Ozzy Osbourne Tells Howard Stern The Music Business Is “All Tricks And Mirrors”
December 1, 2010
Yesterday Ozzy Osbourne stopped by the Howard Stern radio show to promote his new album ‘Scream’.
Howard kicked things off by asking if he’d ever wear–like Wendy Williams–a wig. Ozzy laughed: “F’ no. I’d look ridiculous.” Howard wondered if Ozzy missed alcohol, but Ozzy just shrugged: “To be honest with you? No…I got fed up with it. And not only did I get [fed up] but everybody else [did] too.”
Ozzy said his substance abuse got so wild, he began taking “a pill for this side effect and then a pill for that side effect…I used to go shopping with a shopping cart ’round the pharmacy.” As for heroin: “I never got into that stuff. Well, I did it, but you know, it made me throw up. I hate throwing up. So I stopped.”
Asked why he’d parted ways with guitarist Zak Wylde, Ozzy shrugged: “I didn’t get rid of him. He had his own band and he was only helping me out…I said to him, ‘It’s time for you to do your Black Label [Society].” Ozzy bemoaned the business side of music: “It’s more like a job now than it ever was…people only want one track off the album…the art of the game is gone. It’s all tricks and mirrors.”Howard then asked if Ozzy could be become a part of American Idol’s tricks and mirrors machine, but Ozzy dismissed the idea: “I couldn’t do that…the fact that they get up there in the first place and have a go–my heart goes out to them.”
Howard noted that Ozzy was now a grandfather–Ozzy laughed: “What can I do about it. Grandpa Ozzy, of course. F’ing hell.” Ozzy’s also softened in other ways: he’s befriended–and sometimes stays with–Elton John: “He’s got properties all over the place.” Howard was surprised: “At his home he doesn’t dress like a duck or anything like that?” Ozzy laughed: “No, I do!
Ozzy said much of his life these days was managed by Tony, his personal assistant of the last 30 years: “He knows more about me than I do.” Ozzy listed Tony’s duties as fetching gum, checking him into hotel rooms, getting him to his flights and ordering food. Stern sidekick Robin Quivers wondered how far it went: “Does he have to get you money? [Do] you have a bank card?” Ozzy laughed: “Yeah but I have to hide it from Sharon.” Howard asked if Sharon’s role as his manager was ever difficult for him, and Ozzy nodded: “Sometimes it is. I’ll be like, ‘Is she talking to me as a wife or a manager?
After Ozzy advocated the death penalty for Mark David Chapman (“I’ll f’ing shoot the asshole.”), the crew listened to ‘How,’ a John Lennon cover song Ozzy recorded–at Yoko Ono’s request–for Amnesty International. Howard begged Ozzy to reveal the secret behind his seemingly ageless voice, so Ozzy let him in on a studio secret: “I double-track. I sing it and then I sing another one on top of that.”