I once had an intense late-night discussion with friends concerning who’d survive the impending zombie apocalypse (hiya, 2012!): Keith Richards, Ozzy Osbourne, Willie Nelson, or Snoop Dogg. Keith Richards was quickly nixed because he’s practically undead as is. “Well, so is Ozzy!” The Stones contender contested. “Not true! He’s the Prince of Darkness -- that’s different!” I asserted. And it went on like this for hours -- seriously -- ending in a stalemate between Snoop and Ozzy (Willie fell asleep). But I was right. Ozzy would outlive them all, napping through the absolute destruction and waking afterwards with a befuddled look on his face, then: “Sharon!” Ozzy’s career was by no means over when he received a career resurgence thanks to the crazy train success of The Osbournes. But it cast the once-feared, controversy-baiting legend in a new light: as the sitcom dad. He joined the ranks of postmodern papas alongside greats Al Bundy and Homer Simpson. Neither of the aforementioned had a First Act quite like the Ozzman, however. Or, should I say, First and Second Act? Through bandmates’ deaths, public outrage, band and record label woes, and lots and lots of illicit substances, Ozzy still stands (or stoops) as the “Godfather of Heavy Metal.” That inimitable voice and proclivity to shock make Ozzy the ultimate showman of any century; his bio reads like a case study for Behind the Music. After Ozzy was kicked out of Black Sabbath for excessive drug use, he embarked on a solo career that few could have predicted would reach such heights. Behind all the hoopla, though, Ozzy has an ear for melody unmatched by his metal peers. In November it was announced at the Whiskey a Go Go that Ozzy would reunite with the original Black Sabbath lineup for a world tour and new album, which would be produced by Rick Rubin. Let’s hope old foes Tony Iommi and Ozzy have buried the hatchet – it’s time for them to show the younger generation how to properly rawk. And this post would be remiss without one quick Ozzy anecdote: Once freed from his contract with Jet Records after the death of best friend and guitarist Randy Rhoads in a freak plane accident, he showed up drunk to an Epic Records meeting with two doves, one of which he freed and the other of which he killed in the same manner as the infamous bat incident; Osbourne was signed on the spot.
Give that a try at your next job interview, will you? ALL ABOARD!!!
Blizzard of Strings: VSQ Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne
Available now at iTunes