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Ozzy

"im the price of fucking darkness..whats with the fucking bubbles?!?" its ozzy(1948-God knows when)what else is there to say other that rock on forever.

ozzglass.jpg

"When I left school I wanted to become a plumber. When I heard the Beatles I wanted to become a Beatle" ...Ozzy

Anyone who listens to rock and roll today has at least heard of Ozzy Osbourne. The contribution he has made to music is undeniable. From the days with Black Sabbath, where it all began for "The Madman", to his immense solo career, Ozzy has continued to produce music of high quality and intensity. The late sixties and early seventies were a turning point for music, when bands were bringing forth a new, raw Sabbath 1978sound, and finding that it was excepted with enthusiasm unequaled in the industry. "Heavy Metal" began a reign that would last into the 80's, when the label became too easily used to describe any rock and roll band that liked electric guitars with an edge or distortion...

Black Sabbath, with Ozzy at the helm, paved the way into the era of Metal. They are among the handful of the early pioneers of the then new sound of Rock.


The Early Years

John Michael Osbourne was born on December 3rd, 1948 in an industrial town in England where he and his five siblings, mother and father, lived in a 2 bedroom house. To say money was tight would be an understatement.
His family was in poor financial shape, though Ozzy's father worked nights in a steel plant while his mother worked days in a car assembly plant assembling electrical circuits. The family had no car, and very little money or food. Ozzy determined at an early age that he would change this. The Birmingham lifestyle was one where the men worked hard all day, and then go to the pub to drink and play darts, staggering home later to

eat and sleep and get up to another day of the same. For the Osbournes it was no different. While the Beatles were singing about flower power and love, Birminham residents saw a different reality in their lives - life was hard. Plain and simple.

While in school the other students called 'John' "Ozzy" or "Oz-brain", because of his last name. Ozzy is how he would be known to the world later, and for the rest of his life. Apparently he became so detached from his real name that he would fail to answer to it.

Although Ozzy was considered somewhat of a rebel in school, he did take part in many school activities. He participated in school opera-plays such as H.M.S Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance, the early signs of his desire to entertain.

Ozzy disliked school, and so didn't do very well in it. He wanted out as soon as he could, and left when he was
15. His parents argued a lot, and most arguments were about money, so Ozzy thought he would rectify the situation by leaving school and getting a job, his first one being a plumber's assistant. He would hold several jobs over the next few years, from toomaker's apprentice to killing cows in a slaughterhouse. None of his jobs brought him satisfaction, and eventually he thought that perhaps there was more money to be made illegally. He became involved in some petty theft and break and enters, but wasn't very successful at this either, usually getting caught.

His first time in jail was for break and enters. He was given a fine, but couldn't pay it, and so was sent to Birmingham's Winson Green Prison for three months. He did time there again later for assaulting a police officer - punching him in the face. It was in Winson Green Prison where he tattooed the now famous letters O-Z-Z-Y across his left knuckles, doing so with a sewing needle and graphite.

Ozzy was determined to stay out of jail. Earlier, when he was fourteen, he had been in a band named 'The Black Panthers', and he decided to try music as a career. It had to be a more productive venture than crime. The Beatles were gaining popularity at an amazing pace, abd they were a major influence on Ozzy as he built his 1973 objective of singing for a living. He bagan to look for bands to join and soon found one named "Music Machine" who were in need of a singer, as their regular vocalist was ill. Ozzy filled in, attracted to the travelling and wild sides of the lifestyle. Later he joined a band called "Approach", but quit shortly after, disliking the band.

After leaving "Approach" he decided to call himself "Ozzy Zig", placing an ad in the local paper and music shop which read "Ozzy Zig requires gig. Owns own PA." Another 18 year old (Terence 'Geezer' Butler) saw Ozzy's ad on a shop bulletin board looked him up. The two then decided to form a band named "Rare Breed" which did two shows and then disbanded.

Ozzy's old schoolmate (whom he had never gotten along with) was teaming up with an 18 year old truck driver named William Ward. They had begun to form a band of their own (The Rest) and recruited a singer named Chris Smith. The band moved north to Carlisle, renamed themselves "Mythology" and gained a large following. They played mainly blues and were inspired much by groups like The Yardbirds, Cream, The Beatles and John Mayal.

