Sharon Osbourne spoke exclusively to Kerrang magazine last week regarding IRON MAIDEN's final performance on this year's Ozzfest tour, during which she cut MAIDEN's power and arranged to have the band pelted with eggs and debris from the crowd. Several more excerpts from the interview follow:
Kerrang!: Reading between the lines of [IRON MAIDEN manager] Rod Smallwood's statement, the unspoken suggestion is that you orchestrated this whole thing...
Sharon Osbourne: "Of course I did. I had the PA turned on and off. And look it's not hard for someone to walk into a diehard Ozzfest crowd and say, 'Who wants to throw an egg at a rock star?' Who wouldn't wanna do that? I went out and bought 50 eggs and me and my daughter had a fucking blast. C'mon, it's rock 'n' roll. No-one died. They'll be waiting a long fucking time for an apology from me."
Kerrang!: Smallwood's statement describes the incident as "dangerous" and "unprofessional"...
Sharon Osbourne: "Well, here's unprofessional for you: our Ozzfest show in San Bernadino is always a big deal. And because it's a special show we wanted to add SLIPKNOT to the bill, which meant that we would have to cut the time from everyone's set so that we wouldn't over-run the curfew. But Monkey Boy (Bruce Dickinson) isn't having it, and so he's onstage going, 'We won't play 55 minutes, fuck that, we're playing 65!' Now that sounds good to the kids out front — they're not gonna understand about a curfew — but of course if IRON MAIDEN plays 10 minutes more, then BLACK SABBATH get 10 minutes less of their show, and I'm not going to have that on our own fucking tour.
"I'd say Bruce Dickinson has been unprofessional in the way he's behaved from day one. He's been complaining that the PA isn't loud enough, complaining about MTV, complaining that my husband does reality shows, complaining about the prices of the tickets, on and on. Fuck him. He didn't even speak to Ozzy once on the whole tour. I mean, Ozzfest ticket prices are expensive but we haven't raised the ticket prices for three years even though, with inflation. All the costs in putting on a show like this rise. If Monkey Boy hated the tour so much why didn't he leave it? I've been paying his wages for four weeks. He didn't seem to have any problem pocketing the $180,000 cheques that me and my husband were writing for the band for every night — that could have stayed in my pocket. Me and my husband built up this tour over 10 years with blood, sweat and tears. I'm not having anyone fuck with that."
Kerrang!: The most astonishing thing about all this is that the metal world has always had such camaraderie, such a "one for all, all for one" attitude...
Sharon Osbourne: "It has, right? But for some reason Bruce Dickinson seemed to view it as a battle of the bands. He'd stand up on that stage and say that this wasn't the Ozzfest anymore, it was MAIDEN-fest. How fucking disrespectful is that? He's got such an '80s mentality. He's up there saying, 'Fuck MTV and fuck radio and you wouldn't catch IRON MAIDEN doing a reality show' and it's like, 'Hang on, you're a shareholder in Sanctuary, which is one of the biggest corporations in the music business.' He's never said a word about SABBATH either, only Ozzy, so it's personal. We've had 220 bands play this tour over the last 10 years and I've never felt the need to egg anyone."
Kerrang!: Did you confront Bruce personally about this?
Sharon Osbourne: "No, I didn't want to give Monkey Boy the satisfaction of thinking that he'd annoyed Ozzy. The truth is that Ozzy never heard a single note of IRON MAIDEN's shows, most nights he wasn't on site when the band took the stage. My husband is a prince. And you know what, he had nothing to do with this. He wouldn't stoop to something like this, but I'm a fucking bitch and I have no problem with it.
"Let's face it, the guy is a failed solo singer who's gone back to his band after his solo career failed. I don't know how many albums his last solo albums old in England but in America it sold 6,000 copies. Every solo album my husband puts out goes platinum. Look, tell you what, you take a picture of my husband and a photo of Monkey Boy down to (London's) Regent Street now and see who people recognize. There's no fucking question, is there? And that's what it boils down to: Jealousy. Bruce Dickinson isn't my husband's peer. There wouldn't be an IRON MAIDEN if there was no SABBATH."
