On the bus en route from Salt Lake City to Denver in the early morning hours of January 10, 1982
by David Gans
OZZY: [talking first to publicist Michael Jensen] ...on January 20, Nineteen Seventy-fucking eight, my father died. The fucking ironical thing about the whole deal was -- he was fucked, he had like cancer from his throat, what's this tube down to your stomach? esophagus, testicles; he was riddled with it -- he died in the same hospital that my daughter was born seven years prior. My daughter was born 11:20 on January 20, and my fucking father died seven years later in the same hospital at 11:23 on the 20th It was fucking weird, man.
In England, they don't tell you, y'know. What they did to my father was, he hadn't eaten a fucking thing because of his -- whatever the fucking tube -- he had a lump here like a fucking black ball, in his sagophagus or whatever the fuck it is; he couldn't eat any food. Plus the fact that he had cancer of the fucking intestines, the bowels, so he couldn't shit. He never ate a thing for thirteen weeks.
They operated on him about a fucking week before he died. They took the whole tube out and put a plastic one in. I don't know what it's like in the states, but in England...they put him in a fucking closet with the fucking mops and buckets, because he was on the death ward and it was too distressing for the rest of the patients so they put him in a cot, sort of a crib thing, a giant crib. They strapped him...like a boxer, fucking bandages on his hands, with a glucose drip going into his arm. He was stoned out of his head. You know, the most amazing thing he said to me. I told my father one day, "I take drugs. I said to him, "Before you go, will you take drugs?"
He says, "I promise you I'll take drugs." He was on Morphine. Totally out of his mind on Morphine, because the pain must have been horrendous. They had the operation on a Tuesday, and he died on Thursday...No one could understand what he was talking about, because he was so out of it. He says to me -- he only understands drugs as "speed" -- he says, [whispers, a drawn-out, rattling imitation] "ssspeeeeed." And he died in my arms.
I haven't got over it yet. The twentieth of January, I'll go freaking like a werewolf. I'll cry and I'll laugh all day long, because it's the day my daughter was born and the day my father died. Like a fucking lunatic.
When they go, they're out of their misery. But what freaked me out more than anything else was the funeral. I was singing fucking "Paranoid" in the church...Seconal, drunk... it blew me away. All the family came that I'd never seen for fucking years, and they were making comments. In England, it's a weird scene at a fucking death. My father hated his brother Harold -- my whole family's fucking nuts; my sister's been committed twice. For real -- she's like fucking over the top. My other sister's an absolute neurotic wreck. My whole family has this fucking thing of lunacy, you know? I use my lunacy for better ends.
At the funeral, we're sitting there, with black suits on. All my relations I haven't seen since fucking day one. You get comments like, "Oh, it looks like you're going to be the last one to go," all this crap. I got up on the stairs and I freaked! They're all drinking tea, and fucking kissing my father in his coffin.
JENSEN: Did you do that?
OZZY: I made them unscrew the coffin. He looked like a faggot. He looked like a fucking homosexual -- he had fucking makeup on. I had to look at my father, and I kissed him. The guy that brought him in turned to me and said, "Don't leave the coffin lid open too long, because it's stinking."
I went, [slowly], "That's my fucking father you're talking about." My mother freaked out; there was a whole big deal, fucking fights and scenes and stuff. At the funeral, I'm drunk as a fool. I get to the fucking church -- I'm the eldest son; I'm bearing the coffin -- and I have to go for a fucking piss. It's like Airplane, fucking insane. My father always told me, "I don't believe in fucking God, I don't believe in fucking Hell -- I believe in me. You've got to believe in yourself, because you're the only person who can believe in yourself, because you feel what you feel." That's what I fucking have taken from my father. My father was one of the greatest guys that ever lived in this fucking world.
You know what? When I used to work in a regular job in the factory -- the last job I had was tuning car horns. That it was was a soundproof booth. These fucking car horns are coming down a conveyor belt, and you're in this fucking chamber -- a box, like something out of fucking Flash Gordon. You take a car horn, put it in this clamp, and you tune this fucking thing in to the dial.
This guy's been working there for fucking years. He was telling me about the time during the war that it was fucking ack-acked and the fucking German fucking airplane bombing England, you know?
I said to him one day, ""Arry, how long you been doing this?"
He says, 35 fucking years he's been here. He says, "I'm retiring soon. Soon I'll get my gold watch." I just got my fucking tools and I slammed them on the floor. I said, "Listen, man -- if I want a fucking gold watch, I'll go and break a jewelry shop. I'm out. Tell the foreman I've jacked." And fuck -- it was the last time I ever did it.
JENSEN: Did [your father] know what was happening to him? [that he had cancer]
OZZY: Yeah, sure. Ignorance prevails in England, because the older generation...
I'm a fucking hypochondriac, I am. If I feel anything wrong with my body, I go straight to the doctor. I know I have a drink problem -- I've been told that if I don't stop srinking as excessively as I am drinking, myvliver's going to pop off. That's the risk I fucking take. I understand it -- I know.
These cunts walk around, "I ain't got the time," they're afraid to know the truth. In England, the policy is not to tell the fucking family what's really wrong if it's cancer.
When I'm in this fucking closet with my father strapped up, and he's saying to me, "Take this fucking thing out of my arm and let me die" -- "Take me home," he was saying to me," and everyone going, "What's he saying?" I suppose it's true I'm a fucked-up freak...[unintelligible]..."Please, just take me home." I felt like walking him out of that fucking hospital, but I couldn't. That's what drove me nuts, because he wanted to die with dignity.
