His works are well-known throughout the world, and classical music
Ozzy Osbourne embodies many personas: Heavy metal godfather, the prince of f***ing darkness, father, husband, grandfather, lovable curmudgeon. Here are several facts about The Oz that you may not have known. Shed no more tears:
1: Ozzy Osbourne was officially born as John Michael Osbourne on December 3, 1948 in Aston, Birmingham, England. He picked up the Ozzy name in primary school, and the nickname permanently stuck to his person.
2: Ozzy joined his first band at age 21 in 1969. He and Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and Bill Ward named themseves the Polka Tulk Blues (with a sax player in tow). They changed their name to Earth but had to make a quick change after being booked at a venue with another band of the same name. Black Sabbath was born.
3. Ozzy was almost immediately fired from the band. His fellow members cited his excessive substance abuse and unreliability. He was briefly replaced with Ronnie James Dio before being welcomed back to the band.
3: As a band, Ozzy and the boys noticed how their audiences grooved after being frightened. They adapted their persona to fit the vibe with spooky, semi-violent lyrics over blues-soaked, heavy-metal music.
4: Black Sabbath’s first two albums were immensely successful and produced exponential returns for the label, Warner Bros. The dudes weren’t too happy about their all-male audience with a distinct absence of female groupies.
5: The Ozzy Osbourne urban legends are all true. He really did bite the head off a bat and a live dove. He also took a leak on the Alamo and snorted a line of ants (in lieu of cocaine) in front of Nikki Sixx (of Motley Crue).
6. The Black Sabbath members eventually grew sick of each other. Ozzy told the Guardian, “none of us wanted to drag this black magic sh*t around forever so we tried to get a bit modern. But you should stick to what you know best.” The band’s record sales suffered immensely.
7: Black Sabbath parted ways in 1979, and Ozzy started a solo career. His band was known as Blizzard of Ozz and credited solely to the Osbourne name. The band’s self-titled album went multi-platinum.
8: Ozzy suffers from dyslexia. In his book, I am Ozzy, he admits to never having the attention span to finish reading an entire book. He believes that his dyslexia has coincided with his creativity, which releases sporadically in great quantities.
9: A statue exists to commemorate the moment when Ozzy peed on the Alamo. Ruben Ortiz-Torres and Jim Mendiola commissioned the statue in 2001. The statue contains a motion detector that causes “Ozzy” to pee when people come close.
10: Ozzy has been plagued by drug and alcohol addiction for over 40 years. He’s endured periods of sobriety, including his current stint of two years.
11: The great and powerful Oz admits to suffering from lifelong stage fright. His gloomy persona and costumes help him deal with this affliction accordingly.
12: George W. Bush once gave a speech at the White House Press Club meeting about how his mom, Barbara Bush, adores Black Sabbath music: “What a fantastic audience we have tonight. Washington power brokers, celebrities, Hollywood stars, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff.” Really?
13: Ozzy has several jailhouse and homemade tattoos. He used sewing needles and grate polish to carve happy faces on his knees. He said, “It helped to cheer me up when I woke up every day” when he was in jail on burglary charges as a juvenile delinquent.
14: Ozzy once entered the bedroom he shares with his wife, Sharon, and found some burglars in the closet. Ozzy was naked from the shower, but he fought the robbers anyway. He wasn’t able to save all of Sharon’s jewelry in the fight, but daughter Kelly recovered the ring while appearing on a Brit show, Crime Watch.
15: When Ozzy was on a musical hiatus in 2002, he got the idea to star in a reality show. “If I can’t be famous for my music, then I can at least be famous for not understanding things like language, colors, emotions or how to run a family.” The Osbournes quickly entranced the MTV viewing audience and became the most watched show in the network’s history.
This video clip contains some NSFW language but features Ozzy in one of his most humiliating moments (identifying dog poop).
16: Ozzy absolutely refused to ever watch himself in The Osbournes, and he’s stuck to his word. Oz has also had his fill of reality television and pledges to never go there again.
17: Ozzy’s total album sales have topped 100 million. These sales include both his albums with Black Sabbath and his solo work.