Interview: Ozzy Osbourne

By LANCE GOULD  |  January 29, 2010

That's very funny.
But I don't, um — I'm an entertainer. So people go, in England, they go, "You've sold out, doing TV." And I go, "Well, you know what, whatever I do, somebody ain't gonna like everything," you know.

Speaking of not liking everything, Black Sabbath was never a critically popular band and you note in the book that there may have been a class issue between the college kids who were music critics and the working-class members of the band. Did you ever crave that critical success?
No, and you know what? I recently spoke to Bill Ward on the phone, you know. And he's the drummer for Sabbath.

I speak to him all the time. And I said to Bill — you know, I was speaking to him, and I said to Bill, "You know what? Whatever happened to us — from being the street kids to somebody that people know who we are — was a big step up. Even though we got ripped off by the management — we got taken to the cleaners — our lifestyle changed for the better. And then he said, "Yeah, you're right, I never thought about that." You know, we didn't do rock and roll, or Black Sabbath to become Oxford dunns — we are street kids that got recognized, you know.

Can you repeat that? Oxford, what was the word?

What does that mean?
It means — an Oxford dunn means a student.

When we did my first album, I was just happy to hear one track on the radio at six in the morning — I got out of bed early to be on the fucking radio. And then come my mum and dad, giving them my album with me singing on it, you know. I mean, that was, like, great, you know.

Yeah, absolutely.
I remember the manager said to me, "Your album is on the charts next week, number 73," or whatever it was. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a fucking joke. I mean, from rags to riches was the word, you know.

You note in the book that, at one point, you were sitting in the back of a Rolls Royce limo, and thinking to yourself, "three years ago, you were a puke remover in a slaughterhouse, and before that you were doling out slop to child molesters in Winson Green [prison]. Now look where you are."
Yeah, I mean, I've got properties now, I have my own car, I fly first class, I have people working for me, it's like, sometimes I have to pinch myself and go, is this all real?

Did you ever feel that you were treated fairly, in retrospect?
No. I mean, we didn't know any better. Just to get on the fucking aeroplane was something — although we were sitting in the fucking back of the aeroplane. I mean, we didn't know anything. We were just street kids, you know.

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