They phoned me up at fucking 2:00 in the morning and said, "Your father's dead." I went down, collapsed like a fucking sack of shit.
"Can we have permission to do some tests on him?"
I said, "You touch one hair on his head, I'll be down there and you'll be in the fucking morgue with-him." After 13 weeks;, what are they going to do?
They've a new thing in England called hospices, that when you've got a terminal disease they keep you whacked out all the time. There was a woman that worked for me, a beautiful woman called Marge. She got cancer of the breast. She had radiation treatment. She went bald. She was a beautiful woman, did all my curtains in my house. At the end of the day she was so fucked, she couldn't see, she couldn't speak, she couldn't hear. The way she would communicate with her husband was by touch, writing words on his arm. They wouldn't take her into a hospital -- the only people that would take her in were the fucking Salvation Army, or something like that. In England, they're so primitive.
If they was to spend as much money on fuckin' taking care of people. There is a cure...
...Tonight, I went on stage, and I was feeling bad...because of the incident with Sharon. I overcame it. There are cases in medical history of people -- the will to live is far greater than the will to die. There are certain cases where people have cured themselves with their own will. I went on stage tonight, and I thought to myself, "fucking Fight it, man." I sang a pile of shit, I know that, but I fucking won the crowd, and that was the object of getting on stage in the first place.
The whole band were great. As we're going along, it's getting better and better and better. [Record label chief] Don Arden said at San Diego, "I don't think it can ever get better than that," but I think tonight was better than San Diego.
I can't change my fucking drumhead; I can't change my fucking guitar -- I just have to get on with it, you know? [discussion of monitor mixer and his uneven performance]
...Great titles for the next albums. Bark at the Moon and Killer of Giants.
...I just wish there were two of me, so one could write and one could do what he fucking does. I suppose there is two of me.
The next album is going to be Killer of Giants, and the followap is going to be Bark at the Moon. I'm going to record the two simultaneously.
GANS: Been writing new songs?
OZZY: Oh, yeah.
GANS: Got enough already?
OZZY: No. I'm just beginning. I've got the mood of what I'm going to do. Killer of Giants is going to be sort of medieval. Bark at the Moon is going to be into sort of -- wolves; werewolves and all that shit.
GANS: Will you write a lot of songs under those themes --
OZZY: I've yet to do a concept album, and I want to do a concept album. Every track feeds into the next, you know? That's the idea I have. Whether it comes off or not, I don't know.
GANS: How many songs do you write?
OZZY: I don't write -- these guys write.
GANS: I notice you're all credited on the tracks.
OZZY: Everyone feeds off everyone else. It's like a rock and roll jungle. You know where you're coming from: if it feels for everyone, it feels good for everyone. Rudy may come up with a fucking... [???] and I do the major writing, but if Rudy or Tommy or Don come up with a thing that we want to use, everyone gets the credit for it. As long as the picture's painted.
GANS: Do you write all the words?
OZZY: No. Can't spell.
I generally get the idea, the initial push, and we work it out together.
GANS: How did you hook up with these guys?
OZZY: The way I met Tommy was so ironical. I first left Sabbath in seventy-fucking, ahh, zilch. I went to a management company called [Ina Carter??] Music. An old friend of mine who used to be a roadie was working for Pat Travers, and Pat Travers was looking for a new drummer. I told this guy Dave that I wanted to get Tommy in a band. Tommy was just leaving Black Oak...he eventually went with Pat Travers.
When I did leave Sabbath finally, I mentioned Tommy's name to everybody. I said I wanted to play with Tommy. I said he was the greatest rock and roll drummer in the world, and I really sincerely mean it.
It's hard to try and explain, but the way things happened in this band -- it was like things were meant to happen, as if we were all meant to meet. Tommy and I have been doing the same circuit since '72, '73, when he was with Black Oak and I was with Sabbath. I think he's the greatest fucking drummer in the world.
GANS: How'd you find the other guys?
OZZY: At a clap clinic.
It's hard to explain how it all happened. When I left Sabbath I was in total fucking turmoil in the mind. I thought I'd blown the biggest thing in my life, the only one crack I'd ever get out of the fucking suburban shithole. I'd gone to Los Angeles and auditioned so many Tony Iommi lookalikes, it was untrue. At the end of the day, this guy said, "I want you to listen to the guitar player." I was stoned out of my face -- as usual. Heard one guy at 4:00 in the morning, and he was only tuning his guitar when I said, "you've got the gig." Phenomenal.
His presence. I don't give a fuck about...I have a feeling about people. You could be the greatest player in the world, but if you haven't got the feeling that I want to get, I don't go for it.
Rudy came and auditioned for the band, and instantly it clicked. [The bass player before Sarzo] was a cunt. He was a fucking money- grubbing fucking tight-fisted freak.
GANS: How long was he with you?
OZZY: About nine months.
GANS: How'd you get him?
OZZY: He fell off a fucking Christmas tree.
GANS: And Don?
OZZY: Say no more. Don was on it from the beginning, doing session work.
We had a keyboard player [on the road] before him, but Don played on the albums. He's a great player, anyway.
Where are you from, Don?
DON AIREY: Sunderland.
OZZY: Boring Sunderland. [laughter]. That was the first time I ever saw the ocean. I fucking broke apart. I've got an auntie, fuckin -- what's her name? Elsie? Ada? Auntie Ada! She's got a fucking husband who's like a village monk. I once stabbed her cat, when I was 11, in the backyard when my mother was sunbathing. I got whupped around the fucking house.
I tried to hang myself once.
GANS: How old were you?
GANS: Why'd you do that?
