Ozzy Osbourne Bit a Third Dove’s Head Off on Same Day
Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo recalled how Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a dove while they were chatting on the same day he joined the former Black Sabbath singer’s band.
It was also the day Osbourne had already bitten the heads off two other doves during a business meeting – an incident his manager and future wife, Sharon, used to develop his media profile. The singer went to the event with three doves hidden in his clothing, and in a recent interview with Yahoo!, Sarzo said the third bird had been forgotten.
“I went from sleeping on a floor to staying with them,” he recalled. “And ‘them’ is the Arden family, Sharon’s family, who owned the management company and all that. They had a beautiful estate … up in the Beverly Hills area. It was a compound. They gave me a bungalow to stay there. ... I was hanging out and waiting to do the rehearsals, and I bump into Ozzy and he tells me the whole dove story that had just happened. And as we were talking, I see that his jacket is flapping. I go, ‘What's that?” And he puts his hand in his pocket, pulls out another bird, looks at it and he just goes and bites the head off again – right in front of me! I gross-out, and he just laughs and keeps walking.”
Sarzo – who noted that such behavior wouldn't be tolerable today - admitted he wasn’t sure how to react. “My only reference, right before I joined Ozzy, was I used to play with Randy Rhoads in Quiet Riot on the Sunset Strip. … Randy had been there for about a year and a half, so he mentored me and said, ‘Listen, don't take it personal. This is the way they do things.’ And so I rolled with it because I had never experienced anything like it before. I thought, ‘OK, all the bands at this level must have this, um, unusual behavior.’ No, no – it just happens to be Ozzy.”
Reflecting on the time Osbourne bit the head off a bat onstage, Sarzo noted that "Ozzy has really lived a charmed journey. Ozzy would do something, and Sharon would be right behind him to spin it and save the day. Sharon knew immediately that she had an opportunity here. She contacted Michael Jensen Communications, our publicist, and she spun it. She spun the ‘myth’ that it is today. I saw it happen, right in front of my eyes: her getting on the phone, calling Michael Jensen and saying, ‘Hey, listen, this happened. Let's make a story out of this.’”