From ants to bats, Ozzy Osbourne’s crazy life on the road
By Marianne Garvey, CNN
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne is known for colorful performances.
As recently as last year, Osbourne had no plans to hang up his cloak. The Prince of Darkness said he had another tour, even with the Parkinson’s diagnosis he received in 2003.
“I’m saying to you I’ll give it the best shot I can for another tour. You have not seen the end of Ozzy Osbourne, I promise you. If I have to go up there and die on the first song, I’ll still be back the next day,” the rocker told The Guardian in August.
But Osbourne on Wednesday announced he will take a step back to focus on his health. He has canceled his upcoming shows and said his touring career is over because he “is not physically capable (of it).”
In addition to Parkinson’s, Osbourne damaged his spine in an accident four years ago.
“My one and only purpose during this time has been to get back on stage,” Osbourne said. “My singing voice is fine. However, after three operations, stem cell treatments, endless physical therapy, and most recently groundbreaking Cybernics (HAL) Treatment, my body is still physically weak.”
He added in his statement that his team is “currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.”
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of Osbourne’s craziest moments from a life of touring.
Public potty break
During a performance at the Alamo in 1982, Osbourne urinated on stage. He was was banned from playing in for San Antonio for 10 years after the incident.
Osbourne threw raw meat on his concertgoers while on his “Diary of a Madman” tour, including the use of a catapult to hurl giant chunks of meat into the crowds.
Snacks on a bat
Perhaps his most famous on stage incident came in 1982, when Osbourne was performing in Des Moines. A dead bat had been tossed onto the stage by a fan and Osbourne, thinking it was rubber, bit right into it. There was blood.
Afterward, Osbourne had to be injected with a rabies shot.
See it on YouTube if you dare.
Snacks on two doves
Mick Wall, who wrote a Black Sabbath biography, “Symptom of the Universe,” details an incident during a meeting with Osbourne and record executives, where the singer bit the heads off two doves.
According to the book, “[Sharon] arranged for [Ozzy] to give a short speech, lauding the efforts of the company workforce in the lead-up to the U.S. release of Blizzard of Ozz. The piece de resistance was to have Ozzy ending his speech by releasing three white doves into the gathered audience of [label] higher-ups and worker bees.”
Wall says that when executives tried to tell Osbourne their ideas, he took out two doves and bit their heads off, spitting them on the table.
In 1978, Van Halen opened for Black Sabbath in Nashville and Birmingham, so naturally, there was a cocaine duel between the bands.
In his 2015 book, “Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal,” Roth writes that the two snorted the drug until the next morning. Osbourne went missing for 24 hours, with the police called to help search for the rocker.
He finally showed up, stumbling into the hotel lobby.
According to the 2001 Mötley Crüe autobiography “The Dirt,” Osbourne and the band were hanging out poolside at a tour stop in Florida when the rocker snorted a long column of ants in the absence of drugs.
After periods of sobriety, Osbourne said that as of 2021, he had been sober for seven years. He told Variety, “All I can say is, I’m 72 years of age. Most of the people that I drank with are dead. And the ones that aren’t, that still continue to drink, are going to be dead soon. It’s not a happy ending.”
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