8 times Ozzy Osbourne earned his reputation as metal’s greatest madman

Looking back over some of the occasions The Prince Of Darkness earned his status as rock’s ultimate badass…

8 times Ozzy Osbourne earned his reputation as metal’s greatest madman

If there’s any musician who deserves his reputation, it is Ozzy Osbourne. From his role as one of heavy metal’s forefathers in Black Sabbath, to his prolific solo career, to his high-profile role as reality-show dad on The Osbournes, The Prince Of Darkness has always succeeded at making every other rock star look like a fucking nun.

So, we decided to pick out some of the most memorable times Ozzy cemented himself as the ultimate unhinged rock star. Here are the eight most glaring examples of the Ozzman putting all other shock rockers and badasses to shame.

1Driving drunk with his wife giving birth in the back of the car

Getting behind the wheel while drunk is dangerous, but doing so while your wife is going into labor is another beast entirely. During the birth of his daughter Jessica in 1972, Ozzy’s first wife Thelma said that he had to drive her to the hospital – even though he was totally wasted, and didn’t have a driver’s license. That said, Ozzy did as he asked, and Jessica was born safely later that day. The Devil takes care of his own, apparently.

2Disappearing after a cocaine duel with David Lee Roth

A clash of the drug titans, for sure: during the Alabama stop of Ozzy’s last tour with Black Sabbath in 1978, he challenged the vocalist of openers Van Halen, who many recount were blowing the substance-addled Sabbath off the stage every night, to a snort-off. According to Van Halen biographer Greg Renoff, the two inhaled enough devil’s dandruff to kill your average person, after which Ozzy vanished, prompting the police and even the FBI to look for him. It’s hard to decide which part is more classic Ozzy – trying to blow more coke than DLR, or getting high and just kind of… wandering off.

3Getting committed mid-tour

During the European leg of Ozzy’s 1981 Diary Of A Madman tour, the singer suffered a nervous breakdown due to his first marriage falling apart and his constant partying. Sharon, then his new manager, decided the best thing was to have Ozzy checked into a mental health clinic outside of London. Veteran Ozzy bassist Rudy Sarzo described the situation: "We'd visit him, and this hospital was like something out of The Elephant Man. There's Ozzy in one room with an iron headboard above his bed with a little curtain for him to change and a piss bucket and pitcher of water.” Going off the rails indeed.

4Snorting bugs with Mötley Crüe

Ah, the old ants-snorting rumour. According to Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt, Ozzy snorted a line of ants to best Nikki Sixx in a battle of depravity (a contest that later evolved into drinking each other's urine, but let's stop at the bugs for now). Of course, this story has now been challenged by former Ozzy guitarist Jake E. Lee, who says that there was never a line of ants – just “a little spider”. Fuck, how could Ozzy and the Mötley boys have lied to us about the specific kind of living animal that Ozzy snorted? It appears that Jake missed the point of this story.

5Biting the head off of a dove at a record company meeting.

It was 1981, and Ozzy had just signed his solo deal with CBS Records. To present himself as a symbol of peace and love, the Ozzman entered into a meeting with his new label rocking a coat full of doves, to be released among the crowd. Instead, wasted off of his gourd, Ozzy haphazardly tossed the poor birds around – and then grabbed one and bit its head off. While much press has been given to the singer accidentally doing the same to a dead bat onstage later, nothing compares to him literally eating the face of peace and love in front of the people who’d just hired him.

6Pissing on the Alamo

For many Texans, the Alamo is a symbol of freedom, patriotism, and the will to survive. To Ozzy, it was a urinal. During a photoshoot in San Antonio in 1982, he took a leak on a monument honouring all those who died during the American skirmish. He was arrested by police and banned from San Antonio for a decade. In a great show of class, the singer made a public apology in 1992 and donated $10,000 dollars to the Daughters Of The Republic Of Texas, who maintain the Alamo’s grounds.

7Making George W. Bush regret allowing him in the White House

In 2002, while The Osbournes was at the height of its popularity, Ozzy and Sharon were invited to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Dubya took Ozzy’s presence in stride, cracking the line, “Ozzy, mom loves your stuff!” In return, Ozzy got lit up at dinner, caused a ruckus at his table, and even prompted the president to mumble that this “might have been a mistake”…

8Sending naked pictures to his wife in his 70s

Sharon revealed that Ozzy continues to keep up his reputation by sending his wife staged nude photos, even though he’s in his seventh decade alive. “There are red roses coming out of his bum,” Sharon said, describing the “sexy and naked” photos her husband texts her. “He will do the front and he has just got a big bunch of flowers stuck between his legs so you cannot see. He is very creative.” We all hope to be texting our SOs amateur porn when we’re grandparents.

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