In many ways, professionally at least, Ozzy Osbourne had a very good 2022. He followed up with his acclaimed 2020 comeback LP, Ordinary manwith Patient number 9which just received four Grammy nominations – his most nominations ever for a single album – and spawned two No. 1 rock radio singles. 1 one after another.
But the metal legend won’t be satisfied until he can play this new material during an entire concert.
“I just want to get back on that stage. I have I must get back on that stage It’s driving me crazy, not being able to do this,” Ozzy laments, speaking to Yahoo Entertainment via Zoom from his Los Angeles home. “I can’t relax. I always have to do something. … I mean, me I could let’s call it a day, but i can’t stop. There’s nothing like a good concert, and there’s nothing like a bad concert, because a bad concert makes you want to have a good concert, better than before! A great concert is better than any sex or drugs. There is nothing to compare it with.
Ozzy, who just turned 74 on Dec. 3, has been seen out and about looking frail and walking with a cane, but when he talks about the possibility of performing full concerts again — something he hopes to do in Spring/Summer 2023 , when she still has 19 tour dates on the books — she absolutely glows with youthful energy. However, he admits that these days he mostly feels his age about him. “I remember when I was 69 and thinking, ‘I wonder when am I going to start feeling old, when am I going to start feeling everything?’” He says ruefully. “And suddenly, when I turned 70, the floodgates opened. It was one thing after another. … This is the longest time I’ve been sick in my life.
Ozzy rattles off his list of health issues, which stretches back nearly two decades. “Around 2003, I had that quad bike accident, right? But I got out of the hospital and continued to work. Then I found out I have Parkinson’s disease. So, I figured it was all down to Parkinson’s as all of these things started to melt on me. Four years ago I did a New Year’s Eve show at the Forum [in Los Angeles]. I came home here and got up to use the bathroom at night. Never turn on any lights. I went to the bathroom, came back and thought in the dark, “Well, my bed must be more or less there.” And I jumped on the bed, but it wasn’t there. I miscalculated. I landed really badly on the floor. … I just fell to the ground and just lay there. And I said, ‘Sharon, you better call the doctor, an ambulance, because I think I’ve broken my neck.’ I knew I landed really badly. I stood there until the ambulance arrived.
“I went to the hospital and they said they wanted to do an MRI,” Ozzy continues. “And it turned out that since the 2003 accident I had damaged my spine. He was pinching my nerves. I’ve had all these malfunctions. I was walking weird and whatnot, but it was not from Parkinson’s – it turned out that I had squeezed the tube where the spinal cord goes, and there was this pressure. So, I went to the hospital and this guy said to me, “If you don’t get surgery, you have a good chance of getting paralyzed.” I’m sorry, but you have to have the surgery.’”
Unfortunately, Ozzy didn’t get a second opinion, which he now deeply regrets. “[That surgeon] he did a completely bad job. … I got out of the operation and have been paralyzed ever since,” she reveals. “And I just thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s going to take a little longer to get back to normal.’ But that never materialised. I walk better now, I’m a little better than before, but I still have a long way to go. It’s amazing what something so silly and simple can do to the rest of your life. It’s crazy. I’ve had nothing but problems for the past four years. …I have had two surgeries since then to fix what this guy did but the damage that surgeon did was worse [than the Parkinson’s]. I mean, to be honest, the Parkinson’s thing, they said they’ve never seen such a mild case of Parkinson’s. But that’s not money in the bank, because you can go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and you might be different.
Ozzy’s many health issues have understandably put him into the funk, but when super-producer Andrew Watt approached him in 2019 about featuring on Post Malone’s single “Take What You Want,” that collaboration resulted in Ozzy’s first full-length album. Ozzy in a decade, the Watt- produced Ordinary man. And that set Ozzy’s pace in motion, so to speak. “He pulled me out of the shit hole I was in. I thought it was fun to do. It was a different kind of music I suppose, but she kept my head above water,” Ozzy says. “Andrew was very helpful. I mean this guy can fuck sweaty songs. … He made me go on, because when I didn’t think about myself and went back on stage, I had nothing else to think about. It was like my life raft.
Ozzy underwent what his wife Sharon described as another “life-changing” operation last June, and is currently in physical therapy, “where they put these bionic legs into you — it’s a Japanese thing.” And Ozzy says it’s “about 70% better. … Before I could not lift my head; now I can lift my head. My range of motion on my neck was very limited. I mean, my friends came to see me in the hospital and they said, ‘I have to be honest, I thought you were last… I didn’t think you’d come here.’ I have been in a terrible state in the hospital for three months.
