The ever-so-young, Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne recently turned 74 years old this December. With an insanely successful career as the Frontman of the heavy metal band, Black Sabbath, and his own solo career, The Godfather of Metal had a rather interesting life until now.
Looking back on the last seven decades of his life, Ozzy certainly knows how to live his life to the fullest. From working in a slaughterhouse to killing cats and eating bats, this man just didn’t knows how to stop.
Here are some of the most significant moments of the legendary Ozzy Osbourne’s life, some of which you probably even haven’t heard about.
1. He dropped out of school
John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne was born on 3rd December 1948. At the very young age of 15, he dropped out of school, which would be the start of his path toward becoming the god of metal.
Coming from a working-class family, Ozzy had somewhat of a strict upbringing and his school environment was not so good either. He was suffering from dyslexia, and with the persistent bullying as well as sexual abuse from his schoolmates, he just decided he had enough and called it quits.
2. Worked at the Slaughterhouse
After dropping out of school, Ozzy was employed as a construction site laborer and kept on jumping from one job to another. From a trainee plumber to an abattoir worker, Ozzy did it all.
He was also involved in many petty crimes and even spent six weeks in Winson Green Prison when he was unable to pay a fine after being convicted of burgling a clothes shop.
Later he started working in a slaughterhouse, where he had a knack for gouging cattle’s eyes and removing their feet. Remembering his job at the slaughterhouse, Ozzy said, “It wasn’t because I killed animals. It was because after killing you could go home. You would arrive at six in the morning and, depending on how many cattle you had to kill, you would be home three or four hours later. So you had the rest of the day free. That was better than working in an office from nine to five.”
3. Formation of Black Sabbath
Although he was working several “odd” jobs at the time, he sang in a number of local rock groups. It was during this time, along with Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, Ozzy formed the rock band, Earth.
However, there was already a band with the same name. So, to avoid confusion, they changed the name to Black Sabbath, named after the movie of the same name. The band only received a modest investment from their label but in a short amount of time, they met with swift and enduring success.
This was just the beginning of Ozzy’s way to fame and success. Drawn to the stage from his school days, Ozzy became a fan of the Beatles and even credited their 1963 song “She Loves You” for inspiring him to become a musician.
Furthermore, in the 2011 documentary, God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, Ozzy even went on to say, “I knew I was going to be a rock star the rest of my life.”
4. Kicked out of the band
In 1978, Osbourne left the band for three months to pursue a solo project he called Blizzard of Ozz, only to return back to Sabbath at the request of the other members.
However, things weren’t the same as before. In 1979, when the band was going through a rough time musically and having a hard time motivating themselves, back in the studio, tension and conflict between the members kept on rising.
Osbourne recalled being asked to record his vocals over and over and with the tracks endlessly being manipulated by Iommi, didn’t really help with the situation. After a long run of increasingly erratic drink and drug-fuelled behavior, at Iommi’s insistence and with the support of Butler and Ward, Ozzy was ejected from the band.
5. His Solo Career
After his departure from the band, Ozzy went his own way to start a solo career. Unlike some artists, who faded into obscurity after leaving their groups, Ozzy delivered a solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz that turned out to be a commercial success.
Featuring singles like ” Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley,”, his debut album reached the Top 10 in the United Kingdom and No. 21 in the United States, where it would eventually notch multi-platinum status. So, despite his departure from the band that made him famous, he went on to have a successful solo career.
It was during this time, he would meet his lifelong good friend, Lemmy Kilmister, who had also just left Hawkwind and formed the band that he would forever be known for — Motörhead.
6. Marry Sharon Arden
Ozzy met Sharon Arden back in 1970, but they were not in a romantic relationship until Ozzy left his band and Sharon began to manage his solo career. Slowly they got close and eventually ended up getting married in 1982.
Later over the next few years, they went on to have three children together, Aimee, Kelly, and Jack. However, their life together as a couple was not all rainbows and sunshine as their relationship was often spoiled by Ozzy’s drug abuse and erratic behavior.
