I’ve been busy getting things lined up and working on new things to bring to you! But, I have read an awesome book since we last spoke: ”I Am Ozzy” by Ozzy Osbourne.
I picked up this book when I was in the Borders Bookstore in my neighborhood that was closing due to company bankruptcy. Bad for Borders, awesome for book deals! I’ve been a fan of Ozzy for a long time, mainly in the sense that I have listened to a lot of Black Sabbath, listened to some of his solo stuff, and watched ‘The Osbournes’ when it was on MTV, but other than that, I couldn’t tell you too much about the guy.
But when I saw he had an autobiography, I was ready to find out the real story, and the truth behind all the is ‘Ozzy’!
I dove in to this book almost immediately and found myself getting lost for hours reading this crazy, bizarre and sometimes horrific story and not losing interest or fascination. It starts at the beginning of Ozzy’s life in Aston, England, growing up in a working class British family where his dyslexia and ADD added to an already disinterest in school work and working in factories.
You find out Ozzy worked in a slaughterhouse — actually slaughtering animals and cleaning out the insides of sheep, installed car horns in a car manufacturing plant, and resorted to the ‘occupation’ of thievery, only to find himself totally immersed in Beatlemania, wanting to be a musician, but completely hopeless.
He eventually finds a former high school classmate, Tony Iommi, to play guitar for a band with fellow friends Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, and together they make up ‘Black Sabbath’.
Without going into too much of Ozzy’s story, this book is incredibly good. It is obviously written by Ozzy (more than likely by speaking into a tape then having a ghostwriter write the actual words), as he uses so many slang and British terms and sentence structures that add to the fullness of Ozzy’s stories. His no-shit personality shines through and the honest, no-regrets Ozzy creates a personality and a connection with the reader. There is something so refreshing about hearing about his episodes of shooting chickens, getting trashed and accidentally feeding the local vicar a brownie laced with hashish that surprisingly makes you like him more.
He goes through every stage of his life, the bout in prison, episodes through both marriages, the multiple musicians he has played with, the heartbreaking death of Randy Rhoads, the honest stories behind the biting off the heads of doves and bats, the crazy live shows of Ozzy, the birth of all five of his children, the birth of Ozzfest, his dealing with Sharon’s cancer and his never ending toxic relationship with drugs and alcohol. All graphic and all very honest.
I can’t say enough about this book and how absolutely enjoyable it was. It was one of those books that I could not put it down, and the closer I got to the back cover, the sadder I became. I actually feel like I know Ozzy a lot better now. And that actually leads to revisiting my old Black Sabbath records and associating the stories with the songs, which always makes the songs better.
He is the underdog that you root for. You get excited when he makes money and succeeds. You feel all the highs and lows, emphasizing highs. He is honest and never takes himself seriously, with keen wit and well placed self-deprecation.
I had a lot of fun reading this book, and even if you aren’t an Ozzy fan, reading the life of a super star metal mad man keeps you interested as a reader.
Perhaps the best way to wrap up this book is the last sentence of the book:
“As for what they’ll put on my headstone, I ain’t under any illusions. If I close my eyes I can see it:
Ozzy Osbourne, born 1948.
He bit off the head of a bat.”