OZZY: I thought I wanted to find out what it's like to be hung. In England, you get these fucking terraced houses, and you get things they call entries, sort of alleyways, and you get these bars on the entries. I thought, "well, I want to hang myself -- this is God's honest truth. So I got my mother's washing line, made a noose, put it over the bar in the entry, then fucking jumped off the chair and held the rope. I thought if I'm gonna die, I'll let go of the rope and I'll fucking be okay."
My father come out of the house and caught me doing it, and he beat the shit out of me. I thought, "Fuck, I should have done it for real."
I set fire to my sister once. I tried to strangle my younger brother 'cause I hated him.
One day some friends of mine gave him a used contraceptive and told him it was a balloon. He came in the house on a Sunday afternoon --
GANS: Bit dim, was he?
OZZY: No. My brother's the only sane one of the fucking lot, now. He came in the house blowing it. My father washed his mouth with soap.
GANS: Why'd you set fire to your sister?
OZZY: I didn't like her. I poured gasoline on her skirt and set fire to her. I got beaten round the fuckin' house, as usual.
GANS: Were you beaten a lot?
OZZY: Oh, a hell of a lot. It was a part of life in them days. It was good times, man.
GANS: Were you happy, then?
OZZY: No. No, because my mother wouldn't...mm, she...she just wouldn't.
GANS: Wouldn't what?
OZZY: Give me head.
I remember one time, I was ill. I was really ill...I was lying on the couch. When I was a kid, they used to have these things called "Little Bigs." Going right back to my childhood. I'm lying in bed, masturbating. You know when you're a kid, you think of something to masturbate on -- you can close your eyes and think of an object, a person, something to get your rocks off. And the perspective of the object got all out of -- it wouldn't be big, it wouldn't be small, it wouldn't be round, it wouldn't be long -- it wouldn't be anything. And it used to fucking do my brains in -- I used to go fucking crazy. I ripped my Beatle pictures off the wall and started burning them and doing crazy things.
When I got ill one time -- the treat was, if you were ill in the house...We only had three bedrooms, and there was six kids and my mother and father, so there was like [thinks a split second] eight. My mother and father had the front room, and we used to fucking pile into the back rooms. We had a bucket of piss at the bottom of the bed, a fucking plastic bucket of piss, for-months. We never had clean sheets, we used to have overcoats as fucking bedclothes. This is the God's honest truth.
The treat was, when you were ill, you could sleep on the couch downstairs and watch TV. me biggest sensation of the week was Sunday night at the London Palladium. My father would send my brother or some youngster to some fucking off-license and get a couple of bottles of cider and some potato chips, you know? I'm lying on the fucking couch watching this, thinking, I'm jacked [?]- -all the rest of the kids have gone to bed, see. This thing comes to my head, "Kill your mother. Get up and kill her -- she's evil."
I swear to God, I felt myself come off this fucking couch, and I ran, and I ran. I stopped myself running, went straight back through the kitchen, into the bathroom, and masturbated for about four hours.
So in the end, I eventually ended up in the fucking nuthouse. The guy says to me, first question -- which was ironical -- was, "Do you masturbate?"
I was hung up on cocaine for years; I took LSD, me and Bill Ward took LSD for two years every day. I ended up a screwball. I got to this lunatic asylum and this guy says to me, first question: "Do you masturbate?"
I turned to this guy and I says, "Listen, asshole, I'm here for my head, not my cock." But I've read about it since. I don't read a lot. I've read about it since, and apparently masturbation for guys is a very big sign of insecurity, which I am -- I'm very insecure. Within myself. It's true.
GANS: Well, aside from trying to kill her, did you like your mother?
OZZY: No, but I fucked a guy who did. [This is apparently the punch line of a joke or a common saying in England]
The funniest thing about death is, you're never gonna go. Death to me is the next step. I don't believe we stop -- I don't believe that mankind stops at death.
JENSEN: Something else goes on afterwards.
OZZY: Of course. I don't know, 'cause I ain't dead yet.
There's many ways of dying, you know? But there's only one fucking death, and that's when you [???]. It took him a long time to die, but when he was dead, he was dead. That's when he died.
We used to have this next-door neighbor. She was 63 years old, and I used to go and fuck her. It's the God's honest truth. I used to fuck her, as a child. She'd lived in a house right next to us, and she used to go to work every morning at 7:00 every morning. I used to go and fucking steal from her. The house was like the war had ended yesterday -- this was like nineteen-sixty-fucking-four, or something. In the old days, they used to give kids lead toys, made of lead -- racing cars and things. Her kids got killed in an air raid, and her husband got killed at Dunkirk, or something. Her world had stopped then. She lived from 1945 or something, till --
One morning I'm going to school, and I hear this voice. It was January or February or something. "Osbourne!" There was a wall between the two houses. I said to my father, "Daddy, I think I hear this voice calling me." And he smacked me around the fucking house, "Don't be so stupid."
This woman had left the house at seven in the morning, and this was like 5 to 9. She slipped over on some ice and she'd gone radio rental -- that means barmy, crazy. She'd been lying on the floor on her back she's so old. She'd worked for years and years and years in this factory and still believed that her family was around her. Still believing -- she'd talk to the children that weren't there, and she would take me as being her husband. I think he was Joseph, or something like that. And she was fucking insane. We found a fucking bag in her house -- the house was just like the war; nothing had changed. We found a handbag full of salary packages dating back to fucking 1944. She worked in the same factory over all those years.
In the end she went so over the top that the day became night and the night became day. My mother used to fucking go round there and sort of comfort her, you know? She never knew that I was fucking her.
