Why Ozzy Osbourne didn't feel important in Black Sabbath
Long known as "Godfather of Metal." or "Prince of Darkness", Ozzy Osbourne has been delighting audiences for more than five decades! Whether with Black Sabbath or his own solo band, tracks like "War Pigs", "Iron Man", "Crazy Train" or "Bark at the Moon" have become staples of heavy metal and are generally regarded as some of the best of their genre. Osborne didn't achieve all of this on his own, however. He shared the stage and recording studio with countless musicians who helped shape the music and added their unique touches to his legacy.
As is often the case, some of these partnerships develop into friendships that last several decades, while others deteriorate over time. And sometimes an artist can feel extremely uncomfortable being in a lineup, even though the people around him mean a lot to his name... Would Osborne have been able to become such a big star without Black Sabbath? The question is an interesting one, in some ways perhaps pointless. However, despite the fact that for millions of people Prince of Darkness became a legend thanks to this band, by his own admission - he didn't feel like an important part of it.
"Member of their show": Ozzy Osbourne on why he "didn't feel important" in Black Sabbath
In one of his last interviews, Ozzy Osbourne talked about his awkward relationship with the members of Black Sabbath in the '80s, going so far as to admit: He "didn't feel that important in the group." by the time he was known to have been fired in 1979.
"Well, they were led by my father-in-law, Don Arden. And my father-in-law and me and my wife Sharon had a serious feud back then. I drank a lot of fucking booze in those days, and I was bloated and fat. It wasn't a good experience. When I started my solo career, it was like, "I'll get back at them, they'll see!"
The musician's revelation was prompted by a journalist's question related to his reunion with Tony Iommi and the rest of the Black Sabbath members at the Live Aid in 1985. It was the first time he played with the band since his abrupt departure.
"Then at Live Aid, mentally I went back to my dismissal. I thought, 'Shit, how could this even happen? Why did this happen? They just took it and fired me...". But abruptly I thought that maybe it was even for the best. By that time I already felt free, whereas with Sabbath I didn't feel that important in the band. I used to feel like I was just part of their show with my tunes and stuff, but I didn't feel on equal footing with them because I couldn't play any instruments.
What his colleagues say about him
Well: perhaps Osborne's dismissal did play into his hands, because afterwards he was able to build a terrific solo career and reveal himself to the fullest extent as an artist. Ozzy admits that today the events of those years don't seem so significant. And yet, for decades on end, the public has been concerned with one question: what is the Prince of Darkness' relationship with his former Sabbath comrades? To answer this question, we suggest turning to the statements of the musicians themselves.
Like any other rock band, the Black Sabbath there was its own share of drama and upheaval. The members got along, then they didn't, and the cycle repeated itself countless times. However, after they went on their last tour in 2017, they generally seem to be getting along better with each other. Still, it doesn't feel like a cordial friendship. According to the guitarist. Tony IommiIt's not that they despise each other, it's something much more mundane.
"We hardly ever call each other, but only because it's useless. I think we stopped doing it when Ozzie would call me at 2:00 in the morning, and I'd say, 'Oz, it's 2:00 in the morning.' And he was like, "Oh, oh, I'm sorry. Okay. Bye."
Reflecting on how Black Sabbath began its existence, the bassist Geezer Butler told me about his first impression of meeting Ozzy:
"I saw his 'Ozzie Zig wants to perform' ad in a local musical instrument store and noticed he lived a few streets away from me. I reached him, but he wasn't home. Eventually we met, and it was a mild shock. At the time we met, Ozzie was wearing a factory gown, no socks, a chimney brush over his shoulder, and sneakers tied with a dog leash!"
Somehow this eccentric young man convinced Butler that he would be the perfect frontman for his band.
Unlike the rest of the band, the drummer Bill Wardperhaps the coolest relationship with Osborne. When Black Sabbath went on their last tour, they were missing one component: the drummer. Ward himself attributed his absence to an unprofitable contract, but according to Ozzy - the main reason was that their drummer tried hard to remember his drum parts, but could not. This statement led to a little conflict.
Nevertheless, Ward later told reporters:
"When Ozzie was fired, I felt a great loss. I loved him in a special way. But all we had to do was let him go and wish him nothing but the best..."