Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from performing in recent weeks, bringing to an end what has been one of the most legendary careers in music. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the Prince of Darkness was forced into giving up touring, although he has said he still is keen to return in some capacity, in what has been an incredible journey.
His career has been full of highs and lows, from being one of the most famous faces on the planet to struggling with addiction, visiting private drug rehab on a number of occasions. It’s all part of his journey, his story, though, and his legend will live on forever.
To celebrate Ozzy’s time in our lives as he enters retirement, here are five incredible stories about him…
The Bat Incident
Perhaps the most infamous story in Ozzy’s career is when he bit the head off a bat during a concert in 1982. As legend has it, someone threw the bat onstage, and Osbourne, thinking it was a fake rubber bat, grabbed it and bit off its head. After realizing it was a real bat, he was rushed to the hospital to get vaccinated against rabies. The incident created a media frenzy and cemented Osbourne’s reputation as a wild and unpredictable performer.
The Alamo Incident
In 1982, while on tour in San Antonio, Texas, Osbourne was arrested for public intoxication and for urinating on the Alamo Cenotaph, a monument commemorating the fallen soldiers of the Battle of the Alamo. Osbourne was wearing a dress at the time, and later claimed that he thought the monument was a public restroom. The incident resulted in a lifetime ban from performing in San Antonio, which was lifted in 1992.
The Black Sabbath Firing
In 1979, Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath due to his drug and alcohol abuse. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Osbourne went on to launch a successful solo career and become an even bigger icon than he was in Black Sabbath. His first solo album, “Blizzard of Ozz,” featured classics like “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley,” and established him as a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock.
The MTV Show
In 2002, Ozzy and his family starred in the reality TV show “The Osbournes” on MTV. The show followed the daily lives of the Osbourne family, including Ozzy, his wife Sharon, and their two children, Jack and Kelly. The show was a huge success and helped to humanize Ozzy, showing a different side to his personality than the one people had come to expect from his rockstar persona. The show also led to Ozzy winning his first ever Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program.