There was a guy next to the other side of us who was building an illegal bathroom. He was stealing bricks and things. You had to get permission to build onto your house. There was a woman next door that was put in jail for fucking illegal abortions. The whole area where I lived was fucking so bizarre.
I tell you what I'm going to do for one of the titles: I'm going to have a photograph taken outside my old house in Aston.
My father was a fucking gem. I got my front from my father, and my singing- voice from my mother. My mother was an amateur sort of singer...she used to go to these talent contests... My father at the front, my father -- for instance, he'd come back from the Workingman's club, a bar that he used to go and drink, and they used to throw him off the bus every day. My neurotic sister Iris...one day, it was a Sunday. Once she'd cleaned the house, you couldn't move. You couldn't breathe, you couldn't touch a thing, you couldn't eat -- you had to sit there like [ ? ]. And I got up and beat the shit out of her. Beat the fuck -- blacked both her eyes and fucking pounded her around the room. I thought I'd better go and see my father when he gets thrown off the bus, 'cause he's going to kill me when he comes back and sees the sight of her face.
I sat on a wall, and sure enough the bus comes, fucking off the bus, he's singing his fucking lungs off on the bus and getting the bus revved up...I said, "Daddy, I've just beaten Iris up."
He says, "Good job. Fucking 'bout time you fucking whacked her. He knew, my old man...very aware of the situation, 'cause we live on fuck-all, man. We lived on nothing.
When I got success, I thought the fucking -- we have a thing in England called the Pools. You gamble, and you win a lot of money if you win. Like a fucking lottery over here. When I got successful, my family said, "Bingo!" ...
I once went to a fortune teller, and she said to me that I would have a thousand pound in the bank by the age I was 21, and what else did she say? That I would be a very famous person. At the age of 22 I had 1000 pounds in the bank -- excess of -- and I was getting success. It wasn't planned -- I don't what the fucking hell's happening to me. It's like death to me, you know? The funniest thing about it all is, when I was born, I weighted ten pounds something like 14 ounces. I was one of the biggest children ever -- they thought I was twins, you know? The midwife said to my mother, this guy is going to be [???]. I swear to God, it's the God's honest truth. Destiny rules me, man.
GANS: Do you have any musical training at all?
GANS: How'd you learn it?
OZZY: From my head.
GANS: Who'd you listen to when you were a kid?
GANS: Before them?
OZZY: Never anybody. The Beatles gave me everything. Especially Paul McCartney. I adore him.
GANS: Ever met him?
OZZY: Never. I met his brother, but I've never met him.
GANS: Seems you ought to be able to arrange it by now.
OZZY: I don't want to arrange it. If we ever meet, we'll meet.
GANS: What was the first record you ever bought?
OZZY: I used to steal records. I never used to buy them.
GANS: What was the first record you stole?
OZZY: I think it was..."Love Me Do." I was the classiest fucking shoplifter you ever met in your life. Coat over the arm, "'Scuse me, sir" -- bong! Gone. I'm a rock and roll rebel.
GANS: How old were you when you started playing in a band?
OZZY: It was an excuse not to work in a factory. I never used to go to school...I beat the teacher up one day, with an iron bar.
GANS: Uh, did you go back to school after that?
OZZY: Yes. He got fired, for picking on me.
GANS: You didn't finish [school] ?
OZZY: I left school at 15, went to work and cut my thumb off the first fucking day. [exhibits a scar on first joint of thumb]. Sewed it back on. Ended up going round ... I used to wear, know these kitchen sets, these cleavers? Butchers' cleavers? Where I came from, it was kill or be killed. I'm a lunatic! I went through a shop window, fighting with three guys [exhibits long scar at elbow, across arm from outside to the soft skin inside the joint]. My arm was virtually fucking ripped apart, you know? I was on a glucose drip for 12 hours, had several pints of blood pumped into me. I'd just gotten out of prison...burglary.
GANS: So Black Sabbath put you on the straight and narrow?
OZZY: No, I put Black Sabbath on the straight and narrow, because they're all -- apart from Billy Ward; Billy Ward is like my brother, I'll never say a bad word about Billy Ward. The other guys -- eat shit and fucking die.
GANS: Did you all grow up together?
OZZY: Tony Iommi used to bully me all the time when I was at school.
GANS: How'd you end up in a band with him?
OZZY: ...It's hard to try and explain, on this vast continent you live in, that where we used to live is a ghetto.
GANS: Everybody knew everybody-
OZZY: -- like a fucking block away, you know? Actually, a lot of ... would be very interested...it's all changed now. I only wish my sister...my sister went nuts one day and cut all the heads off the photographs, all we ever had of the family when I was a kid. She went fucking over the top, and all the photos have no heads. It was Gillian. She got institutionalized; she's tried to kill herself a coupld of times.
GANS: There's only one sane kid in the family?
OZZY: Oh, yeah. Sorry -- the only person I have any time for is my sister, Jean; who's the oldest, and my grandmother, who's 90.
GANS: Is your Mom still alive?
OZZY: Oh, yeah. I don't find the time to talk to her very much, to be very honest. It sounds kinda weird. I'm a different -- person, you know, because of all this glory and bullshit that's around me. I find it very difficult to talk to these people, because all they're interested in talking about is the price of life, the cost of living.
GANS: Do you give them money, help them out at all?
OZZY: I do, when I'm there. My mother could phone me up now, and I'd give her my life. I would give her my life -- she gave me a life.
GANS: Are you a wealthy man?
