Tune in to "The Blizzard of Ozz Special: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Blizzard of Ozz" on Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits. This Friday, Jenn sits down with rock legend Ozzy Osbourne as he refutes a couple of long-believed myths and talks about music and pandemic life in 2020. The special also includes moments from Zakk Wylde, Alice Cooper, Jack Black and more reflecting on Ozzy's timeless solo debut 40 years later. A few excerpts from the show follow (hear audio below).
Ozzy busts the myth of how "Blizzard Of Ozz" became a solo album…
Jenn: So you finished the record after all this creative input that you and Randy [Rhoads] and everybody around you had, the artwork gets released and some people may not know this story, but it was never supposed to be a solo album.
Ozzy: "Oh no, no. It was a solo album. The album was called 'Blizzard Of Ozz'. Why would I want to get fired from a band called BLACK SABBATH and go through the same shit again with having an equal partnership with a band? It doesn't make sense. Because of legal matters, they didn't know the band was called this or that. Why would I want to call a band name that threw me out of the band because they didn't like me? It was my own thing."
Alice Cooper on how he and Ozzy were heavily influenced by THE BEATLES and became the Boris Karloff-Bela Lugosi of their times…
Alice: "Well, Ozzy and I kind of have a same pathway. The fact that we both left very successful bands to go out on our own, and both of us, when we talk to each other, we always talk about how influenced our music was by THE BEATLES. You know, when Ozzy did 'Blizzard Of Ozz' and 'Bark At The Moon', all this stuff, you could really hear the influence of listening, really listening, to the melody lines. That was something that nobody would probably put together with Alice Cooper and Ozzy, is the fact that we cared more about the song than just about anything else. He created a great image. We both became sort of the Boris Karloff-Bela Lugosi of our times. Those albums are still very, very, very valid, and they will be for the next 50 years."
Ozzy on whether he thinks he's influential and his thoughts on the global pandemic and vaccine...
Ozzy: "I never really thought about it. I'm just Ozzy. My wife calls me Ozzy. I'm just Ozzy. I'm just here. The only good thing about this pandemic, I couldn't work anyway, because of my injuries. I'm hoping that I'll be booking 2022, I think. To be honest with you, I don't think it's gonna get ship shape until the end of next year. I think this winter is gonna be fucking bad, because you're gonna have the flu. People are, 'I'm not taking the flu shot.' You know what? You can give me anything, but I'm not gonna be number one on that fucking new vaccine. I don't know want to be the first one to wake up with a set of fucking antlers in the morning."
This past July, Ozzy said that he was still "not back to 100 percent" after suffering from several medical issues last year, including a fall, neck surgery and hospitalization for the flu. Ozzy also said that he was looking forward to performing again once he has regained his health and the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
When the pandemic struck, Ozzy had just released his first solo album in a decade, "Ordinary Man", which he recorded late last year while recovering from surgery and related illnesses. The BLACK SABBATH singer had previously canceled all his 2019 tour plans, and the rescheduled 2020 shows have also been scrapped.
This past May, Ozzy's son Jack said that his father will "probably" retire "within the next five to ten years." But Ozzy, who turned 71 last December, has repeatedly said that he is not calling it quits, despite the fact that his "No More Tours 2" — whenever it ends up happening — is being billed as his last major global trek.
Ozzy was also forced to cancel an April trip to Switzerland to see a doctor who specializes in treatment of Parkinson's disease. The singer revealed earlier this year that he was diagnosed with the condition.