Added On: Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Life in the Day: Ozzy Osbourne

Sorry if this is a little irrelevant, but who can resist an Ozzy interview post.

The Black Sabbath singer became a multi-million-selling solo artist in the 1980s, and a household name in 2002 with the reality-TV series The Osbournes. He lives in LA with his wife, Sharon. Together they will host next month’s Brit Awards

Ozzy Osbourne and mouse

One of my biggest luxuries is that I don’t have to set an alarm. I wake up when my eyes open, usually 9 or 9.30. I couldn’t handle an alarm clock going off in my ear. It’d do my f***ing head in. I try and get a bit of exercise before breakfast. I have to be careful, though, because my knees are totally f***ed. What I used to do is get completely loaded and spend four hours on the exercise bike. I had all this chemical shit and loads of endorphins floating around my body and I’d suddenly get this idea: “Do some exercise. Have a workout.” Basically, I wore my knees out.

Things are a lot better these days. I no longer smoke, I don’t drink and I don’t take illegal drugs. There are some prescribed drugs I have to take each day, but I no longer take these f***ing things for fun. I’m actually trying to look after myself. I have a bit of fruit for breakfast and a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea. I f***ing love Yorkshire Gold. I’ve found a couple of English shops in LA, and I fill my cupboards with this stuff. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be getting excited over a cup of f***ing tea.

I always turn the telly on in the morning, just to see if the world’s still turning. All you see is death, doom and destruction. They ought to have a channel called Hope, something to cheer you up for a change. I saw this thing the other day about another f***ing asteroid that’s heading this way. I thought I’d have to go out and buy a big telescope and a crash helmet.

Shower and shave every day. Don’t care what shampoo I use, as long as it makes me smell better than when I went in there. In the mornings I spend a lot of time in the bunker — that’s the room where I have all my bits and pieces.

It’s stuffed with books and magazines, which is a real challenge for a raving dyslexic like me. I never really stick with a book. I just pick one out — usually a thin one — read a bit and then move on to another one. I love books. I’ve got millions of ’em. I’ve even got a few nice first editions. I like to read the papers, too, but I really miss the old-fashioned English papers. These days, you get about 50 magazines with every paper and they’ve all got Victoria Beckham on the front. Not that I’ve got anything against her. I actually met her and David last year. I’d been wanting to meet him for ages, ’cause he kept sending me f***ing football boots. I thought he wanted me to have a kick around with him. Can you imagine?

Lunch isn’t a regimental thing — it’s not like I’m in the army. I just have something to eat when I feel like it. My problem is I’m a picker. Because of my addictive personality, food is a comfort thing. And I hate people telling me what I can and can’t eat. If somebody says, “You can’t have eggs or chocolate,” I’ll make myself an egg sandwich with a piece of f***ing chocolate on top. Just to piss ’em off! It’s like I’ve got this naughty guy living in my head with me. He’s the same naughty bloke who lived in my head when I was drinking. He’d say:

“Go on, Ozzy. Have a beer. Just one.” But it got to a point where I realised I was never just going to have one beer or one glass of wine. I’d just go out and get blasted. Eventually, I started asking myself: “Do you really want to do this?” The answer was no.

When you’re in recovery, they tell you that alcoholism is very cunning, very powerful and very baffling. I don’t miss the booze. Really, I don’t. It’s actually as exciting to be sober as it was to be totally out of it. I’ve even managed to reduce my medication a bit over the last few months. The great thing is that I’ve accepted I need help. If I’m not on tour, I don’t really leave the house much in the afternoons. I’m a bit of a house rat, really.

I have been shopping a couple of times, but it drives me crazy. I said to Sharon: “Look, I do f***-all in this house. Can I go shopping?” I lasted five minutes in the Armani shop. There were about 50 guys coming up to me, showing me all these different suits. I thought my head would explode. I couldn’t even choose a pair of socks. I’m f***ing useless.

I might spend time in my studio if I’m working on an album. But I’m no good on my own. I need people to bounce ideas off. I don’t even write lyrics down. Because of the dyslexia, my lyrics look like total bollocks. There’s a lot of good music out there, but I don’t listen to much new stuff. I tend to listen to the music I listened to when I was younger. The Beatles. I play the Beatles all the f***ing time. They made my life worth living when I was a kid.

Kelly, Jack and Aimee all have their own places, but we do occasionally try and all sit down at the dinner table together. I love roast dinners.

Sharon usually goes to bed before me ’cause she gets up earlier. I’m in bed by 11 or 11.30. I might read for half an hour or watch TV, but it’s not long before I’m asleep. Funnily enough, I still have dreams where I think I’m drunk. And when I was in that coma [after an accident on a quad bike in 2003], I had one hell of a dream. I was on this crazy journey going all over the f***ing place. When I came round, somebody asked me if I saw heaven — did I see the white light? White light? Course I didn’t see any white f***ing light! Can you really see them letting me up there with a f***ing motorbike frame sticking out of my arse?

Interview by Danny Scott. Portrait by Patrick Fraser

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