OZZY: I'm comfortable. I'm crazy -- totally crazy, and the fact is accepting my craziness. I'm totally fucking freaked by every man, your universe, and everybody, because everyone's gone fucking mad. I'm the madman that looks out there and says, "You say I'm fucking mad!- Look at you cunts!" They say I'm crazy -- I am crazy, okay? But I don't fucking build bombs, I don't build fucking means of killing people. All I do when I get to a concert is try and give them my best shot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. A lot of times, it don't.
I was singing a pile of shit [at Salt Lake City], but it's the vibe that you put out on a night, you know? You don't have to sing; you don't have to fucking play. I'm convinced now that I could go on the stage and talk to them people for an hour and a half. It sounds egotistical, but given the right frame of mind and the right fucking mental attitude...How d'you think these assholes like Billy Graham get on? He's full1 of shit, man, that guy. He's full of shit because -- I'm not ashamed to say I make dough out of what I do. I make big fucking dough out of what I do. He makes big dough out of what he does, but he fucking never talks about it -- he fulls people's heads full of shit. Everyone wants a believer. There ain't no fucking spokes in my wheel, man-I just go out there and give it to them.
GANS: What do you believe in?
GANS: I'm curious about this: you treat death rather lightly in the show, and yet --
OZZY: You're born, you breathe, and you fucking die. We're all gonna die. Look how many fuckers they gassed in fucking Dachau! They're all dead!
GANS: But look how your father died-
OZZY: So what?! He's dead! He's fucking brown bread -- he's gone; he's not here any more. He's in my head -- he talks to me constantly, in my dreams.
I'll tell you a funny thing. I'm the oldest son, my sister Jeannie is the oldest sister. We both had the same dream: that my father came through a curtain with his younger brother who had died, and they were dancing. [We told our mother]
GANS: What did she say?
OZZY: She thought it was fucking -- the whole psychic trip...I can move things if I wish to.
GANS: Have you done it?
OZZY: Oh, sure. You seen tonight what I moved. People! If I choose to, I can destroy things. I realize what I have. People say to me very often, "Do you believe in religion?" My answer to that is, I've seen day, I've seen night. I prefer to live at night, because no one can see me. In the day, I'm fucking like a caged animal. I hate the daylight.
GANS: Feel safer at night?
OZZY: Very much so.
GANS: Is that part of being insecure?
OZZY: I suppose it is.
GANS: Are you unhappy?
OZZY: I don't know.
GANS: Why not?
OZZY: I'm spoiled. I've had so much good luck happen to me that I can't handle bad luck. It's very hard to explain to you, but I've had a lot of bad luck lately. As much good luck as 'I've had, I've had bad luck. But the good luck, it goes in a pitch. It rises like a dam -- as much good luck as I get, I get as much bad luck. So you- gotta fucking work it out in my own head.
...you conquer it yourself. Whatever your mind tells you to do, you can overcome everything.
[he holds a lighted Marlboro very close to the back of his hand, with the ash -- but not the glowing ember -- touching. It stays there for a long time, nearly a minute. At first I think it's bullshit, BUT LATER I observe a very real blister. Still, it's not exactly a bull-goose G. Gordon Liddy. But the fucker's insane enough to do this, regardless of whether or not it's causing him serious pain]
...it hurts me. The fact that it hurts me, my mind tells me -- pain goes through my head. There'll be a blister-here tomorrow, and I don't care. I can ignore it. But one thing I can not ignore is people. People make me happy -- the show, it's the show.
[Sharon Arden asks if we need anything. The bus has parked at a truck stop -- Fort Bridger, Wyoming, on the continental divide, according to Jensen. Pooky, the tiny dog, seems to have been "dognapped" the night before I arrived, during a melee at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.]
GANS: What happened to Pooky the other night? Dognapping, police -- ?
OZZY: Occasionally, I go off the rails. I once nearly killed somebody once -- it wasn't funny. I am a lunatic. The pressure of work, the pressure -- everyone has a stop valve, and I don't have one.
GANS: What happened to yours?
OZZY: I sold it for a gram of coke.
Rock and roll is my religion, and that's the God's honest truth. And it's my law. If I kill myself doing what I do for a living, if people want to fuck me up, say whatever they like, it's their privilege -- it's your privilege. But I don't think I do a bad job; I don't think I fucking give people harm. What's more fucking harmful than a simple guy like me that's got an ability to fucking turn people on, to have a good time, to go crazy? What the fuck's wrong with -- what's more crazy -- giving a young kid a fucking rifle and saying, "run over that fucking hill and you're gonna die," or me getting up there and jumping ape end down like a cunt for an hour and a half?
GANS: It's obvious you take this thing very seriously --
OZZY: It's my life! I'm the original clown. When I was a child at school, if people were miserable around me, I'd do some crazy things like jump through fucking doorways, anything to make them amused -- hang myself, anything, because I hate to see sad faces. And yet, I must be one of the most sanest people you ever met, because I'm insecure, I'm nuts, but I know that I'm here -- I believe that I'm here for a purpose. I believe in forces of fate. It must sound like a pile of shit to you.
GANS: After twelve years of being a successful rock and roll musician --
OZZY: I'm not a musician -- I'm a ham.
GANS: Well, after 12 years of being a successful ham, don't you feel safe yet?
OZZY: No, not at all. You're never safe --
GANS: What are you afraid of?
OZZY: I'm afraid...the very fact that I'm afraid is the very fact that keeps me motivated. I'm a strong fucker in the mind, and that becomes physical. My fiancee, Sharon, who is also my manager, who is also now apparently my ex-fiancee, because I blew it last night, bears the brunt of what I am. I'm like a caged animal -- I want to do it, and I don't want to do it. How many times a week can you say to yourself, "I want to do it at 9 until 10:30"? How many people do you know that can feel that?