Mythology eventually split up; Iommi and Ward returned to Birmingham and and ran across Ozzy's advertisment in the music shop. Iommi hoped strongly that this was not the same 'Ozzy' that he had so disliked in school, but of course it turned out to be the one and the same. They decided that it would not be a good idea to try to start a band together, given their dislike for one another, but Tony did later supply Ozzy and Geezer with a drummer - Bill Ward. Ward was at Iommi's place when Ozzy and Geezer approached him, and Ward agreed to join as the bands drummer if Iommi could also join. And so the group began to form, with a slide guitar player named Him Phillips and a sax player, they returned to Carlisle where Iommi and Ward had been enjoying some success previously. Ozzy 1975the group wasn't happy as a six piece band however, and in order to be rid of what were considered to be two unnecessary members, they broke up. Regrouping as a foursome that consisted of Ozzy, Iommi, Ward and Butler.

The group learned eighteen songs their first week together as a foursome and Ozzy renamed the band "Polka Tulk Blues" apparently after a can of talcum powder, though some say that the name came from a Pakistani clothing store named 'Polka Tulk Trading Company'. Iommi was now the lead guitar player, and so Geezer Butler switched to playing bass guitar. The group couldn't afford a new bass guitar, so they simply removed two of the strings and re-tuned to. Another name changed occurred, and the group was soon know as "Earth".

Jim Simpson was a musician and the manager of the 'Bakerloo Blues Band'. In order to better promote the band he opened 'Henry's Blueshouse. The Blueshouse was an major success, and shortly after it was opened it had to stop accepting new bands. Among the first to play there was Led Zeppelin. In 1969 the four members approached Simpson, requesting to play at Henry's. They also asked him to become their manager, as they knew nothing of the business side of music. Simpson arranged for the band to open for 'Ten Years After' and agreed to manage them. Earth was pleased to have found a manager, and with the opportunity to play at Henry's, but the arrangement would eventually turn into a nightmare for the band, though it would be a long time before they realized it themselves.

The group recorded a song in tribute of their new manager entitled "Song for Jim", which is still widely sought after by Sabbath fans, thought extremely hard to find. The band also received some of Simpson's jazz records to inspire them in their writing.
While waiting to go into rehearsal one day, the group noticed a movie playing called "Black Sabbath" and Geezer said he thought it strange that people would go to a movie to scare themselves silly. They group decided to use the name for the title of their first original song. Until this point they had played other artists music.

The name went from that of a song to the groups identity when they realized that there was another band with the name 'Earth'. When they entered Henry's to do a gig, someone mentioned that they liked the bands single. Having never released a single, they immediately realized there was a name problem. That night was disastrous - the crowd being upper-class and expecting a totally different type of music than that which the group gave them. As a result of the incident, Geezer suggested that they change their name to "Black Sabbath' after the Karloff movie. This gave the band a name and title song. It has also been said that the name came from Geezer's interest in occult writer Denis Wheatley...



Not having any money, the band relied on Iommi's mother who owned a chocolate shop. They used her van, and Ozzy's House 1969she provided them with food and cigarettes. Sometimes the group would land gigs on their own, but more often they would show up at places where other bands were scheduled to play, and if a band failed to show up, Sabbath would take their place. When they played the Star Club in Hamburg in Jan. 1969, (a place the Beatles had made famous) they were so popular that they were booked for another five shows. They would play seven shows a day, writing new material as they went. This is evident in their early albums where the songs lyrics differed from the stage to the final album version.

Although Sabbath has long been plagued by cries of 'Devil Worshipers' and 'Satanists', the devil had nothing to do with the choice of the name, regardless of how dark and satanic the name sounded. This point is strengthened by the following incident: As the band began to make news a group of satanists asked them to play at their "Night of Satan" at Stonehenge. They flatly refused, for which they were later informed by the head witch, Alec Sanders, that the group had placed a hex on the band members. Ozzy apparently asked his father to make them up some aluminum crosses, and they wore them 24 hours a day for protection, seeming to take the threat seriously.

Tony Hall, an independent producer, paid for the band to record some demo songs at the Regent Sound Studio on Tottenham Court Rd. Roger Bayed produced these songs, and his name appears on many of the albums. One demo cut, 'Evil Woman', was released on the Fontana record label in January 1970, and, unbeknownst to the band, did quite well. Another demo was called 'The Rebel' and is played as a ten second sample in "The Black Sabbath Story - I" video. The song, about a reclusive voyeur, is one of the rarest Sabbath songs, as it did not make it to the final album.

