Interview: Ozzy Osbourne

By LANCE GOULD  |  January 29, 2010

How has the perception of rock and roll behavior changed since you started out? In the 1960s, bad-boy rock 'n' roll behavior fed into a kind of anti-hero treatment of rock stars that helped fuel a cultural revolution. And then 20 years later, that same behavior just seemed like a bunch of assholes trashing a hotel room.
It's kind of like, if you want to be a success in rock and roll, do the rock 'n' roll that your parents love to hate. It's like, one thing about rock and roll, which has always helped me a lot: it's kept me young at heart, if you like. I have a great relationship with my son, I have a great relationship with my daughters, I mean, and it's not bad with the kids. Everybody gets a fair shake in this house. I mean, the kids say, "Dad, you were fucking out of order," and I go, "Okay, I'm sorry." It's not like, "Do what I tell you or shut the fuck up, I'm the boss." Rock-and-roll behavior — I mean, what other job, can you turn up to work absolutely shitfaced, and they go, "Oh, he's gonna be great — Ozzy's gonna be great tonight." I mean, can you imagine a fucking lawyer or a surgeon or a fucking, or whatever? You gotta be fucking joking.

Right, but there was one part in the book when you tossed a TV out the window [in Prague]. It was almost like your rock-and-roll bucket list, of things you want to do before you —
I meant exactly what I said in Prague. I just said, "You know what Zakk [Wylde, guitarist in his solo band]," I said to him, "I've done every fucking thing in rock and roll — what you can do, what's expected of you — but, you know, I've never done this." He goes, "What's that?" And I said, "Throwing a TV out the window." Which was fuck — I was drunk, out of my face. But you know, most of the things that you would do, if you were stone-cold sober, I don't think you would — maybe you would, but I wouldn't do them when I was sober.

Was there any fallout from that? You didn't mention in the book if there was any fallout from the throwing the TV out the window.
Well, it cost me 35 grand for a new fucking window, which probably only cost 15 grand. I mean, the downside to urinating all over the Alamo a few years ago, I couldn't play San Antonio for fucking 20 years, I think.

Yeah.
And that cost me gigs. And it cost me, most times, people didn't get to see me for a while. . . . But I'm all right to go back [there] now.

That's funny. There's something almost Monty Python–esque about your life. Like when you went for a colonoscopy and the doctor couldn't put you under the drugs, because —
I went for a colonoscopy and the guy puts a syringe full of white stuff in me, and he goes, "So how long you been doing rock and roll?" And I'm talking to him, and he's talking to me, and he goes, "Why aren't you asleep yet?" [laughs] Well, no, I'm not bragging about it, because, you know what? I'm so fucking lucky I woke up every morning.

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