10 Intriguing Facts About Ozzy Osbourne
John Michael Osbourne, better known as Ozzy Osbourne, has been a mainstay of popular culture ever since metal pioneers Black Sabbath hit the big time. Ozzy has built a reputation for himself as a wild man. His antics in the ’70s and ’80s marked him as the ultimate rock and roll party animal. So it’s no surprise that he has left in his wake some of the craziest stories of hedonism and over-the-top adventures ever known to man.
Many of these stories are well-known, such as the time he bit the head off of a live bat, and then again off of a live dove. And most Ozzy fans know about the time he urinated on the Alamo memorial in drag, as well as the time he snorted a line of ants in the company of Mötley Crüe‘s Nikki Sixx.
But there is much more to know about the rock deity known as Ozzy Osbourne. While some of these tidbits of trivia do involve more debauchery, others give us a more resolute image of the man behind the legend. This is our list of the 10 Intriguing Facts About Ozzy Osbourne.
There is a wax statue of him that pees when people get close.
While most people know about the time Ozzy urinated on the Alamo memorial, few may know about the wax statue commemorating this historic moment. Two artists, Ruben Ortiz-Torres and Jim Mendiola, commissioned the statue in 2001. It even has a motion sensor that makes the statue start peeing when people approach.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush loves his music.
Ok, so this one may or may not be true. But during a White House Press Club dinner, then-president George W. Bush said, “What a fantastic audience we have tonight. Washington power brokers, celebrities, Hollywood stars, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy, mom loves your stuff.” He might have been joking, but we can hope he was telling the truth.
When they were children, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi picked on him.
According to an interview with Ozzy from 1982, as a child, Iommi bullied the young Osbourne. The guitarist was a bit surprised years later when Ozzy showed up to try out as singer for their new band.
Black Sabbath’s original band name was The Polka Tulk Blues Band.
When the guys first started making music together, their band name was a little less dark than it is now. In addition to the classic lineup, the band also included a slide guitar player and a saxophonist. The name was later shortened to Polka Tulk, then changed to Earth before they settled on what we all probably agree was the best choice of the bunch, Black Sabbath.
He struggles with dyslexia.
The Black Sabbath frontman said he has always had trouble focusing long enough to complete an entire book. In his book, ‘I Am Ozzy,’ he said, “The only good thing about having dyslexia is that dyslexics are usually very creative people, or so I’ve been told. We think in unusual ways. But it’s a very bad stigma to have, not being able to read like normal people can. To this day I wish I’d had a proper education. I think books are great, I do. To be able to lose yourself in a book is f—ing phenomenal. Everyone should be able to do it. But I’ve been able to get through an entire book only a few times in my life. Every blue moon this thing in my head will release, and I’ll try to read as many books as I can, because when it closes up it goes straight back to the way it was, and I end up just sitting there, staring at Chinese.”
He once fought a robber naked.
At his home in Buckinghamshire, England, Ozzy was surprised to find an intruder going through his wife Sharon’s closet. Ozzy, naked, tackled and wrestled with the robber. But the robber got away, nabbing some expensive jewelry, including Sharon’s wedding ring. Daughter Kelly Osbourne later recovered the ring, though, thanks to British TV show ‘Crime Watch.’
He spent time in jail for burglary.
Long before he struck it rich (and before he was burgled), the Prince of Darkness served time for breaking and entering. He said, “My mate told me to wear gloves. I didn’t understand, so I took fingerless ones like milkmen use…”
He has several homemade tattoos.
While paying his debt to society, Ozzy discovered the time-honored tradition of homemade prison tattoos. Using sewing needles and grate polish, he tattooed smiley faces on his knees. He explained, “It helped to cheer me up when I woke up every day.”
He still gets stage fright.
It might be the hardest fact on this list to believe, but Ozzy says that after all this time performing he still suffers from stage fright. Even though he still gets nervous before each show, he hasn’t let it slow him down.
He has never watched an episode of ‘The Osbournes.’
The reality show on MTV may have helped keep the metal singer in the spotlight, and it certainly helped launch his wife’s career, but Ozzy said he hated the show. He said he’s glad the show is over now, and he has no plans to be on another reality show of any sort again.