Black Sabbath's first completed album was released on Friday February the thirteenth, 1970. It was recorded in only eight hours and cost only 800 British pounds (approx. $1200 US). It was recorded on four tracks on an eight track machine. The band was not very popular at the time of the recording, and they simply wished to do what they liked best - sing about the darker aspects of life. They likely never thought that they would make it big in the music business at this point. In fact Ozzy has said that he was just happy to show his mother that his voice could be recorded on a piece of vinyl. It was not an altogether easy process - it took 14 tries before Jim Simpson finally found a company (Vertigo) that would carry the album.

The record company took it upon itself to place an upside down cross on the gatefold of the album, and this immediately caused people to associate the band with Satanism. Sabbath did not want the upside down cross, but bowed to the record companies marketing methods. Inside the inverted cross was a poem that seemed to correspond with the album's cover - a woman standing in a countryside, in a gothic appearing setting. The poem is called "Still falls the rain" (as on the previous page).

Ozzy proudly brought the album home to show his parents, but the reception was not what he had hoped for. The Osbourne's were a family that would sit around the phonbograph, listening to music, sipping beer, and singing along. When his parents heard his music, his father remarked "Are you sure you were just drinking
alcohol?, this isn't music, this is weird." The first song began with rain falling in the background and a church bell tolling earily. This was also the first time Ozzy had heard the final product, which would reach #8 on the UK charts, and #23 in the United States.

The four unknowns were now beginning to make a name for themselves with the release of an album. The same month that their album came out, Black Sabbath broke the attendance record at Simpson's club - a record set and untouched for over a year by Jethro Tull. Success was nearing, and of course with an album came touring, and with touring came the united States. America would have a great impact on the young band. In fact, America washed over them like a tidal wave, bring them into a world unlike they had ever experienced. They had their groupies and took in the incredible sights that America offered them, and began to taste the sordid side of Rock and Roll.

One of their first American shows was played at the Fillmore East. Some of their first trip overseas can be seen on the commercial video "The Black Sabbath Story - Volume 1". On this particular video tape, drummer Bill Ward speaks of the prodding the band would engage in trying to get the audience to do more than sit and listen to the music: In New York, the audience was doing this, and the band, putting 150% effort into their songs, was becoming discouraged by their idleness. Ozzy would often yell at the audience to get up and go crazy, and on this particular show this had no affect. Bull Ward, frustrated, picked up his drum set and threw it at the audience. As a result, Ward claims that the band did seven encores that night. By the time they reached Los Angles, people were talking about this band called Black Sabbath.

Paranoid
While working on their next album, the band released a single called "Paranoid". The single was amazingly popular. On October 23 1970 the band was playing at the Mayfair Ballroom in Newcastle, to a drunk and noisy crowd, who began to crawling over the stage and equipment. The group begins playing "Paranoid" in an attempt to get them off of the stage, but by the time the show is over, the band has had equiptment smashed and stolen. The audience had gone crazy over the new single. Ozzy, extreemly upset by the ordeal, said "If it means us having to give up putting out singles then we will. We want people to listen to us, not try to touch us. I was really terrified, shocked out of my mind." This gig would also give birth to the song "Fairies Wear Boots" which was written as a result of the band being attacked in the street by a group of skinheads. Iommi's arm was seriously injured during the attack, and they were forced to cancel their next show. The song "Feiries Wear Boots" was the bands way of making fun of the 'punks'.

It was fairly common practice for Sabbath to become verbally abusive if the audience was not responding well to their performance. If they were talking, the band would crank the music louder. Bands were so loud in this period that the Leeds City Council introduced a "96 decibel law". If any band's music rose above this level the amplifiers would cut out. Black Sabbath did not consider their night's work complete if they did not have at least three cut-outs a night.

The album 'Paranoid' was recorded in four days, again at Regent Sound, and released in January 1971. The cover shows a person running out of the forest with a sword and shield in hand. It seems a strange representation of being paranoid, but the album was actually intended to be called "War Pigs" (mans constant desire to have weapons of destruction and killing). The record company objected to the title, and so they named the album after the song on the album, "Paranoid". The song "War Pigs" actually came about when the band had been told tales of horror and war from soldiers at an American Air Force Base while the band played there. The Paranoid album reached first place on the UK charts and twelveth in America. It was in the time between Paranoid and the Master of Reality albums that Sabbath fired thier manager, Jim Simpson.

