Ozzy Osbourne on Black Sabbath Reunion: ‘We’re Just at the Gates’
Ozzy Osbourne is a doctor. Well, not really. OK, not at all. But Ozzy has lived through enough medical disasters – LSD binges, a near-fatal all-terrain vehicle crash, a brush with rabies after biting the head off a bat – to know a thing or two about survival.
It's with this wisdom that he offers 'Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy' – a compendium of his column of the same name. We called the Ozzman at his home in L.A. to talk about the book, his hatred of TV and the future of Black Sabbath.
I'm guessing when you wrote “People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time,” you had no idea you'd be writing an advice book 40 years later.
Never in a million years did I think I'd write this book. It was a kind of an accident actually. When I wrote my autobiography with Chris Ayres, I mentioned to him that doctors were baffled I was still alive considering the amount of drugs I'd taken. Then The Times in London wanted to map my genome. It all went from there and suddenly I was writing the “Dr. Ozzy” column for The Times.
It's a good question, how are you still alive?
I'm lucky. And I've got a lot of good people taking care of me. I don't think I'm big-headed, I know I'm living on borrowed time. So I exercise everyday, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs.
What's the most ridiculous question you answer in book?
How about this? One guy tells me, “My wife and I used to have sex six times a week and I'm a bit worried because it's gone down to four times a week and I'm worried she's getting a little bored of me. I'm 65-years-of-age.” I wrote back and said, “Hey, stop fucking complaining!” Four times a week at 65, come on man, you've got to know how good a deal you've got.
I'm guessing you get a lot of ridiculous ones.
Well, one wrote to tell me, “My 14-year-old is gay. Should I get him an female escort?” I said, “No, no, no, you should just be proud of him. It takes balls to come out at the age of 14 and you ain't going to change him to be non-gay.”
So it's mostly common sense? Just dopes asking questions they already know the answer to even if they don't want to admit it?
Yeah, it is mostly common sense. One was “Dear Dr. Ozzy, my doctor gave me some medicine and on it is says avoid mixing with alcohol. What should I do?” I said, “Avoid f---ing mixing it with alcohol.” What did they think I'd say, “Tear of the label, drink all the medication, then drink some vodka and you'll have a great buzz.”
You've done a lot of non-music projects lately. Books, TV—
That TV show was an experiment that went beyond anybody's expectations. And I can honestly tell you it was 100 percent real. It wasn't like, “OK, come here and fall down the stairs and pretend you've killed yourself.” Those things that you saw were real. There were hours and hours and hours of stuff that was unusable or was just the monotony of daily life. But every now and again there was something good. That's what happens when you have a camera on you 24-hours a day, you do something stupid.
But are you glad you did it?
Yeah, I'm glad I did it. But, yeah, I'm glad it's over. You began to feel like your life's a laboratory. You're invited to all these parties and your on the top lists at all the awards shows. You start to go, “This is bulls---!” My wife got cancer, I was back on the drugs and alcohol, my kids were on the drugs and alcohol. They were letting them into night clubs at the age of 14 and 15.
But now the family is doing great so is it all's well that ends well?
My son's clean and sober. Kelly's flying all over doing the fashion thing. My wife's on TV. I think I've got the best job, I'm back to doing the rock 'n' roll.
And thank God for that. A lot of metal fans would rather see Ozzy onstage and not on reality TV.
That's why I'm back in rock. I just got off an 18-month tour doing a 100 shows. I've got a new band that's great. Black Sabbath are all talking again and maybe something will come out of that but I don't know.
But are you hopeful? Do you think it's a real possibility Sabbath will happen?
I'm not saying too much about it. Because we're just at the gates but it's a good possibility.
How long can until we get some new music from either Sabbath or Ozzy?
I'm writing but I had to take a break to go on tour. Then I had to take to a break to do the book. Now I have to do interviews for the book. Back in the day we did a little less ground work on each album. Now I've got TV, which I do resentfully, and interviews to do.
Do you miss the simplicity of the old days? Just write, record, tour and do it all over again?
Life is different now. People are going to forget how to do the simple things like cook soon. We rely so much on technology (to do) the basic things in life. It's sad but it's what happens. When we started in '70s we didn't have computers or cell phones, we had an address to the place where we were going to play. How did we get there? We had this great trick back then, we'd stop the car and say and, “Excuse me sir, how do you get to so-and-so?” and he'd f---ing tell us.