Ozzy Osbourne: The Doctor Is In

The Doctor Is In
By: Jeb Wright - Classic Rock Revisited

Ozzy Osbourne continues to entertain people around the world as one of the top vocalists in Heavy Metal history. Now, Ozzy is back with two new projects, neither of which features him on center stage. The first, a book titled Trust me, I’m Dr. Ozzy, is an advice column where the Prince of Darkness listens to questions about kids, relationships, sex, drugs and anything else on his reader’s mind before giving them advice on what to do in their current situation. It is a hilarious book; however, Ozzy does the unexpected and comes across as actually caring what these people are going through. You get his over the top sense of humor but Ozzy also reveals he is much more in touch with humanity then one might expect.

The other project is a documentary by his son, Jack Osbourne, titled God Bless Ozzy Osbourne. Jack went behind the lens and delivered big with a behind the scenes look at who Ozzy really was, and is, and what it was like to grow up his son. At times this is humorous, but other times it is soul searchingly honest and emotional. Ozzy discusses the project in-depth in the interview that follows.

At the end of our time together, I took the opportunity to ask Dr. Ozzy for some advice with a personal problem I am currently facing. His answer was spot on, so much so that I’m hoisting a piece of pepperoni pizza in his honor as I type these words.

Jeb: Your new book is a collection of question and answers from your advice column that was in the Times in London and in Rolling Stone Magazine. What was your reaction when you were asked to do the column?

Ozzy: What happened was that I was asked to get this test on my DNA because of everything that I had done with drugs and alcohol, and the lifestyle I had led the last forty years. I did this thing called Genomics, which is where they take some of your blood and they go clear back in your bloodline and figure out where you came from, and what diseases and things you could be facing in your lifetime.

The Times in London said, “Why don’t you do a column since you’ve survived everything and give advice to people.” The column is really just common sense. I suddenly found myself relating to a lot of the people writing in. They wrote in about kids and marriage and all of this stuff. If I didn’t know what to say, or if it was serious, then I would tell them to go and see a doctor.

Jeb: When they did the DNA test, I heard they found you were part Neanderthal.

Ozzy: Yeah, yeah, that explains the thick part of my skull [laughter].

Jeb: Did you expect the results to be that in-depth?

Ozzy: I didn’t know what to expect. I did find out one thing that I didn’t like. Every morning, I like to get up and have a strong cup of coffee and I found out I’m allergic to coffee because of this test. I go, “Oh fuck.” I have one cup of good strong coffee a day but that’s it.

I can only decipher about a third of it [the test] because two thirds of it is a lot of technical jargon. It’s not a cheap test; it costs quite a lot of money. It is beyond my fucking brain, what they talk about. It is hard for me to digest information because it may as well all be in Latin.

Jeb: Did you have a lot of fun doing the column?

Ozzy: If it wasn’t fun then I wouldn’t have done it. I suppose people were expecting me to tell them to take a ton of acid, and an aspirin, and go to bed.

Jeb: I think the book has more charm because you’re so open about substance abuse.

Ozzy: I was talking to my wife just the other day about this; most of my old associates, people that I used to get stoned and drunk with, are dead and gone. There are a few stragglers but most are dead. The word moderation has never applied to Ozzy Osbourne. I never went out for a fucking drink; I went out to get fucking crippled. I would say, “I am going down to the local pup, darling. I’ll be back in a little while.” I would show back up three days later in a pair of fucking handcuffs.

Jeb: Now, at age 62, is moderation something you can achieve?

Ozzy: I can‘t drink and I can’t do drugs. I mean, I live in California and I could get a bag of mild marijuana from the doctor but who I am fucking kidding? I’d start out with a mild bag of marijuana and I’d end up with a fucking bag of crack. My mind runs away with the fantasy because one drink, or one joint, or one whatever doesn’t apply to me but my head still thinks it does. I will think about it and my head runs away with the thought.

Jeb: You have tried to quit for as long as I can remember. Why is it different now?

Ozzy: I got fed up with quitting. The first thing I stopped was tobacco, and don’t ask me how I did that. I have been in nearly every rehab around. I have been in rehab with heroin users and they say, “I can put the smack down but I can’t give up tobacco.” I put it down first. My voice would crack in concert and I felt like a soccer player kicking the fucking wall when he was not in the game.

To be honest with you, I was not having a good time. I would make all of these grandiose statements about how I was Mr. Sober, now. In the National Enquirer, the following day, you would see me on the floor in a bog covered in piss.

There is a lot more help these days than there used to be. It is a lot more openly spoken about then when I was a kid. My folks didn’t say, “He’s got a drinking problem.” You just didn’t talk about it. My drinking problem was that I couldn’t get e-fucking-nough. If I knew, and I honestly thought to myself, that I could drink moderately, then I would, but I know I can’t. I never ever did, I never ever will and I don’t want to.