In 1971 Ozzy married his first wife, Thelma, and became stepfather to her son Elliot. It was also the year that the "Master of Reality" album was released. It hit 5th place in UK and 8th place in US song charts. This album would raise eyebrows with the song "After Forever", which was clearly a religious song. Churches called it blasphemy, and others began to speak out against the band, perhaps partly because of the song, or what the band represented. In any event, 1971 turned into a rollercoaster of events, from the groups dressing room walls being decorated with crosses painted in blood in Memphis, to a Satanist jumping on stage with a sacrificial knife during the same show. The local witches coven later gathered outside the band's hotel, Geezer trying to scare them off with a fake hex. That year threats were made against the band claiming that they would be shot sometime during their US tour. At one show the lights suddenly failed in the middle of their third song, and Ozzy stood on the stage, frozen with fear. Adding to the conflicts of the year, the group put a song called "Sweet Leaf" on the album, which spoke of using marijuana. The song begins with a coughing sound that was reported as being Iommi coughing as he finished smoking from a water pipe and the sounds were included in the final version of the song.

The following year, 1972, "Volume 4" was released. Again the record company took control of the album title, no allowing the group's original title "Snowblind" to be used. They felt it was too controversial, being another drug reference, and changed it to "Volume 4", it being the bands fourth album. At this time the group was becoming heavily involved in drugs of all kinds, including cocaine, and it is claimed that during this albums recording the band sat around in a Jacuzzi snorting coke, getting up every once in a while to record a new song. Not being allowed to use their preference for the album's title, they added a line to the albums sleeve that read: "Thanks to the COKE-Cola Company". This year, while Ozzy was deep into the drug would, he and Thelma had their first mutual child, Jessica.

he same year that Paranoid was racing up the charts, Patrick Meehan and Wilf Pine began courting Sabbath, after leaving their management company. They offered the band a chauffeured limo and fine dining, and began voicing their opinions about Simpsons management of the group. They said that Sabbath was not being
managed properly, and that the group would be much better off with them as managers. Sabbath was already unhappy with Simpson because they felt that his innsisting that they perform at shows that they had already been booked for, caused them to earn less then they should. The old bookings were worth a lot less than the usual fee - then around 2000 pounds a show. The group accepted Meehan and Pine's offer, and so on Sept. 4th, 1970, Jim Simpson was dropped as manager of Black Sabbath. The man who had brought then from nothing was history. Simpson sued Sabbath for breach of contract, Ozzy once being handed a subpoena on stage. The resulting court case would last years...
~~
By 1974 the band is living a fast life filled with drugs, sex and cars. One thing they didn't see much of however, was money. If they needed something, they asked management for it, and received it swiftly. They became very successful, especially in the UK charts, but all material posessions were provided by management.

On April 6th, 1974, the Cal Jam concert took place in Ontario, California. The concert was televised to millions of viewers, and had over 450,000 people in attendance and featured bands such as The Electric Light Orchestra. Apparently Sabbath didn't even know that they were to play the show. In the middle of the night their management threatened them with a lawsuit if they did not play the show. Sabbath was in no way ready for such a huge show, not having practiced in months. The was one of the final straws - the band began the process of getting rid of management once again. In "The Decline of Western Civilization II", a documentary, Ozzy discusses how the group questioned how much money they were really making if management could afford homes and cars.

Sabbath decided, after getting rid of their second management and finding out that the cars and houses they had been given were not really theirs, and losing it all, that they would manage themselves. This way they would have complete control of all aspects of Black Sabbath and would not have to be concerned with anyone else mistreating them. It would be a learning experience, as none of the band members had any mangement experience, but they were confident it was the right thing to do.

They had lost all their expensive items, but sitll had the Warner Bros. label in America and stuck with Warner Bros. through the management change.

In September of 1975, the band released their "Sabotage" album. The last song on the album, "The Writ", (included here in it's entirety) would reveal their feelings towards their previous management and all the problems they'd encountered. The anger is evident in Ozzy's voice as well as the lyrics. Some album labels, (Warner Bros. for example) put a hidden tune in following the song. The volume must be turned way up in order to hear it, but one will find the group playing piano and singing an old 'Nitty Gritty Dirt Band' song called "Blow the Jug". A sound engineer caught this during a recording session and it was put on the album.

Black Sabbath soon decided that they needed a new manager, and Don Arden was hired. Arden was from the same company that Sabbath's previous management had parted from. Arden's daughter, Sharon, worked as his receptionist (then 18 years old) and Ozzy met her when he walked into Arden's office with a tap faucet around his neck, and sat on the floor, refusing a chair. Sharon was immediately terrified of Ozzy, and tried to
get someone else to deal with him, rather than look after him herself. Later the two would get to know each other, as her father continued to manage the group, but on the first meeting she wanted nothing to do with him.