Kerrang!: And you didn't say anything to their management either?
Sharon Osbourne: "No, I have no problem with their management. After we did the first show in Boston, I had an email from Rod Smallwood saying that Bruce was concerned that the front rows of the audience weren't really MAIDEN fans and so I kept a couple of rows of seats clear every night so that we could bring in MAIDEN fans in MAIDEN T-shirts to make the band feel comfortable. I was the mug who did this for four weeks. And then this is how Monkey Boy repays me."
Kerrang!: From the outside it looked like the tour had been quite amicable, particularly as MAIDEN was stepping in to headline when Ozzy had to cancel some appearances...
Sharon Osbourne: "Yes, they were happy to do that when they were given an extra $100,000 a night! We could have had ROB ZOMBIE close the show. MAIDEN are a great band, but the truth is that they have never cracked America, like Ozzy has. At MAIDEN's last two L.A. shows they played to something like 15,000 people over two nights: We gave them a platform to perform to 46,000 people in Los Angeles, and that's a wonderful opportunity. And I knew they were looking forward to it. So I was like, 'Oh, you're really looking forward to being back in L.A., are you?' Well this is where you learn you don't fuck with me..."
Kerrang!: Up to this point you're being painted as the "Wicked Witch" here, Sharon...
Sharon Osbourne: "I'm as nice as can be to people until they fuck with me and my family. I've always said that. I'm surprised that after everything that's been reported about how protective I am of my husband that anyone would even be shocked by this."
Kerrang!: Was there any comment from the MAIDEN camp after the show? It's been reported that Steve Harris apologized...
Sharon Osbourne: "Steve Harris came into apologize to Ozzy before he went onstage and he was lovely. I mean, the band are gentlemen, really down-t-earth, lovely guys. Their singer is just a liability and they can't be responsible for that. He's got a great voice but he's obviously been sucking Ronnie James Dio's cock for singing lessons. He goes on about being a pilot and a swordsman and an author and whatever - does he think he's better than everyone else? If he's such a swordsman maybe he should have fenced the eggs out of his way! I should have thrown bananas..."
Kerrang!: Your daughter Kelly is on Sanctuary Records (owned by MAIDEN's management): Isn't this going to create tension?
Sharon Osbourne: "What, they're gonna drop her because she threw a fucking egg? I don't think so. What's Kelly gonna do, walk up to Monkey Boy and ask for an autograph because he's been such a big influence on her musically? Ask if she can do a duet on 'Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter'? Fuck off."
Kerrang!: Rod Smallwood's statement brings up another point which is that regardless of any personal fueds between the two camps, the people who really suffered where the people who bought tickets for the show.
Sharon Osbourne: "Come on, a bit of egg isn't gonna spoil a rock show for someone standing at the back of a 46,000 strong crowd. Everyone got a show they'll remember for the rest of their lives. If I was at that show I'd want to keep the ticket stub because it'll go down in history."
Kerrang!: Doesn't this kind of incident make you think, 'Fuck it, I just don't need this grief anymore'?
Sharon Osbourne: "No, not at all. Because he's not here anymore so it's fine. He can go back to Chiswick and wash the peanut butter out of his hair and sit in the pub and talk about having a wank. But he'd better watch out that he doesn't run into my son at Reading. Jack would give him one kick in the head and that'd be that. But you know what the irony is? Jack wouldn't know Monkey Boy if he fell over him in the street..."
Kerrang!: Saying things like this could make this run and run...
Sharon Osbourne: "Not for me. We have Ozzfest shows to do so I'm not thinking about this anymore. Bruce Dickhead doesn't exist to me anymore."
Sharon Osbourne's interview with Kerrang! can be found in the magazine's latest issue, out on the stands today (August 31).