Ozzy Osbourne Speaks About Ozzfest, The War, Grandkids, & More
Ozzy Osbourne is on the line, and he's rarin' to go.
The namesake for Ozzfest, which opens its 11th annual world tour next Thursday at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, and co-founder of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, Osbourne was at his country estate in England, doing a round of phone interviews. He had so much to say, there was almost no stopping him. Ask a question and he was off, garrulous as can be.
Ozzy being Ozzy, whole sentences were lost due to his mumbling and thick accent. And practically every other word was that popular obscenity that starts with F (which we have changed to frack). But he was articulate, in a heavy-metal way, and even touching, especially when he spoke about his wife, Sharon ("She's my soul mate, she's my lover, she's my friend, she's my everything"), his children, the Queen, his close friend Prince Charles and especially the fans.
Out of the mouth of Ozzy came gems of wisdom, funny stories, a plea to bring the soldiers home from Iraq, and the movie star he wants to play him in the inevitable biopic.
Q: How are you, Ozzy?
A: I'm fabulous! I'm back in England. The weather's been great, but it started raining today, and I'm looking forward to going back to L.A. to start rehearsals for Ozzfest. I'm going to start the tour off in Seattle at White River Amphitheatre.
Q: Right here in Seattle, where it rains a lot, too.
A: I don't give a frack if it rains! If it rains, it rains! Y'know, it's God cryin'.
Q: If it rains, are you still going to throw buckets of water on the fans?
A: I dunno. I'm trying to think of a new bit. That started as a joke and then I got too sort of frackin' bored with it. And then they got all pissed off cuz I didn't throw water on 'em, y'know? If it's really hot, it cools everybody down. I just wanna have fun, y'know?
The thing about Ozzfest, once it starts rolling you can't frackin' stop it. I'm not doing the whole tour. I've got 10 shows. I'll have a bet with you. I bet before the end of the tour, they stick me on some other gigs. I'm doing some shows on the second stage, playing in the parking lot, that's like an oven.
When I was doing just my tours, I'd do theaters cuz I love being close to my audience. I love to be able to touch them, y'know, to see everybody go crazy. But the promoter's going, don't get too crazy, we don't want to have a riot and get sued. I say, it's a rock 'n' roll fracking show, it's not a church gathering!
Back a long time ago, I used to play blues and I danced around. I got the lead guitar one time coming over to me and he goes, hey man, it's not cool to be jumping around. It's blues. I said no fracking way. I mean, I'm Ozzy! They know what they fracking get when they fracking book me. I'm not going to be (softens his voice), Oh, good evening folks, it's so nice to be here. I'm me! What the frack! If you don't like me, don't book me!
I'll tell you a funny story. When I'm onstage, if there's somebody in the audience not getting into it, I wanna get them involved. And so, to my stage left, there's a bunch of people just standing there. So I see them and I'm going, fracking yeah man, get the fracking thing going! And they're just standing there. Like, duh. I must've thrown 400 buckets of water over 'em. Now I've gone past trying. I go to my assistant, Tony, and I say, see them frackers there? Get 'em out! Give 'em their money back! They're frackin' killin' me! And he goes to me, they're deaf. I said, oh no, fracking hell!
Q: One of the best shows I ever saw was when you played here and the audience took over. It was complete anarchy. It was the best party I've ever been to. It was so much fun.
A: That's what it's all about, man! You know when you've got an Ozzfest ticket you ain't gonna get Barry Manilow flouncing about on stage.
Q: Are you writing an autobiography?
A: No. Up the road, I might write something. But I've got to be careful. I know a lot about a lot of different people, and you've got to watch what you're doing. One of the biggest regrets I have is not keeping a diary. So many unbelievable fracking things have happened in my life! It's in the cards that I'm going to do a book about me, but first things first. I want to make a great album, I want to do a great tour, I want people to have fun and put some spark back into the planet. There's too much misery.
Bring our boys back from fracking Iraq. We've liberated 'em, now fracking bring the boys back.
I went to the military hospital in Washington. If you want to see what war's all about, check out that place. It's un-be-lievable. I saw chicks with one arm, kids with their heads blown in. I said to my wife, if they ever call my son up, I'm gonna break his legs, instead of letting him step on a land mine and lose 'em.
Q: When you were growing up in Birmingham, did you ever think you'd be hanging out with the royal family?
A: Before I met them, I built a picture in my mind from the press, from the news. But when you actually meet them — I mean, the Queen, she's 80 and she still fracking rides horses. And Charles is fracking great. Charles is absolutely great. William, too. Harry's the naughty one. He's partying, he's one of the boys. There are a lot of people against having a royal family in this country, but I'm not and I'll tell you why: They bring more fracking tourists into this country than anybody else. People love to see Buckingham Palace. There ain't many countries that have a fracking Buckingham Palace. Our Queen is your Queen as well, y'know. They're just people.
Q: If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
A: Johnny Depp. He's the only American who can get an English accent down to a T.
Q: How are your kids?
A: Well, Jack is in India right now doing his TV thing, his adventure show, jumping out of buildings with a parachute, y'know. He was doing heavy drugs and, thank God, he said to his Mum one day, I've got a drug problem, and I want to get it fixed. And so he checked himself in and now he's fracking great. He had gained a lot of weight, but now he's fracking gorgeous. Now all the chicks are fracking chasing him. Lucky bastard!
I'm a grandfather! The thing about having grandchildren, they come, they puke on you, piss on you, throw up again, and then they go home. I'm going to start throwing buckets of water on them!