Jeb: I think when someone like you tells people to stop doing drugs it comes across loud and clear. What was one of your favorite questions on drugs?

Ozzy: The one that I remember was this guy who had just come back from a doctor who had prescribed this medication that said on the bottle, “While taking this medication, do not drink alcohol.” This guy asks, “What should I do?” I said, “Well, if you’re a dummy, and you’re fucking nuts, then you will drink alcohol with the medication. If I were you, then I would do what it says on the bottle and not drink any alcohol.” Some people are fucking insane.

Jeb: Oh, come on, I imagine back in the day you would’ve drank with the medication.

Ozzy: I did. If they would have asked me that question ten years ago, then I would have been on drugs and drunk and I would’ve gone, “Dude, this is Ozzy, I’ve just taken this medication and I’m about to down a quart of vodka. Where is the nearest fucking hospital from where I am?”

Jeb: Were there any sex questions that were uncomfortable for you to answer?

Ozzy: The newspaper would get them all in and then just send through the funny things. One guy wrote in telling me that he was worried about his relationship because he used to have sex with his wife three to four times a week. He said, “Now, we are only doing it once a week. I’m 80 years old and I’m worried we are growing apart.” I said, “Stop complaining, man!” I mean fucking hell, he’s doing good.

Jeb: I want to talk about a project your son Jack did called God Bless Ozzy Osbourne. Tell me about how that came about.

Ozzy: He decided to go behind the camera, rather than in front of the camera. He wanted to start a production company and he said, “Would you mind if I did a documentary on you?” I said, “Just don’t make me look like something that I’m not. If I’m bad then say that I’m bad.” I didn’t want him to do one of these documentaries that say, “Look at me, I’m the wonderful one.” I’ve had my wonderful moments but I’ve also had my fucked up moments as well. I said, “Jack, you’ve got the freedom of the camera. Do the best job that you can.”

I must confess, when I was watching it in a theater in New York, part of me said, “Fuck, be careful what you ask for.” I’m not afraid to talk about the bad things I’ve done in my life. So many of us are the great and glorious and never talk about the things that we don’t want to talk about.

Jeb: Was it emotional for you to see you through your son’s eyes?

Ozzy: No, because when I was watching it, I was just watching a film. We’re a very close family. There were parts of it that kind of got me. There was a question that asked if I was a very good father and the answer was no. I thought about it and I suppose it was true because I was always fucked up, you know.

Jeb: I think that would be hard to take now that you’re not all fucked up.

Ozzy: But it’s the truth. I remember one time I was arguing with my son Jack and I said, “What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re always complaining about what I’m doing. You’ve never wanted for a damn fucking thing.” He said, “Oh yeah?” I said, “Name one fucking thing in your life that you’ve wanted that you haven’t got? If your bicycle broke, you got a new one. If you wanted to go somewhere you got to do it.” He said, “You want to know what I’ve never had? A father.” He stopped me dead in my fucking tracks. Alcoholics and drug addicts are self-centered people. We only care about ourselves.

Jeb: You can’t go back and do it again.

Ozzy: If you could buy love then people would be selling it in gold boxes.

Jeb: Are you at a place in your life where you can finally say that you’re happy and that you’re satisfied?

Ozzy: No.

Jeb: How can that be?

Ozzy: I’m a worrier. I will worry if I don’t have anything to worry about.

Jeb: From the outside looking in, it appears you’re doing great. You can tell that you are really in love with your family.

Ozzy: We do stupid things and we have rows but it’s a family. When we started filming The Osbournes T.V. series people would come into my house and go, “Is it always like this?” I was like, “What?” They would go, “Your son just put a fucking spike in his shoe and your daughter just bought a new party dress. Your wife is coming in with all these shopping bags and the fucking cat is on fire.” It was just how our life is. When we did the show, a lot of people ended up relating to us. We didn’t go Hollywood bullshit.

Jeb: My daughter, Cassidy, watched the show and said, “We are like The Osbournes but without the money and drugs.”

Ozzy: [Laughter] I love it.

Jeb: My last one is asking Dr. Ozzy for some advice. I need some help with an issue that I know you have struggled with. I have discovered a new authentic Mexican restaurant in town and I’m hooked on burritos. What do I do to get off the burritos?

Ozzy: Switch to pizza [laugher]!

Jeb: That’s perfect. I’m getting a pizza today.

Ozzy: I will do that with burritos. I will eat nothing but burritos for about a month and then I will go, “This is fucking boring.” A normal person wouldn’t eat burritos every day for six weeks. If they did then they would never eat one again for the rest of their life.

When I was doing that TV show people were noticing that I was eating these energy bars, and then they got them for me for free. Then, I was eating burritos all the time and I was given a lifetime supply and I never had to buy one when I went to the place to get one. Once they started giving them to me for free, I’ve never had one since. When it was free, I didn’t want it. I have no idea why I’m like that.

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