic. Insisting he’d thought it was a rubber toy, the singer underwent treatment for rabies. Texans joined the ranks of Ozzy-haters in 1982 when he drunkenly relieved himself on part of the Alamo war memorial, earning himself a night in jail and a lifetime ban from the state. It is unlikely his subsequent reflections did much to assuage their anger: “I can honestly say all the bad things that ever happened to me were directly attributed to drugs and alcohol. I mean, I would never urinate at the Alamo at nine o’clock in the morning dressed in a woman’s evening dress sober.” When he signed a new contract with CBS Records, his wife suggested he release two doves as a “peace offer- www.the-journal.es 19 August 2020 Camposol sector A “The Best For Food, Drinks, Entertainment And Sports” Homemade Cakes and Pastries Baked Fresh Daily Full English Breakfast2 of everything! Only 3.50€ Every Wednesday! Fish And ChipsFresh Beer Battered Cod, Chips And Peas, 7.00€ 6-9pm Sunday Lunches From 5.50€! Booking Advised! Full Menu With Sandwiches, Snacks And Main Meals Available In The Bar! WHAT’S ON AT CATS Monday: Slimming Club 11am Thursday: FAT CLUB! 11-12pm Thursday: Karaoke with Bernie Mac 9pm Till Late Saturdays: All Sporting Events Shown! The original line up from left to right: Osbourne, Butler, Iommi, Ward ing” during a party thrown by his old label. He arrived rather intoxicated, however, and opted to bite the head of one of the birds instead. Another day, another media uproar, “Of all the things I have lost, I think I miss my mind the most,” he joked. Everything was going swimmingly as far as the music was concerned until tragedy struck… In March 1982 the band were in Florida on a tour promoting Diary of a Madman, a light aircraft, carrying Randy Rhoades, Rachel Youngblood (the bands stylist) and pilot Andrew Aycock, was travelling in tandem with the tour bus containing the rest of the band. During a moment of high jinks the wing of the plane clipped the tour bus and crashed, killing everyone on board the plane. For Osbourne to witness the death of good friend and brilliant guitarist Rhoades as well as the other members of his entourage, a period of depression and the inevitable drug abuse followed. The eighties still held some success with collaborations with Was not Was, Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde recording albums such as Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin. Successful through the 1980s, Osbourne acheived commercial success into the 1990s, starting with 1991’s No More Tears, featuring the single Mama, I’m Coming Home. The album enjoyed much radio and MTV exposure. It also initiated a practice of bringing in outside composers to help pen Osbourne’s solo material instead of relying on his recording ensemble. The album was mixed by veteran rock producer Michael Wagener. Osbourne was awarded a Grammy Award for the track I Don’t Want to Change the World from Live & Loud, for Best Metal Performance of 1994. Wagener also mixed the live album Live & Loud released on 28 June 1993. Intended to be Osbourne’s final album, it went platinum four times over, and ranked at number 10 on that year›s Billboard Rock Charts. At this point Osbourne expressed his fatigue with touring, and proclaimed his retirement tour (which was to be short-lived). It was called No More Tours, a pun on No More Tears. Osbourne’s entire CD catalogue was re-mastered and reissued in 1995. Pick up next months copy of The Journal to continue reading on the madman Ozzy Osborne!!
Author: The Journal
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