Black Sabbath's main problems at this point were not money and fame, but how to come up with the next best selling album. The bands musical direction took a very obvious change with their next release in 1974 (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) with more uplifting and energetic sounds than their previous darkness and gloom that had always dominated their sound. Electronic instruments also changed the way they were able to record sounds. 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' has been referred to by many as being the best of the group with Ozzy as vocalist, and reached 4th and 11th respectively in UK and American charts.

In 1976 Sabbath released "Technical Ecstasy", an album considerably less heavy than their previous releases. It has been said that at this point the group was having personal conflicts, and was getting "fed up with it all". They had made a lot of money, owned a multitude of cars, but were getting burned out from touring. One very gentle song on the album featured Bill Ward on vocals. The album cover did not contain the usual dark images either, instead it pictured two robots having sex. Technical Ecstasy did not do very well.

In 1977 Ozzy's father passed away, taking a drastic toll on the singer. Ozzy quit Black Sabbath. His father had always feared that his son would end up in prison, but died knowing that he had made something of himself. While away from Sabbath, Ozzy approached Glenn Hughes (a vocalist who would later spend time with Sabbath) about forming a band together. Hughes was not interested in Ozzy's idea, and Sabbath continued working on it's upcoming album - "Never Say Die."

With Ozzy gone, Sabbath took on Dave Walker (formerly of Fleetwood Mac) to write material for the new album. When Ozzy rejoined the band shortly after, he refused to sing any of the songs written with Walker, and Walker left the band. The group rewrote all their songs, and Iommi booked a studio in Toronto, Ontario, apparently because The rolling stones had recorded one of their albums there.

It was the middle of winter when the band went to Ontario to record the album, and Ozzy has since said that it was a stupid thing to do and that it was freezing up there. Iommi spent a lot of his energy trying to keep the band together in a time of serious turmoil.

One song (Junior's Eyes) is available on the "Archangel Rides Again" bootleg, featuring Sabbath with Dave Walker on vocals, but on the final album the lyrics were rewritten by Ozzy as a way of saying good-bye to his father, while the original music was kept.

At this point all four members of the band were staying in their rooms all day, drinking and doing drugs. They had Ozzycars, success, and seemingly little ambition to release another album together. Ozzy himself said that he only wanted to release another album so that he could make more money and get fat off of beer. He would often not show up to practice for weeks at a time, and the group was disintegrating rapidly.

When they began to work on the next album, "Heaven and Hell", Iommi approached Ward about getting rid of Ozzy. Iommi had met Ronnie James Dio (formerly of Rainbow) and was interested in having him as a vocalist. Ward was not comfortable with the idea of kicking Ozzy out of the band, having become close friends with Ozzy, but admitted to wanted him out nonetheless. Many people ask how Ozzy really came to leave the group, and he and Iommi both agree that he was in fact fired. The friction within the band had become unbearable to Ozzy, and he was ready to go in another musical direction, and so claims to have been relieved when asked to leave the band. 1978 saw the end of the original Black Sabbath. Their last tour would be the "Never Say Die" tour. Appropriately named.

Bark at the Moon would be Ozzy's next release. The title track is about a creature who has come back to seek revenge on those who scorned and buried him... In the video Ozzy is being confined to an asylum because he was a mad scientist. In the asylum he sees this werewolf running around chasing him. This song would later cause controversy, along with several others earlier released by 'The Mad Man'.

Ozzy's band now consisted of Jake E. Lee on guitar, Tommy Aldridge, Don Airey on keyboard, and Bob Daisley on bass.

When filming the video "So Tired" from Bark at the Moon, an error was made in the size of an explosive charge Ozzy and Jakebeing used to shatter a mirror as Ozzy looks into it, and Ozzy had glass exploding into his face. Luckily, only minor injuries were incurred. He played the parts of all the main characters in the video, and used a full orchestra.

After the release of Bark at the Moon and it's tour, Ozzy began working on The Ultimate Sin album, which came out in 1986, being long awaited by Ozzy fans. Ozzy felt this album was one of the poorest he had put out, saying that most of the songs sounded alike, and many fans agreed with him.

On March 19th, 1987, Ozzy released the Randy Rhoad's Tribute album. Dolores, Rhoad's mother, had received dozens of letters from fans looking for more material from Rhoads. She contacted Ozzy, who came up with the material that ended up on the Tribute album.

