Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I Am Ozzy
Black Sabbath was only starting to become popular when I was in High School. Twelve years later, the group was hitting it's zenith and became one of the topics that my younger brother and I could talk and bond about. Or disagree about. So when it came to my attention that Ozzy had written an autobiography, I thought hmmmm.....
My brother had died soon after graduating high school and despite Oz's outward appearance, and the not-so-hot press generated about him during MTV's "The Osbourne's" show, I always look at Ozzy with a certain nostalgia and fondness.
But I'm not a fool either. I know there usually isn't smoke without some fire. I saw Ozzy's book in the book store and was pleased to see that on the dedication page Black Sabbath's former guitarist Randy Rhoads was featured prominently. Point for Ozzy. But about five pages in was the first curse word. Then was the disclaimer that starts with " Other people's memories of the stuff in this book might not be the same as ..... " and then goes to list the different substances that Ozzy has used over the past 40 years.
This book could have been titled "Drugs, and more drugs, Sex and more sex, and Rock and Roll." Not really what I wanted to learn about Ozzy.
On the other hand, Ozzy is quite candid, more candid I dare say than most people would ever be. For instance, Ozzy is quite open about his being an absentee Dad to the two children of his first marriage and how his substance abuse scared the life out of the three children of his second marriage. He's open about his infidelity to his first wife, and surprisingly to his second wife Sharon. Now that is brave. And very hard to understand since the book clearly expresses how much he adores Sharon (his second wife) and how she really saved Ozzy's life by her refusing to accept his substance abuse.
He's also very candid about the excesses , substance and sexual, excesses of members of metal bands he toured with. Ick!, with a capital I. Too much information......
I really can't recommend this book. There is so much in it, that although truthful and presented totally unvarnished, I don't want to know about. Let me have my illusions. I would have enjoyed more writing about the family, his grandchildren (he has 4), and more about Sharon's fight with cancer and her setting up a foundation to fight it.
But that is unrealistic, I know. when you hear the name Ozzy, you think of Black Sabbath, and Drugs and Sex and Rock and Roll. In that case, this book delivers.