You might know him best as Ozzy Osbourne, but John Michael Osbourne was born in Birmingham, England on December 3, 1948 – the son of Lilian and John Thomas Osbourne. He had a humble beginning, growing up in poverty, and having to take care of his siblings while his parents worked to put food on the table.
He rose to fame through his hard work and dedication to his artistry. Ozzy has been a mainstay of popular culture for decades. When he was a component of the band Black Sabbath, he successfully helped elevate their breed of heavy metal music into the mainstream.
Ozzy’s built quite the name for himself as being a bit of a wildcard, to put it lightly. His publicity stunts and high energy antics of the 70s and 80s have permanently established him as one of Rock and Roll’s quintessential party animals.
It’s probably not surprising that he has carried with him some of the most absurd stories of reckless hedonism and sensational high-flying adventures that society has ever heard.
Some of these tales have become quite notorious. Who hasn’t heard about the time that Ozzy supposedly bit the head off of a bat live on stage? As if that weren’t enough, he followed that up by repeating the dastardly deed with a live dove.
Then there were the times that he relieved himself on the Alamo in full-on drag -resulting in a night in jail – or the time that he did a line ants with Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue.
There certainly is no shortage of shocking revelations that lie in Ozzy’s wake. Let’s look at 10 of the most intriguing facts about the man behind the legend. Sure, quite a bit of these facts involve his signature blend of debauchery and hell-raising, but some of these tidbits give us a rounder look at his true character – the man behind the mascara if you will.
Facts Verse Presents: The Reasons for Ozzy Osbourne’s Bad Reputation
Before we take a closer peek at the self-described Prince of Darkness’s wild life and times, make sure you remember to hit the like button and subscribe to our channel. Tap the bell icon so you can turn on notifications and keep up with all of our latest videos.
He’s Got A Whizzing Wax Sculpture Of Himself
Most people are familiar with the episode where Ozzy took a leak on the Alamo some 38 years ago. That escapade made international headlines and brought the strong condemnation of patriotic individuals that saw the act as a disgustingly disrespectful disgrace.
But did you know, that there is a wax statue that was made to forever immortalize that historical moment?
Artists Ruben Ortiz-Terres and Jim Mendiola had the statue commissioned in 2001. If you get close to it, a motion sensor triggers a pump that makes the piece of art start urinating.
Barbara Bush Was A Huge Fan – Apparently
So at a White House Press Club dinner in 2002, President George W. Bush looked around the room and noticed that there were quite a few famous faces at the even.
He was quoted as saying, “What a fantastic audience we have tonight.” as he panned the crowd from side to side, “Washington power brokers, celebrities, Hollywood stars.” Then he pointed at Ozzy Osbourne and said “Ozzy, mom loves your stuff.”
Now, we don’t know if the President was just making a humorous quip or if he was being serious, but we’d prefer to believe the latter. It’s fun to picture the former First Lady – rest in peace – rocking out to War Pigs.
When They Were Kids, Tony Lommi, Guitarist For Black Sabbath Was Kind Of a Bully
Kids can be cruel sometimes. It’s just part of growing up.
When you’re young, theirs always going to be that one person that rubs you the wrong way, and chances are, you might even find yourself being bullied by someone at some point. It’s an unfortunate reality but definitely a universal part of the human experience.
You never expect to become tight friends with your bully – and even more unexpected is to spend decades with them as a part of a tight-knit band.
That being said, that’s exactly what happened with Ozzy and Black Sabbath Guitarist Tony Lommi.
According to a 1992 interview, Tony regularly picked on Ozzy when they were little. Can you imagine how surprised Tony was when Ozzy showed up to try out as a lead singer for their new band?
Black Sabbath Had A Strange Name In The Early Days
The name of the musical project actually underwent several changes before they arrived at the name we all know and love.
The band not only went through name changes, but they went through major stylistic changes as they explored their sound. The original line-up included a slide guitarist as a saxophonist as well. Back in those days, they were going by the drastically less dark name The Polka Tulk Blues Band. They later would shorten that down a bit to just Polka Tulk.
They then dropped the Polka vibes altogether and chose the new-age inspired name EARTH before they finally settled upon the name Black Sabbath.
Can you seriously imagine if Crazy Train came from a band called Polka Tulk? That would have been wild.
