October 30, 2010
Ozzy's new tricks a real treat
By DARRYL STERDAN, QMI Agency

Ozzy Osbourne

Every day is Halloween for Ozzy Osbourne.

But give the old devil credit -- he's still got a few tricks up his sleeve. Mostly thanks to a new band that's turned touring into a treat once again.

"I'll be absolutely honest with you, I'm having more fun now than I've ever had," proclaims the sometime Black Sabbath frontman, one-time bat decapitator and full-time Prince of Darkness, yelling down a crackling cellphone from a tour stop in Japan en route to his latest Canadian trek.

"I used to go on the road kind of resentfully. I would always worry: 'Is my voice going to go? Am I going to be OK? Will I stay sober?' But I tell you what: My new band with Tommy Clufetos on drums and Gus G. on guitar is f---ing killer, man. We have so much fun that the concerts are getting longer. The longest show I ever did was in Canada. I think it was in Montreal on the last tour. It was three hours. And with this band, I'm up to two hours and 15 minutes. And the way it looks, I'll be breaking my record again in Canada."

But first, the riotously profane 61-year-old metal madman brought us up to speed on everything from tattoos to his new gig as a health columnist. Taking advice from Ozzy? Now THAT's scary. Read on -- if you dare.

It's been 40 years since Paranoid came out. Is that hard to believe?


It's hard to f---ing believe I'm still f---ing here, that's what's hard to believe! Time, as you get older, it picks up speed, you know. It wasn't that long ago I was 50. Now I'm going to be 62. F--- me.

Considering you're almost a senior, your last two albums Scream and Black Rain are some of the strongest work you've done in a while. What's behind that?

To be absolutely truthful to you, it's not so much me as my producer Kevin Churko. He's got the patience of the f---ing devil. Scream was mostly written and created in the studio, and he'll sit there and listen for hours, day in and day out. I don't have the patience to do that. I have the attention span of a f---ing gnat.

Was it tough to make Scream after losing Zakk Wylde? He was your guitarist and right-hand man for 20 years.

Let me set something straight: I didn't lose Zakk. It was time for me to move on. I love the guy as much as I've always loved him, and as much as I will always love him. He's like family, you know. I remember when he was in hospital a while back. He had a blood clot in his hip or his leg or something. I sent him an email that said, 'Zakk, if you die before me, I'll f---ing kill you!'

Speaking of health, I understand you're writing a health advice column now.

It's just a bit of fun, you know. People ask me questions. Some are really interesting. I can relate to them. One I got recently was about something that drives me nuts. When I use public toilets, I wash my hands after I've been to the f---ing bathroom. But then I have to open the f---ing door where all those other filthy hands have been. What's the f---ing deal with that? I'm not germophobic, but I don't want to touch some door handle that's had more d---s on it than a f---ing whorehouse.

I would have thought you'd have private toilets wherever you go.

Yeah, I wish. I'm not Prince f---ing Charles. I'm the Prince of Darkness.

Your son Jack is doing a documentary about you. Is he going to be nicer on you or tougher because you're his dad?

I have not seen a f---ing frame of this thing. He's been at it so long I told him he should call it Chinese Democracy 2. But I've heard it's very good. He's got an interview with Paul McCartney in it, for f---'s sake. But I said to him, 'Jack, don't make me out like I'm the nicest guy.' Because some people are going to go, 'Oh yeah? Well, he was a f---ing a--hole when he come 'round to my house.' I don't mind having everything come out. I've never been shy. I've done some pretty f---ing stupid things in my life. Hell, I'm known for that.

I read your daughter Kelly is having her tattoos removed. Would you do that?

Me? Nah. I'm too f---ing old. I think if you want to be special these days, don't have a tattoo. Everybody's f---ing having them. I had mine before they were f---ing fashionable. Now you see these chicks walking about L.A. with battleships on their f---ing t--s. Yeah, those will look great when you're 75.

There's a skit of you and the Jersey Shore cast online ...

What? Who? You'll have to refresh my thick f---ing brain.

You're all sitting in a restaurant ...

Oh yeah, I know what you're talking about now. They did that on, like, video Pro Tools. I did all that in front of a green screen. I never saw them.

Did you know who they were when you did it?

I haven't got a f---ing clue who they are now!

I spoke to Geezer Butler recently and he said he'd love to do one more Black Sabbath world tour.

I bet he would. (Laughs) Um, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it. But not right now. I've got another year to finish my tour. And if I do a Black Sabbath tour, he's got to promise to stop f---ing moaning. Geezer, I love him. But he's always on about something. He's like, 'Ohhhhh.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, great to see you too, Geezer.'

Well, it is cool when somebody asks me something other than, 'What does a bat taste like?' and 'Did you really p--- on the Alamo?' I mean, f--- off, you know? I was at the market the other day and this guy comes running >up with his camera and he's from KLF or TLC or whatever it's called. And he goes, 'So, Ozzy, are you gonna buy bat for dinner?' I said, 'Is that all you've f---ing got to ask me, you p---k? That's the dumbest f---ing question I've heard this week.' And the guy goes, 'Yeah, I suppose it is.' That's the kind of s--- I have to deal with.

Numbers of the Beast: Ozzy's six, six, six best Halloween anthems

Black Sabbath

The tolling bell, the funereal guitar riff, and Ozzy's ghastly wailing -- the opening title cut from Sabbath's 1969 debut is still brilliantly evil.

N.I.B.

"My name is Lucifer, please take my hand," offers Osbourne on this dark gem -- supposedly titled for drummer Bill Ward's pen-tip goatee.

War Pigs

Sure, Paranoid and Iron Man are killers -- but they aren't half as powerful as this apocalyptically topical assault from 1970's Paranoid album.

Mr. Crowley

Jimmy Page may have idolized the British occultist and libertine -- but Ozzy was the one who turned him into a classic metal tune.

My Jekyll Doesn't Hide

This album track from 1995's Ozzmosis is a standout -- partly due to the presence of Black Sabbath bandmate Geezer Butler on bass.

Bark at the Moon

This werewolf-rock anthem from Ozzy's third solo album isn't especially scary -- but that cover picture of him covered in fur is a howler.

Ozzy Osbourne's Canadian tour dates:

Nov. 12: Victoria, Save On Foods Memorial Centre

Nov. 14: Vancouver, Rogers Arena

Nov. 16: Calgary, Pengrowth Saddledome

Nov. 18: Edmonton, Rexall Place

Nov. 20: Winnipeg, MTS Centre

Nov. 23: Montreal, Bell Centre

Nov. 25: Ottawa, Scotiabank Place

Nov. 27: Toronto, Air Canada Centre