GANS: Turn it on and turn it off?
OZZY: Yeah. Or whatever the time is -- I've done gigs at fucking 7:00 in the morning.
I'm finding it hard to control these days. This fucking feeling goes through my body -- I shake. I swear to god, it's still in me from the gig tonight, as you can obviously see. People get this fucking conception that rock and roll is a gigantic fucking party...it's fucking hard, and I fucking love it.
And I always will do it. You ain't going to stop me...I'd be one of those bangos, and I don't want that to happen, because what a tragedy.
I will always be Ozzy. At least I made my fucking mark on this fucking shithole of a world we live in.
GANS: Is it all a shithole?
OZZY: No, it's not. Not at all. Happiness to me is getting stoned.
GANS: All the time? Drunk by noon?
OZZY: No, I don't drink before I go on stage. At the moment, I'm suffering from concussion, I believe [he said earlier that Sharon had thrown a perfume bottle at him at 5000 mph, hitting him in the back of the head, during last night's fracas].
[points to the burn from the cigarette] Who cares? I'd give my life to making people fucking wake up, man, saying "Fuck all this shit! Let's have a good time! Let's have a party! What's the matter with you people?"
I sang like a cunt tonight.
You get these fucking people that condemn rock and rollers, and what's more fucking sad than seeing a guy like Jim Jones who goes to -- where was it?- Guyana -- and fucking makes all those people take fucking...to kill themselves. What would you rather have?
GANS: Rock and roll, of course.
OZZY: Every time. Every time.
GANS: I must admit, sometimes I think it's a, little bit negative --
OZZY: What is?
GANS: The images, the things that are dwelt upon. Some of the kids I talked to in the lobby tonight were talking about how Black Sabbath worshipped the Devil --
OZZY: That's bollocks! That's bollocks!
GANS: But if the kids are thinking that --
OZZY: I cannot emphasize, and I cannot tell anybody any more. If you want to play my fucking albums backwards, if you want to fucking think what you want to think.
The reason why Black Sabbath evolved was this: at the time we were fucking doing it ... we wanted to be successful; we wanted to be rich. We wanted to get out of that fucking shithole we were living. We were originally called "Earth," and we thought, "What do people really love to fucking hear? What to people really want "Sugar sugar sugar, trying, true true true," and all this fucking lot coming out your radio. I'm thinking I've got no shoes on my feet -- I'm walking around in fucking rags. I said to the guys, "Listen, man -- there's so many fucking people out there, talking how wonderful the fucking world is, and there's so many of us fuckers that ain't got nothing." That was the end of Sabbath and me,-because they went in a fucking macho way, and I never. They went sort of like, "We ain't gonna do this, we want five towels, we want fuckin' eight bars of soap, we want fucking Courvoisier," all this shit. It was bollocks to me, because I still remember my roots where they never.
GANS: They got fancy in the studio, too, then --
OZZY: Oh, fuck! Jesus Christ! The last abortion I did with that fucking band was Canada, Toronto -- February, 19-seventy-fucking seven, I think it was, 78. Sound Interchange -- we go there because the Rolling Stones had mixed their live album, where they're biting each other's arms, or something. Because the Stones had gone there. The fucking studio's a pile of shit, the fucking -- we had two songs half- written before we'd gotten into the studio. The reason we'd gone to Canada was because of the tax-exile thing, because the taxes are so high in England. In the end, it cost us nearly 500 fucking thousand dollars to make that album, and it was the biggest pile of horseshit that I've ever made in my life. I'm embarrassed with that album.
GANS: How did you leave Black Sabbath?
OZZY: Quite easily -- I got fired. I wouldn't fucking put up with their crap any more. I left first, but my lawyer said to me, "If you leave, you voluntary fucking leave. But ifl you fucking get yourself fired, you can claim a bit of dough." We were potless. Black Sabbath, I'm telling you now, I swear to God -- I don't know now what they're... but at that time, we were fucking penniless. Penniless! We had got ripped off like...we got taken for 15 mil. By everybody! We didn't know what the fuck it was about! We thought as long as you've got a Rolls Royce and a fucking toot of cocaine up your nose, you're [unintelligible]. It's a fucking big syndrome -- it's left a scar on my mind -- I don't trust many people any more. I trust my management, although a lot of people out there don't trust my management. I trust my management, because I have to, because I do trust them.
GANS: Obviously, if you're going to marry --
OZZY: But she doesn't want to marry me any more.
GANS: Ah, give her a day to cool off...
OZZY: Oh, yeah.
I says to Sabbath...all I did with Ozzy Osbourne was took my fucking thing right back to where it started. I said, "Let's get to basics again, and fucking knock it out" -- and so you can get on stage and do near as [dumb??] on stage as you can do in the studio.
GANS: How did you go about getting thrown out of Sabbath?
OZZY: I got very drunk and very stoned every single day. Plus the fact Tony Iommi was using Sharon Arden as his motivation -- he was pretending to be in love with her.
GANS: And you were already in love with her?
OZZY: No. I can't explain, because it's very complex to try and explain. Maybe Sharon could put you in the picture better than I could.
GANS: Was she managing Black Sabbath at the time?
OZZY: At the time, yes. And I wanted to sue the fuckin' ass of Warner Brothers, if you want to know my honest opinion. I ain't gonna say it, because I'm not going to be liable.
GANS: You were unhappy with the label and unhappy with the band?
OZZY: I was just generally unhappy.
GANS: What happened after they fired you?