Sharon had her own health scare this past weekend and was rushed to the hospital for an undisclosed medical emergency, though Ozzy insists she’s fine now. “She’s so busy being Sharon, organizing me and the kids and the house and the business,” he says. “I tell her, ‘Sharon, for my sake, you need to start listening to your body. Let’s not get younger!’ …Having difficulty walking is not good for us, the Osbournes. But my family was the best. My wife is golden. She was the best wife. I have a nurse here who takes care of me. But I’m not quite ready to put on my stage shoes – and that’s where I belong.
Ozzy and Sharon are obviously both survivors and recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, against all odds. “Forty years have gone by like a flash,” says Ozzy, who freely admits, “If I hadn’t met Sharon, and fallen in love with Sharon, I would have died. Without a doubt, I would have died. Through her tough love, she kept my head above water. She kicked my ass. … Sharon is a fighter. She always called me. We’ve had some monumental fights over the years – fucking hell, hotel room demolished! …But I think I’ve met my soul mate, finally. It took me a long time to realize that.”
Ozzy doesn’t live with too many regrets, aside from his aforementioned botched surgery, though he admits, “I regret marrying my first wife [Thelma Riley], because I didn’t really love her. I had two children with her and I regret not being there for them. Although my son from that marriage [Louis], I’m very tight with. My daughter from that marriage [Jessica], if I parted the fucking ocean, she wouldn’t be happy; she knows my phone number, if ever she wants to talk to me. His other big regret, looking back on his 74 years, is that his infidelity during her second “rock ‘n’ roll marriage” nearly cost him the family he built with Sharon.
“Looking back on that time in my life when I was joking, I don’t know why [I did that]”, says Ozzy shaking his head. “They say men have a seven year itch or something; mine was a little later. But I honestly can’t figure out why I did it. Because I love my wife. I love my family. I love They. I couldn’t have a better family if I tried.
“You have a moment of lucidity and you look [your life]”, continues Ozzy. “I no longer drink alcohol. I don’t get high anymore. I’m no longer a womanizer. I do none of that. And I don’t smoke tobacco. I have given up many of my vices. … Suddenly you have a moment of clarity and you’re like, ‘What the hell hell I’m doing?’ Because everything goes by so fast. So go ahead. Just check yourself. ‘You do trulydo you want to live like this?’ Sharon told me one day. “How long do you think you want to keep doing this?” You know, I’ve never dated the Intentionto have a few drinks and drive home in a police car in handcuffs. It wasn’t my idea to go out and come back and strangle my wife and be charged with attempted murder. But it happened. I’m not proud of it. That was pretty scary for my wife.
“But she stayed with me. And I stayed with her. It’s a two-way street. When I meet these people who say, ‘Oh, we’ve been married for 30 years and we’ve never fought,’ I think, You must be bored!’”
Coupled with his hopes of touring in 2023, Ozzy is looking forward to recording with Watt again. “These [past two] the albums came together so easily and quickly. I mean, when Andrew said to me, ‘How about we get Jeff Beck? How about we take Eric Clapton?’ — I said, ‘I don’t think they’d want anything to do with me!’” But those two artists were guests Patient number 9, and Ozzy, a huge Beatles fan, confesses that his future dream collaborator would be Paul McCartney. “Which will never happen. I asked him once, and he had some excuse,” he shrugs. “But [if that duet did happen], thenI might say, ‘OK, I’ve achieved all my dreams.’”
Regardless of who guest stars on Ozzy’s next album, they’ll have a lot to write about. “If I’m happy, it’s the wrong time [to write]. When I’m miserable, when I’m pissed about everything, that’s when I started coming up with good ideas,” she giggles. But the Prince of Darkness is still trying to keep a sunny demeanor through it all.
“It’s not a job, what I do. It’s a passion,” he says. “I don’t have to get up at 7 in the morning to trudge through the day to get to work. It’s a good life. …So considering all the things I’ve gotten away with over the years, I really can’t complain. … Even today, when I think about some of the things I’ve done, I cringe, you know? Because I could have been dead. … You name it, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve survived. He finally caught me and bit me on the butt , but it didn’t kill me. And I won’t stop.
Watch Ozzy Osbourne’s full and extended interview on Yahoo Entertainment, where he also talks about MTV’s 20th anniversary The Osbourneshis alleged biopic, returning to the UK, and Taylor Hawkins continuing to act Patient number 9.
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