Ozzy Is Dyslexic
And it’s been a real impedance in his life as well. He has expressed how frustrating it is that he can’t focus long enough to be able to sit down and complete an entire book.
In his memoir, “I Am Ozzy”, he lamented that being dyslexic is a very bad stigma to have. He wishes he could read as regular people can. He wishes he could have had a proper education at University as well.
“Books are great!” Ozzy opined. “To be able to lose yourself in a book is – phenomenal, Everyone should be able to do that” he continued.
He does admit that every now and then however something happens in his head giving him a momentary release from his symptoms, opening up a narrow window of time for him to read as many books as he can, but when that window closes back up, it’s right back to square one.
He put it this way, “I end up just sitting there, staring at Chinese.”
Fortunately, Ozzy is able to see the silver lining in the situation as well. He’s grateful for the fact that people with dyslexia are said to be especially creative people – a sentiment that he believes to be true to his own experience.
He Once Fought Off A Robber in His Birthday Suit
Can you picture how surprised Ozzy must have been when he came home to find a burglar rummaging through his wife Sharon’s closet?
The thief must have been equally alarmed to see Ozzy – fully nude – running full speed towards him.
Ozzy tackled the invader and wrestled with him for a bit, but the robber managed to make an escape but not being getting his grubby mitts on some rather expensive jewelry, including her wedding ring.
Kelly Osbourne, Ozzy’s daughter, was able to later recover that ring thanks to the help of the British TV show ‘Crime Watch’.
Ozzy Spent Time In Prison Himself For Burglary
Maybe the previously mentioned burglary was just karma paying him back for his previous indiscretions.
When he was young, long before he was rich and famous and ages before he found that intruder in his own house, the Godfather of Metal gave a life of crime a go himself.
He broke into his neighbor Mrs. Clark’s shop which was behind his childhood home. For the most part, he just wanted to earn the reputation of being one of the bad guys.
Humorlessly, his friend told him to wear gloves to not leave prints but he didn’t understand and wore fingerless gloves thinking that would suffice.
That probably wasn’t the reason why he got caught but he certainly did and ended up spending 6 weeks in prison because of it. That was all he needed to know that he wasn’t cut out to be a career criminal. He knew at that point that he wanted to be a rock and roll musician and nothing more or less.
He Has Homemade Tattoos
Commonly known as stick-n-pokes, Ozzy has several tattoos on his body that he put there himself with sewing needles and polish. He has smiley faces on his knees.
He explained that he put them there as a reminder whenever he wakes up to smile.
Stage Fright Still Plagues Him
Despite the fact that he has literally played thousands of shows in his tenure in the music industry and has been awarded copious awards, honors, and accolades for his work, Ozzy, still to this day, gets hit with stage fright before he goes before an audience.
That doesn’t stop him from going out and giving his best at every show though. He feels a strong sense of responsibility to give his fans the Ozzy that they deserve. Sometimes you have to suck up the fear and do it anyway. To a lot of people, pushing through stage fright ends up resulting in the adrenaline rush they need to pull off a killer performance.
He’s Never Seen An Episode Of The Osbournes
The reality show focused on the domestic life of Ozzy and his family. It premiered on MTV back in 2002 and was the most-watched show on MTV in the network’s history. The show had 52 episodes spanning over 4 seasons.
It really gave a boost to the careers of his wife Sharon, Jack, and Kelly but Ozzy has expressed that he hated doing the show. He’s glad that it’s over now and has no intention to ever be on a reality show again.
In 2018, the family got together and did a 10 episode podcast that revisits their time on the reality show as well as talking about current events and various projects that members of the family were involved in.
Well, that wraps up our look at one of the most controversial rock and rollers in history. Behind his off-the-wall persona, he’s actually quite a normal guy. Sure, the Intro probably set you up to thinking this was going to be all about his laundry list of controversies, but it’s more interesting to look at the man behind the makeup.
Now we’d love to hear from you. What do you think was the biggest highlight of Ozzy’s career? Are you a fan of his work with Black Sabbath or do you think the Prince Of Darkness shined brighter in his solo career?
Let us know what you think in the comments section.
And before you go, make sure you give this video a like and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already. Because, why wouldn’t you want to watch more of our facts-tastic videos?