Ozzy played only one show that year - at the Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

In 1988 Ozzy released 'No Rest for the Wicked'. It featured Zakk Wylde on guitar, who had his own band at the time, 'Pride and Glory'. Randy Castillo was on drums, and Bob Daisley on bass guitar. Wylde come to be with
the band after he heard Ozzy on Howard Stern mention that he was looking for a new guitarist. Wylde didn't think he would have a chance of getting the position, but a rock photographer told him that he would be happy to pass along a tape of Wylde's music - and this resulted in the audition and of course, getting the job.

On August 12 and 13th of 1989, Ozzy played the Moscow Music Peace Festival. This show featured acts like Bon Jovi, Scorpions and Motley Crue. The other bands were basically small club bands but of course Ozzy was a world-wide name and the crowd just went crazy when it was his turn to play.

In March of 1990, Geezer would join Ozzy in releasing a live album titled 'Just Say Ozzy'. This would contain some of the No Rest for the Wicked and Black Sabbath material combined.

The year 1991 was a year of major changes in Ozzy's life. He began a fresh battle with sobriety, and this time seemed to have a grip on his addictions. He admits that 'No More Tears' was the first album he had ever done sober, and the album has a totally different feel than anything he released previously. It is a combination of soft ballads, such as "Momma I'm Coming Home" to upbeat, hard rocking songs like "hellraiser". Many of the songs were co-written with Lemmy of Motorhead, "Mama I'm Coming Home" being entirely written by Lemmy. "Road to Nowhere" was an overview of Ozzy's life, while "Mr. Tinkertrain" discusses child molestation issues. Ozzy won a Grammy for the song "I Don't Want to Change the World", a testament to the higher quality of work that could be produced when the drugs and alcohol were taken out the the picture.

Ozzy worked had to become a healthier man, dieting and exercising. Once free of the bondage of drugs, he began to look at life differently, and this became apparent in his lifestyle and his music.

Ozzy surprised everyone by calling the tour, "No More Tours". In interviews he said that he was tired of touring and he wanted to spend more time with his family. He was also suffering bouts of illnesses, canceling shows, and other injuries. The pressures of touring got to him and he embarked on what was to be his "final tour". The band now consisted of Zakk on guitar, Randy Castillo on drums and Mike Inez on bass. During these final tours, some shows were taped and used in an upcoming commercial video and audio compilation, "Live and Loud" which was a double album. The CD package also included two stick-on tattoos. There was much speculation about whether or not this would be the final tour, or perhaps it was a ploy to get more money.

On November 15 of 1992, Ozzy played at Costa Mesa, California. This was one of the two nightly shows that would be the last in his tour. Sharon and Ozzy decided it would be cool to invite the other members of Black Sabbath for a reunion since this would be the end of it all. All of the members of Black Sabbath agreed, but Ronnie Dio did not. After playing his songs, the members of Black Sabbath came out and joined Ozzy in playing four songs: Black Sabbath, Fairies Wear Boots, Iron Man, and of course, Paranoid. The video release of this final show only contains the Black Sabbath song though. How did the audience react at seeing the original Sabbath members back together since 1978? They went totally crazy of course. At the end of the show a fireworks sparkler display went off which proclaimed, "I'll Be Back". The purpose of having a final show and then saying you'll be back is questionable. Being his final tour, sales were high and other artists turned out to see the madman before he retired, including Vince Neil, Rod Stewart and Nicholas Cage.

Ozzy's lifetime of performing was to end with the final show of the tour.Reunion '92

In 1993 Ozzy was officially retired. He went home and did want he wanted to do - be a father. He spent time with his family, and bought various toys such as Motorcycles, guns and night vision goggles (to see animals running at night). It was a whole new lifestyle for the man who had been performing and running wild on stages all across the world for his whole life. And, it proved to be too different. Soon he began longing for the old life, and a short while after retiring, Ozzy decided to put another band together and tour again. Ozzy fans soon heard rumors of an upcoming album, and gossip was that "X-Ray" might be the title used. Some fans were unhappy with the news/rumors - thinking that they had been lied to and that the retirement was simply a ploy to bring in more money. Rumors also put Steve Vai on the new album.

It was nearly two years before some of the rumors became facts. There was an album coming, and a tour to support it. The album would be called "Ozzmosis".

Geezer Butler played on Ozzmosis, and toured with Ozzy. The album was recorded in Paris, and was produced by Micheal Beinhorn. Zakk Wylde was busy with Pride and Glory, and so it was arranged that Steve Vai would contribute to the album, as rumored. The songs were to be split so that both Vai and Wylde would appear, but the record company rearranged things so that only Wylde's material made it to the final product.

