Ozzy Osbourne Never Thought He'd Make It To Age 57 - Interview
ROCK star Ozzy Osbourne never thought he would live to see his 57th birthday – and certainly didn’t imagine he would still be married to long-suffering wife Sharon. The X Factor judge stood by Ozzy through more than two decades of his chronic abuse of alcohol and drugs.
And, in an exclusive interview to celebrate his big day on Saturday December 3, the Black Sabbath singer admits he is ashamed of the hell he put her through.
He told us: “All couples have their arguments, fights and break-ups, but when I was drinking heavily everything was a problem, because I was so messed up all the time.
“I was always rowing with Sharon and moaning about her.
“Then my counsellor summed it all up for me. He said: ‘Mr Osbourne, I want you to imagine yourself as the straight one and your wife being the alcoholic drug addict.
“‘You come home every day and you find your wife lying on the floor covered in her own puke and piss.
“‘Do you think that you would last 25 f***ing years?’”
Something that brought home to Ozzy just how much damage he has done to himself was the passing of football legend and fellow alcoholic George Best – the singer admitting to us that it could easily have been him who had died.
“To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve been a very, very lucky guy,” he confessed.
“I’d go out drinking regularly and if the doctor told me my liver was in flames and I had to knock off the booze for a couple of weeks I’d smoke pot instead.
“It really saddened me when I heard the news about George - there but for the grace of God go I.
“People have said: ‘I used to feel sorry for George but I don’t now because he had a liver transplant.'
“But they aren’t really aware that alcoholism is a disease. It is very difficult to explain.
“An alcoholic will say to himself: ‘I’m not that bad, Everybody else in the pub was drinking more than me.’
“But if you have one drink and it f***s you up or 25 drinks and it f***s you up – you’re still f***ed up.”
Unlike some stars, Ozzy has never tried to hide his history of alcohol and drug problems.
On the sleevenotes of his new album Under Cover, he even pays tribute to guest guitarist Leslie West as “the first guy to get me snow blind”, a reference to being introduced to cocaine.
He revealed: “Leslie is a good friend of mine and when I was in Black Sabbath we toured America with his band Mountain.
“I went over there and I was drinking and smoking a bit of pot, but when I was offered cocaine and heroin I was like ‘oh no, that’s the bad stuff’.
“Then I tried it – and from that point you could not f***ing hold me back!
“But you know what, the thought of doing that s**t today, I’d rather poke a hot needle in my eye. It’s awful. I just don’t want to know.”
Ozzy, who has been clean for 18 months now, also nearly died following a quad bike accident in 2003. The star went into a coma and his heart stopped twice.
Then there was Sharon’s brave battle against colon cancer, which she beat three years ago.
Now they’re both healthy, happy and back in the roles they love best – Ozzy as a legendary heavy metal singer and Sharon as his manager.
His new record is an album of cover songs, with the star paying tribute to the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Mott The Hoople.
Ozzy admits that the after-effects of the accident have left him unable to sing like he used to when he plays live.
But he says as long as Sharon is by his side he can achieve anything.
“I still love and adore her so much,” he cooed. “To think that just a few years ago I thought I was going to be a widower.
“She has such a determination, when Sharon gets onto something she will always succeed.
“Forget the awards and everything else, the award I have is that Sharon’s still alive, still beautiful and still my wife.”
As much as Ozzy clearly loves Sharon, it’s possible the British public adore her even more.
She has captured our hearts as a kind-hearted judge and mentor on X Factor – even if Ozzy himself isn’t exactly a fan of the talent search.
He told us: “I hate the way that when anyone talks about that show they bring my name into it – when it has nothing to do with me.
“If the X Factor was to burn down tomorrow I wouldn’t give a flying f***.
“I’m glad Sharon’s found something she loves and is having fun.
“The only thing is every time she goes to do the next episode it costs us a load of dough for a new outfit.”
Ozzy is no stranger to reality TV himself.
MTV’s hugely popular programme The Osbournes turned him, Sharon and kids Jack and Kelly into A-list celebrities and national icons in Britain and the US.
“To this day I still don’t understand what happened with that show,” Ozzy laughs.
“I went to bed one guy and woke up another.
“People would come up to me and go: ‘You’re a good role-model for a father’.
“I’d reply: ‘Do you really think so? Then you must be f***ing mad!’”
Music is still Ozzy’s first love, as he proved by bearing his bum when being inducted into Britain’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame last month.
The Birmingham-born star made the gesture to try and liven up an event he found sorely disappointing.
“I’ve been saying Britain should have a Hall Of Fame for years,” Ozzy told us.
“But when I got to the ceremony it was ego night out.
“I did one song by myself and then played Paranoid with Black Sabbath.
“I was performing in front an audience full of bands I’ve looked up to all my life – like The Kinks, Eurhythmics and Pink Floyd – and I’d seen more action at an Irish wake.
“These guys are so cool, they are the people who started rock ‘n’ roll, but they were sitting there with heads bigger than Selfridges.
“I felt like screaming: ‘Do you know how lucky we are? We don’t have to get up in the morning, sit in traffic and go to a job we hate for a person we hate then come home, eat and maybe get a shag off the wife – and do the same thing every day for five days a week.’”
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