OZZY: I got the band together.
I thought [Sharon] was going to say "Fuck Off" to me, and as it happened,..I believe at that point, if Black Sabbath had stuck together, that we could have unrevealed [sic] the biggest scandal of the 70s. I'm not mentioning any names, and you can print this -- I'm not mentioning any names, any companies, or anbybody, but I do believe that we could have fucking -- with the -strength of a man like Don Arden, who is a strong fucker, and the Arden organization, we could have burst the whole business open. But they allowed themselves to be gotten to [I assume he means the other members of Sabbath].
I was sitting in the fucking Le Parc Hotel in fucking Los Angeles, sitting there like a sack of shit, and she comes in and says, "We want to keep you, and we want to fuck them off," because they allowed themselves to got to. I locked myself away for three months.
GANS: What did you do?
OZZY: I sat in a room and got drunk every day, listening a guy over the road playing fucking "Iron Man" every night.
OZZY: I just did.
OZZY: Unhappy as fuck.
GANS: Three months?
OZZY: Three months.
GANS: Didn't want to do anything.
OZZY: I sat there with boxes of beer.
GANS: It's hard to understand why anybody would want to do that. You must have been down--
OZZY: I was very down, because I was humiliated for the last time.
GANS: What happened to pull you out of it?
OZZY: A kick up the ass and a smack in the teeth [from] my management. They said, "Listen: we believe in you, but you've got to fucking pull yourself together; you've got to show us that you can do it."
... As low as you feel is as high as you feel. It's like taking the first sniff of cocaine: you get up there, you think it's great. But everyone fails to remember that when you get up there as high as a kite, the day's gonna come when you're going to have to come down. The basics in reality. And that's why people are addicts. I'm an addict in liquor.
GANS: Do you still do coke?
OZZY: Occasionally. But I have management that fucking gets my shit together.
I'm a guy that can't take a fucking pill -- I've got to take 15. I've got to go everything to the fucking end. I can't have a drink, I've got to get bombed. I've got to take everything to the end. Everything. Life!
GANS: One of the magazines I write for would want to know how that relates to your sex life.
OZZY: I have...sex life to me is, I go through phases: I fuck like crazy for about three months, then I stop and I get very miserable.
GANS: For how long?
OZZY: Depending on how long. I mean, like...at first, when I first come to the states, I fucked everything in sight. I've had the clap more times than fucking God.
But suddenly I realized, "What am I telling these chicks 'I love you' for when you don't mean it? All you want to do is get their ass in bed and fuck the twat off 'em."
I remember one occasion, we did Virginia Beach. The door knocks. I've just spoken to my wife -- my ex-wife -- put the phone down and the door knocks. This beautiful chick comes in, and "Fuck, I'm happening tonight!" I get her on the bed and I fuck the ass off her. She goes. Knock-knock-knock on the door comes. I think she's forgotten something...it's a different chick at the door. Beautiful as fucking God! I swear she looked like an angel. And I fuck the ass off this one. She goes. Knock-knock-knock,and I'm thinking, "I can't believe this" Three -- five chicks come in, and I fucked five different -- where are these chicks coming from? Where are these chicks coming from?
I start walking the corridors and thinking, "What the fuck?!" There's a party on the roof, an immense of chicks.
But I've gotten to the point in my life that I cannot fucking do it any more, because -- I suppose it's maturity or something, I suppose. When you're a kid of fucking 24 or 25 and you come from Aston to the States and you see all these fucking cunts wanting to be fucked, you go like a bull at the gate. "You're like a fucking lunatic -- I was having perverted scenes, fucking... all kinds of crap was going on with my sexual life. It's bizarre, it was wild. It fucked me up at the end, because -- my biggest dread is getting a disease I can't get rid of, and there's a lot of diseases that you can't get rid of. I don't want to do that any more. I choose not to do it, so like -- I choose to fucking keep myself to myself. It may sound a little bizarre, but I choose to keep myself to myself. I'm a moody bastard,because I want people around me, but I don't.
GANS: What happens?
OZZY: I transform from the real world into the living dead.
GANS: Where are we now?
OZZY: Halfway between.
GANS: Is Ozzy turning back into John again?
I know I ain't going to fucking live to be an old man. I know that.
GANS: What's going to happen?
OZZY: I don't know. I'm not planning to fucking [top?] myself. But something's going to happen to me soon.
GANS: You don't seem very worried about it.
OZZY: What the fuck?
I'd rather look good in my coffin than bad in my coffin. Fucking go for it. Can you imagine me at the age of 65 or fucking 70, singing, "I once was fucking vaudeville, remember him?" [In an old man's voice]. That's not my fucking style, man.- Burn out with a flash. I don't give a flying fuck about myself any more.
I once had a dream about getting a marriage, house in the country, and at the end of the day we'd retire, but I'm never going to retire. My ex-wife said to me one day, "What are you going to do when you're 57?"
I said, "Listen, you cunt, there's never been a fucking 57- year-old rock star -- I'm going to fucking be the first." Why not?
GANS: How long were you married to her?
OZZY: Well, I met her at Halloween, when she fell off her broomstick, in 1971. Now she's got a part-time job swimming up and down Loch Ness while the monster has his holidays. She's fucking mad -- she's like Mrs. Fucking Monster.
The official bullshit was like 1971, but I was never marrried to that woman. It was like I need a post to lean on.
GANS: You have kids with her?
OZZY: Oh, yeah. My prodigy [sic], my next life, is my Bombins. B-O-M-B-I-N-S. My son. I have one daughter, one son, and an adopted son, from that first marriage.