On October 24, 1995 Ozzmosis hit the stores shortly after the album's first track, "Perry Mason" had been reciving radio play. Now all that remained was to begin touring.

Ozzy would name his Ozzmosis tour, "Retirement Sucks" in an obvious statement about his feelings towards his short lived retirement. It was now time to begin touring. Zakk was talking about playing with Guns and Roses so Ozzy decided to audition new guitarists, thinking Zakk would not be around for the tour. Zakk's manager, Doug
Goldstein, called Sharon and told her that Zakk would be available. He later phoned to say that Zakk was still negotiating for the gig with Guns and Roses. Ozzy did not know what Zakk was planning to do because he was negotiating with both groups, and so asked Zakk to let him know what his plans were. When Zakk did not return the phone call as promised, Ozzy decided enough was enough and found a new player. Ozzy and Zakk are still on good terms however.

Joe Holmes The 31 year old guitar player who hailed from New Jersey and had taken lessons from Randy Rhoads, would soon play a part in Ozzy's life. Holmes had previoulsly played with David Lee Roth for his 1988 tour and was currently working on his own band, "Tariff", when Dean Castronovo (Oz's drummer) phoned Holmes to let him know they were seeking a guitar player. Holmes went down to Audible in Los Angeles and played three Ozzy classics. He did not mention that he had once took lessons from Randy because he thought this might jeapordize his chances. He succeeded though and got the part. Unfortunately Holmes is not heard on the Ozzmosis album but he will be on the next one. So Joe Holmes as Ozzy's new guitar player and Geezer Butler on bass began the Retirement Sucks tour. Halfway through the tour, Geezer left due to being homesick for his family and Mike Inez took his place.

Later on, in yet another shrewd marketing move, Ozzy and Sharon came up with the 'Ozz-Fest'. The festival which Ozzywould start September 14, 1996 would be of a different theme. At this event one could get a tattoo done, body piercing or have your fortune read by a psychic. Ozz-fest featured the following hard rock groups: Danzig, Sepultura, Prong, Slayer, Biohazard, Fear Factory, Neurosis, King Norris, Earth Crisis, Powerman 5000, Coal Chamber, and Cellophane. Towards November '96, Ozzy played his last show of the tour in Hawaii. His plans were to go back to the studio to release a 'Greatest Hits' package ( 1997) which included his older songs and three new ones. One of them would be a song called "Back on Earth" which was co-written with Steve Vai.

Ozz-Fest, day-long hard rock festival, would be a huge success, averaging a higher per show gross than any other festival tour. . The Summer of '98 would see the second fest, again using two stages and a packed line-up of great bands including Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, and Two with Judas Priest's Rob Halford, Coal Chamber and many more. The US dates to begin July 3 In New Jersey.

While the incident with the bat would continue to haunt Ozzy throughout his career and can be legitimately called an accident, the infamous dove incident was definitely not accidental. It seems it was a publicity stunt planned by Sharon and Ozzy. Ozzy had just signed with a new record label, CBS, and he and Sharon were being introduced to the head executives of the company in Los Angeles. CBS was not overly interested in Ozzy, having just signed Ozzy - chickenAdam Ant, and to them he was just another album. In an attempt to gain their attention, and publicity, it was arranged that Ozzy would enter the office and then throw two doves into the air. It is unclear if the rest was intended or simply a spur of the moment decision on Ozzy's part, but instead of two doves flying into the air, Ozzy took one out of his pocket and bit the head off of it. Ozzy admits to being drunk at the time of the incident, but regardless of what the initial plan was, the end result was plenty of publicity, and most of it not at all pleasant. The man who was already referred to as the Mad Man was now condemned and attacked by more people and groups than he would ever had imagined.

I'm ninety-nine and nine-tenths sure it was alive, but now I can't say for sure. I remember I was leaning forward and thinking, "How cute," and suddenly he bites its head off. There was blood on the floor. I think he ate the head; he started spitting some feathers out. I was in shock. It's hard to remember too much after that, to tell you the truth. It was horrible. - An eyewitness of the dove incident.

"I swear on my kid's life I never said 'get the fucking gun'" ...Ozzy on the song Suicide Solution

Suicide Solution, from Blizzard of Ozz, was written after Bon Scott of AC/DC died, having been drinking heavily one winter night and passing out in his car. Scott died of hypothermia. Thought the songs title could be misleading, the song itself was meant to talk about alcohol as being a deadly liquid (solution meaning mixture) but the word solution was immediately seen as meaning 'an answer'. The lyrics of this much debated song are here.

