The Crazy Train That Is Ozzy Obsourne’s Life

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Ozzy Osbourne is one of the craziest and most popular rock artists in the world. He essentially created the dark, gothic sound that we have in some of our rock songs today. He rose to fame in the 70s and still releases music today, collaborating with some of the most popular modern music artists. He faced many obstacles that would’ve otherwise ended his career but didn’t stop.

John Michael Osbourne (better known as Ozzy Osbourne) was born on December 3, 1948, in Birmingham, England.

He earned the nickname “Ozzy” in elementary school because it was a short abbreviation of his surname and the other kids would use it to taunt him due to his dyslexia. His family was very poor growing up, and they didn’t have much of anything. He even had to share a bed with all five of his siblings. By the time he was 15 years old, Ozzy dropped out of school and started working. His first job was as a plumber’s mate/ assistant (which did not last long).

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Then he started working in a slaughterhouse, where he would help slaughter 250 animals a day. This also didn’t last too long, and soon after he went to work with his mom in the Lucas Car Factory. Even Then, he wasn’t happy with the amount of money he was making, and so he turned to crime. He would rob homes, and clothing stores. He got caught every time, and spent a lot of time in jail.

Ozzy always had his love for music, but it increasingly grew in the time that he spent in prison.

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His musical influence was The Beatles (Basner, 2018), and it was upon hearing “She Loves You” that he was inspired to become a musician. “He admired the band and he became very mesmerized at the way that they were able to command an audience.”. He wanted to be like them in that way. Mick Jagger is also another one of his heroes (as stated in Grow, 2018). His first chance at music came when he was walking down the street one day, and approached his friend. The band was missing a singer, and Ozzy was the perfect fit. He didn’t stick with that band for too long seeing as though they had more of a rhythmic style. He, later on, joined another group (which also went nowhere). Eventually, He put an ad in the newspaper saying that he was a vocalist and needed a band. This is where Tony Iommi and Bill Ward became interested in joining him. After many trial and error, they eventually became the band “ Black Sabbath.”

Black Sabbath got its name when Terrence went to a local theater and watched the movie “Black Sabbath.” “After talking it over, they all decided on changing the band’s image to be more ‘doomsday and ‘dark’.” They released their first album on February 13, 1970, which was recorded in 8 hours on two four-track machines. Their Audience started to grow rapidly upon the release of their album. This is also around the time where they got known for their “Dark” music/ sound. The band reached the top 10 in both the United Kingdom and the United States with the release of their songs: “The Wizard”, and “Evil Woman”. Their Album titled Paranoid took them to a whole new level, “topping the charts in the U.K. and reaching No. 12 in the United States. Their audience size grew as they found their sound. Their dark/ gothic image got them recognition as well as criticism from other groups, but this only added to the band’s popularity.

Criticism wasn’t their only problem. After the release of their album, Sabotage (1975), Things started to go downhill for the band. The band’s intake of drugs and alcohol started to affect the group negatively and eventually led to their separation. Ozzy quickly became depressed, and he hated the way Tony was taking control of the band. Around this time, “Ozzy was heavily addicted to drugs and was constantly whacked out of his mind”. The death of his father also added to his pain. Soon after, Ozzy left the band, while the rest continued on with new frontmen, but they could never be what they once were. With every bad thing, comes the good. This paved the path towards Ozzy’s solo career.

For a long time, Ozzy was in a constant state of depression. He was losing control of his life and his alcohol and drug addiction didn’t help either. Then one day everything changed. He met Sharon Arden, who would later become his wife (1982-present). She saw what state he was in and wanted to help him get back on his feet again. He started looking for a new label that would sign him, and eventually got a deal with CBS. They wanted to have a conference with Ozzy, so he could meet the top guys. CBS wasn't all that interested in him though, so Sharon gave him the idea to enter the meeting with a ‘big bang’ (She wanted him to enter the room and release 3 doves in the air). So he did. “When he walked into the room, he sat on a little girl’s lap, threw 2 of the doves into the air and he actually bit the head off of the third one”. This had the opposite effect and made everyone think he was a mad man. People even tried to ban him from performing anywhere, and also from ever entering the CBS building. Although, they did eventually decide to release his first album anyway.

In 1980, Osbourne released his first solo album Blizzard of Ozz. This was a major success. With his songs, “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley”, “the album reached the Top 10 in the United Kingdom and No. 21 in the United States”. He partook in different events in the 80s. After every performance, “he threw animal hearts, brains, intestines, and so forth, at the crowd.” (Ozzy Osbourne biography, 2000). This ultimately became his signature move. There is one instance however, that was not planned. When Ozzy was performing in Des Moines, Someone in the crowd threw a bat on the stage. Thinking it was made out of plastic, he bit the head right off, only to discover that it was indeed a real, living, bleeding bat. Following this came some equally as disturbing events that came to be due to his drunk self.

Along with all of the disturbing things, came all of his achievements. He has won a couple of Annual Grammy Awards (36th, 42nd, 56th, and 61st). He’s also in the UK Music Hall Of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ozzy achieved much more than just his music. He starred in his own reality show called The Osbournes, which debuted in 2002. The show revolved around the lives of Ozzy, Sharon and their children (Kelly and Jack). It was an instant hit. It even became “MTV’s all-time highest-rated shows.”. The show even won the 54th Primetime Emmy Awards (stated in Osbourne, awards, 2019). Their show only lasted until 2005, but Ozzy has a documentary titled, The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, that’s going to be released this summer (2020).

Although most of his music came about in the 70s and 80s, he still hasn’t given up. People his age would’ve normally retired, but not him. He was asked about retiring in an interview and his answer was, “I ain’t retiring. People still want to see me, so what’s there to retire from?” (stated in Grow, 2018). After a long break, he released a new album in 2020 featuring 3 new songs (a collaboration with producer Andrew Watt). Osbourne himself was fascinated by how he got along with Watt and found “common ground through references and a “musical language” despite the generational gap”. He’s also done other collaborations with new artists, such as Post Malone. Ozzy’s daughter, Kelly, made this possible. Their song “Take What You Want” is a step towards the modern era, but still features the dark vibe that Ozzy is known for.

Ozzy Osbourne is one of the craziest and most popular rock artists in the world. He essentially created the dark, gothic sound that we have in some of our rock songs today. He rose to fame in the 70s and still releases music today, collaborating with some of the most popular modern music artists. He faced many obstacles that would’ve otherwise ended his career but didn’t stop. The sound of Rock n Roll today, wouldn’t be the same without him. He played a major role in cultivating the metal (dark) sound and overall steered the sound of rock into a whole new direction. He is living proof that even people who come from tough  poor backgrounds, people who think they have no chance in life, and virtually anyone is capable of rising to the top as long as they put in the effort.

Updated: Dec 03, 2021
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The Crazy Train That Is Ozzy Obsourne’s Life. (2021, Dec 03). Retrieved from

The Crazy Train That Is Ozzy Obsourne’s Life essay
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