Things had escalated to quite extreme points as Ozzy had also been sem to a medical remand prison when allegedly tried to kill his wife. The incident left Sharon terrified and traumatized but she stood by her husband.
In May 2016, nearly after three decades together, the couple announced their divorce but soon decided to try to make their relationship work and are still going strong.
7. Biting off a Bat’s head
This moment will certainly go down in history as no one other than Ozzy would be able to do such an absurd thing. Although it was purely unknowingly, during a show in Iowa, Ozzy bit the head of a bat.
While Ozzy was devouring the taste of success, little did he know he would even get a taste of bat. By this time, Ozzy’s solo career proved to be a success and fans were getting used to his wild behavior.
However, nobody had thought he would go as far as to bite the head off of a bat during a show. Explaining how he thought that the bat was a rubber toy, Ozzy explained the events of that day as, “Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin”.
Osbourne’s biggest financial success of the 1990s was a venture named Ozzfest, created and managed by his wife/manager Sharon and assisted by his son Jack.
The first Ozzfest was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on 25 October 1996 and in Devore, California, on 26 October. Ozzfest was an instant hit with metal fans, helping many up-and-coming groups, who were featured there to broad exposure and commercial success.
Some acts shared the bill with a reformed Black Sabbath during the 1997 Ozzfest tour, beginning in West Palm Beach, Florida. Osbourne reunited with the original members of Sabbath in 1997 and has performed periodically with them since.
Since its beginning, five million people have attended Ozzfest which has grossed over US$100 million. The festival helped promote much new hard rock and heavy metal acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Ozzfest helped Osbourne to become the first hard rock and heavy metal star to hit $50 million in merchandise sales.
9. Being stoned on The Osbournes
Reaching the new height of success, Ozzy even featured on a reality TV show aired on MTV entitled, The Osbournes together with his wife Sharon, and their children.
The fans at this point had already been used to the wild side of Ozzy, so his being stoned on his own reality show was not something out of ordinary. Ozzy barely remembers filming any of the show and even his son, Jack Osbourne once explained that his dad had, in fact, hated being part of it.
He said, “My dad did not really like doing The Osbournes because he was coming off the heels of musicians who didn’t do that. Musicians always had this air of mystery about them, you know, and there was this very public persona, and it was calculated, and this, kind of, pulled that back.”
10. The Final Tour
During the late 90s, Sabbath reformed with Ozzy and continued to record and tour together over the next few years. It was during 2016 and 2017, the band decided to embark on their final tour together with Bill Ward replaced by drummer Tommy Clufestos.
Their final show was in February in Birmingham, where Ozzy had said that his emotions would probably have him cry at the end of teh show. It surely was an emotional moment for the whole band. Towards teh end, Ozzy closed the tour saying, “Thank you, goodnight, thank you so much.”
Later on February 2018, Osbourne announced that he would embark on his final world tour dubbed No More Tours II, a reference to his 1992 tour of the same name, with support from Stone Sour on the North American portion of the tour.
11 . Opening up about his Parkinson’s diagnosis
It wasn’t an easy thing to do but Ozzy went public about his Parkinson’s disease which he had been diagnosed with back in 2003 but had kept private. Opening up about his experience with the disease, he went on to say, “You think you’re lifting your feet, but your foot doesn’t move. I feel like I’m walking around in lead boots. I reached a plateau that was lower than I wanted it to be. Nothing really felt great. Nothing.”
The musician, 73, faces physical symptoms, like walking issues, and mental symptoms, like depression. He also added, “So I went on these antidepressants, and they work OK. You learn to live in the moment because you don’t know [what’s going to happen]. You don’t know when you’re gonna wake up, and you ain’t gonna be able to get out of bed. But you just don’t think about it. Without my Sharon, I’d be fucking gone. We have a little row now and then, but otherwise, we just get on with it.