In October 1984, a nineteen-year-old teenager named John M. shot himself in the head, while listening to Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution". When the coroner entered the room, he found the headphones still on John's head. This would be one of the tragedies that caused Ozzy immeasurable grief.

In 1986, Ozzy had just gotten off a plane at LAX airport when people began asking him about the "lawsuits". Ozzy knew nothing about any lawsuit but the details quickly emerged. Three lawsuits had been launched against Ozzy, claiming that his lyrics had caused youths to commit suicide. The family of John hired attorney Thomas Anderson in a lawsuit against Ozzy. Mr. Anderson claimed on the "Don't Blame Me" Ozzy video, that the song contained
tones known as 'hemisync' and would cause a person to be unable to resist what was being said in the song.

The Institute for Bio-Acoustics Research, Inc. (IBAR) was hired to evaluate the song. They claim to have found subliminal lyrics that weren't included in the lyrics sheet. These subliminal lyrics were sung at one and one-half times the normal rate of speech and are not recognized by a first time listener. The IBAR institute claimed the subliminal lyrics, "are audible enough that their meaning and true intent becomes clear after being listened to over and over again." The subliminal lyrics in question were "Why try, why try? Get the gun and try it! Shoot, Shoot, Shoot", followed by a hideous laughter.

Further analysis by IBAR revealed the hemisync tones, which result from a patented process that uses sound waves to influence an individual's mental state. The tones have been found to increase the rate at which the human brain assimilates and processes information. IBAR claimed these tones made John vulnerable to the suggestive lyrics which Ozzy sang.

Ozzy's lawyer claimed that this was nonsense and relied upon the First Amendment of the Constitution to argue that Ozzy could write about anything he wanted. Three people had now taken their lives, and in each case it was Ozzy's 'Suicide Solution' song which was the focus as the cause of the deaths. Mr. Anderson claimed that the words, "shoot shoot, get the gun, get the gun" were audible in the song. There is an effect which can be heard on the song, that could be interpreted as that if one tried hard enough. The sounds were just Ozzy messing around with the soundboard.

Throughout the world this problem would only occur in America. People would be forced to look at the family life instead of the actual music. Blaming the music is an understandable reaction when a tragedy that is otherwise unexplainable occurs, but once the lyrics are examined, it is clear that one would have to put their own interpratation on the song in order to see anything remotely close to promoting suicide within it. In all cases, Ozzy was found not at fault and has sworn that this was never the true meaning behind the song. Heavy metal often seems to be a scape goat in which to blame teenagers problems such as drug abuse on. Yet teenagers who may listen to punk, jazz, or blues music may also suffer from substance abuse or commit suicide.

"Rock Sparks Stabbing", Canadian Press Association:
Halifax, Canada, 9/26/84

"...according to the Canadian Press Wire Service, the effect of heavy metal rock music so influenced a young Canadian named James Jollimore, that '...on New Year's Eve -1983, he went out and stabbed someone. A friend of the defendant testified that Jollimore, 20, who is charged with the first-degree murder of a 44 year old woman and her two sons, felt like stabbing people when he heard music such as Ozzy Osbourne's 'Bark at the Moon'. 'Jimmy said that every time he listened to the song he felt strange inside,' the friend told the court. 'He said when he heard it on New Year's Eve he went out and stabbed someone.'"

The song, Bark at the Moon,was also blamed of affecting listeners in negative ways. A religious group even went so far as to hold a record burning ceremony to protest the evil of rock and roll. "One of the albums we're going to be burning tonight is Ozzy Osbourne's Speak of the Devil", said a priest at the ceremony when being interviewed.

No matter how much Ozzy defended himself or was found not to be at fault, his reputation of being the Mad Man of rock, and various incidents throughout his career that support that reputation, he would be haunted and accused of evoking irrational behavior in teens. Again, this issue has only caused problems in North America, where many stilll view his music as satanic and evil. The lyrics themselves have never supported this view, but people are able to interpret music in any way they choose, a problem that Rock and Roll was faced with in it's early days.

good lord almighty, this is the longest bio. i have ever seen thanks to the ozzy official and unofficial (whatever that means) website. Jesus, i cant beleive you just read that.


thank you for looking at my writings!

signed:J.J. Johnson III