Bombins in my next me. On the Diary of a Madman album cover, the kid in the background -- that's my son. He's my double. His name's Louis, but I call him Bombins. It's just a name I thought of for him, because I don't like regular names. I wanted to call my daughter Burt Reynolds, but my wife wouldn't have it.
GANS: So what did you name her instead?
GANS: What's her full name?
OZZY: Jessica Starshine Osbourne.
GANS: How old are the kids?
OZZY: One's 35 ... Elliot's 15, my adopted, lovely, beautiful fucking son; Jessica 9, and Bombins is ssssssix, I think. I don't get to see them, Jessica's fucking tap dancing, and she has a hard time -- she fell in the sink.
I turned my 15-year-old on to fucking Marijuana. I said to hi "Son, I'd prefer you to smoke this than tobacco." He says, "Why, Daddy?"
I says, "Because you can't physically smoke as many cigarettes of Marijuana as you can of tobacco, because tobacco is the subtle drug of all. Because you don't realize. It's such a fucking. You smoke a big fat joint and you're dead -- you're crashed.
GANS: Do you smoke much dope now?
OZZY: I don`t take much at all.
GANS: How come?
OZZY: Because I can't really handle it. I go crazy and I end up hitting people and doing crazy crazy things.
GANS: From smoking dope?
OZZY: I drink and smoke dope. But my biggest habit is fucking drink. I drink like a fucking fool.
GANS: Rod Stewart called Marijuana "The Woodstock Drug." He said he never smoked it -- he thought it was the drug of hippies.
OZZY: Rod Stewart is full of shit. I think he's full of shit, all this crap you read in the paper about glorious fucking leopard- skin trousers. What's all that fucking going on about fucking Britt Ekland? I met Britt Ekland -- she's a fucking lunatic.
GANS: What's her problem?
OZZY: Rod Stewart...I admire him as an artist. One thing I do admire about Rod Stewart is his balls. His front. I seen a video on the TV the other night, and I thought...Tina Turner is the greatest of all. And that other fucking donut [Kim Carnes] -- she looked like a useless sack of shit, that one.
I met Rod Stewart in fucking, a place called Loew's Midtown. This is 48th Street in New York City.- He was with a guy called Long John Baldry -- ever-heard of him? -- he was wearing a pink suit; he's a fucking bum-scuttler, a fucking homosexual. I'm not saying Rod Stewart is -- I don't know. But the guy was trying to fucking hustle me...I says, "Fuck off, don't give me all that crap." That ain't my scene. Fuck off and leave me alone.
I met Rod Stewart a lot of times. I tell you who was a great great guy over the years -- that's that fucking guy who's with Stones who was originally with the Faces.
GANS: Ron Wood.
OZZY: Ronnie Wood. Ronnie Wood has got a fucking heart of gold. Ronnie Wood I love.
GANS: Who else do you like?
OZZY: Mick Jagger, the greatest of all front men I've ever met in my life. I've never met him -- I'm not one of the rock and rollers that goes into these fucking clubs and all this crap. I just keep myself to myself. But mind you, when I say this about Rod Stewart, it's only what you read. If I'm the one to believe hat I read. I picked up a fucking paper today about Rod Stewart going on about this and about that and his fucking life, before he met this woman that he's now married to, that he was going down the tubes and all this shit. I can believe that, because I've honestly felt that way.
I'm just getting over the fucking trauma of my first divorce, but yet I still have a love for my ex-wife. When you get a divorce, there are fucking mind-games going, you know? Crazy mind-games; crazy fucking craziness. And you can't stop further [?]. I understand about Rod Stewart, and I respect it. I read an article this morning, or yesterday afternoon, or whenever the fuck it was, and I thought, "...this guy is talking what I'm thinking." We are all mortal people -- we are all people. If I get a cold, you'll get a cold. If you get a cold, you'll pass it on to me. We are all fucking people, and we are all living. And for some fucking unforeseeable thing, people have this impression that rock and rollers are immortal. We all get old! The next time you speak to Rod Stewart, ask him, "How many times a fucking week do you feel knackered?" I bet he says to you, "Every fucking night."
And you say to him, "How many times a fucking night do you feel happy?" He'll say to you, "Every night," because he's prrofessional! He's a pro!
Rod and I and fucking Mick Jagger -- Mick Jagger is a fucking gem! Rod Stewart cops Mick Jagger; I cop Mick Jagger. We're all front men, you know? Mick Jagger is fucking God to me. But the likes of Paul McCartney -- can you imagine how many fucking super, super bands I've seen rise and fall in the last fucking 14, 15 years -- super crazy. Same as the Stewarts; the same as tine: McCartneys same as the fucking Jaggers. I come out every time and do it. What's the big fucking deal? It's charisma.
Somebody said to me the other night, I saw the Stones at fucking Dallas, or something, and the fucking thing was a pile of crap, but Jagger has got the best charisma in the fucking world. Jagger has got fucking charisma, same as Robert Plant. I guarantee you that Robert Plant will come back with a band that can blow the ass off the world. No more zeppelin, I don't believe so. He'll get a totally new band together, and he'll fucking' I'll tell you what I think: he'll have Cozy Powell on drums... I think he'll get...like I did. Robert Plant thinks I'm fucking totally insane anyway -- probably am -- I accept that, but I work my bollocks off to be insane. He'll come back; he'll be there. Don't worry. He's got a voice like a fucking god, that guy. I love his voice!
GANS: Who else do you like -- we've got Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant...
OZZY: Chuck Berry.
I'm waffled out now. I've had enough.
David Gans/Truth and Fun, Inc.