Sharon + Ozzy Osbourne Victims of Credit Card Fraud

Sharon Osbourne revealed during Tuesday’s episode of The Talk that she and husband Ozzy Osbourne were the victims of credit card fraud.

Osbourne changed the subject from the discussion of Conan O’Brien’s studio being burgled to reveal her own recent victimization, as seen in the clip below.

“It’s my Kelly‘s birthday today,” revealed Osbourne. “I went out last night to pick up her gift. I give my credit card, and they come back and they say, ‘Do you have another credit card? It didn’t go through.’ And I say, ‘Well, just try it again, put it through again.’ It still didn’t go through. ‘Do you have another one?’ I said, ‘Yes, of course I do.’ I hand them Ozzy’s. And then they come back and they go, ‘Do you have another one? It didn’t go through.’ I’m, like, ‘What’s going on?'”

According to Osbourne, someone had rung up charges on her and Ozzy’s credit cards, maxing them out. “I called through to the credit card company, and they go, ‘No, no, no. You’re maxed out. So is Ozzy, on this account.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t go to that store, or to that store,'” said Osbourne.

She went on to reveal that while she has been working with the credit card company to resolve the issue, it had not been completely taken care of as of the taping. Osbourne was however able to purchase a birthday gift for Kelly despite the inconvenience.

Sharon Osbourne Shares Her Story of Credit Card Fraud on The Talk

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25 Years Ago: Ozzy Osbourne Releases Comeback Album ‘Ozzmosis’

Today no one really takes rock and roll retirement seriously, but when Ozzy Osbourne announced his 1991 album No More Tears was going to be his swan song fans took it to heart, especially since the tour that followed was called No More Tours. But Ozzy soon realized that being back home was far less fun than being on the road and playing for adoring audiences was far preferable to watching the History Channel for hours on end. So Osbourne put a new band together and on Oct. 24, 1995 he released his seventh studio album, Ozzmosis, which put him right back at the top of the metal hierarchy four years after he announced his initial retirement.

It was as if he had never left. Ozzmosis followed the 1993 concert album Live & Loud and all sorts or reports about Ozzy working with guitarist Steve Vai and bassist Bob Daisley. An album never materialized, but Vai is credited with songwriting on the Ozzmosis song “My Little Man.” Backing Osbourne on the album were Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Zakk Wylde, drummer Deen Castronovo and Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

The offbeat lineup didn’t have much of an effect on the record, which sounded like a more sonically pristine, but natural extension of the type of melodic hard rock/metal songwriting on 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked and No More Tears. In additional to Vai, Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister co-wrote “See You on the Other Side” with Zakk Wylde and Butler and Wylde contributed to “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide.” Mark Hudson, Steve Dudas, Jim Vallance, John Purdell and Duane Baron also wrote for Ozzmosis.

Ozzy Osbourne, “See You on the Other Side” Music Video

Osbourne and his bandmates recorded the album with producer Michael Beinhorn at three locations: Guillaume Tell Studios in Paris, France, Electric Lady Studios in New York City and Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, N.Y.

The sessions were professional and productive, yielding the B-sides “Whole World’s Fallin’ Down” and “Aimee.” Musically, Osbourne followed the formula he had effectively pursued since his 1980 solo debut Blizzard of Ozz. There were raging rockers (“Thunder Underground” and “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide”), fist-raising anthems (“Ghost Behind My Eyes,” “Perry Mason”) and teary ballads (“See You on the Other side,” “I Just Want You.”). For some, Ozzmosis was too predictable and overly polished. Others were fine with the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach Osbourne took for the record.

Ozzy Osbourne, “Perry Mason” Music Video

The commercial songwriting and production certainly didn’t hurt sales; Ozzmosis debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album didn’t blow up and fade away. By the end of 1995 it was certified platinum by the RIAA and in April 1999 the album went double platinum.

Osbourne supported Ozzmosis with the Retirement Sucks tour, which featured guitarist Joe Holmes, who was hired when it looked like Wylde was going to join Guns N’ Roses, bassist Robert Trujillo and Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Ozzy Osbourne Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen

10 Unforgettable Ozzy Osbourne Moments

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When Eddie Van Halen Invited Ozzy Osbourne to Sing in Van Halen

Ozzy Osbourne has revealed that Eddie Van Halen once asked him to sing in Van Halen.

“He phoned me up one time, asked me if I wanted to sing in his band,” Osbourne explained during a conversation on SiriusXM’s Ozzy Speaks.

Though he didn’t give a specific timeline about when this conversation happened, Osbourne noted it was “way after Sammy [Hagar’s]” tenure in the band. He also acknowledged that Van Halen may not have fully thought his offer through. “I think he was a bit drunk,” Osbourne admitted. “We’ve all done one of them calls at four o’clock in the morning. ‘I’ve got a great idea!'”

While Ozzy and Eddie never teamed up, they did memorably tour together. Van Halen, who had just released their debut album, opened for Black Sabbath in 1978.

According to Osbourne keyboardist Don Airey, Ozzy wanted an opener who wouldn’t upstage his band. “Sabbath had done a tour for a year with Kiss as his foreband and it nearly killed him because Kiss had been so good,” Airey told the Highway Star in 2004. “And he said, ‘We’re never doing that again. Next tour, we just want a bar band from LA. That’s all we want.’”

To Osbourne’s shock, Van Halen were more than just a bar band. “He got to the first gig. Ozzy said they walked in as ‘Eruption’ was going on,” Airey remembered. “Ozzy said, ‘We just went into the dressing room. We sat there going, ‘That was incredible.’ And we sat there like this, and then it finished, and we were just too stunned to speak.'”

During his recent SiriusXM appearance, Osbourne’s reverence for Eddie Van Halen was obvious: “You think you’ve seen it all, then out of the blue, somebody comes out with such a revolutionized way of playing. To watch Eddie play, his hands would turn into a spider. He always made it look so easy.”

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EVH Once Drunk Dialed Ozzy + Asked Him to Sing for Van Halen

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Ozzy Osbourne has fronted Van Halen. This scenario could have been an Earthly possibility after Eddie Van Halen once drunk dialed the “Prince of Darkness,” asking him to sing for the legendary California group. At least, that’s what Ozzy just revealed in an episode of “Ozzy Speaks” on SiriusXM.

The history between the Black Sabbath legend and the late guitar icon goes back more than three decades. As Sabbath were faltering in 1978, they invited a young Van Halen to open for them on tour, which helped introduce the world to the pyrotechnic Eddie Van Halen and his groundbreaking skill set.

“You think you’ve seen it all. Then out of the blue, somebody comes out with such a revolutionized way of playing,” Osbourne recollected of Eddie Van Halen’s arrival. “To watch Eddie play was, like — his hands would turn into a spider. It was remarkable. He always made it look like it was so easy,” the singer enthused.

Osbourne was asked if he had ever worked with Eddie at all, beyond onstage appearances. “No, no, no,” he dismissed, then speaking about a drunken phone call once that opened the door for them to work together.

“He phoned me up one time and asked me if I wanted to sing in his band — way after Sammy [Hagar had exited the band]. I think he was a bit drunk,” Osbourne continued, acknowledging the familiar situation when he stated, “We’ve all done one of them — calling at four o’clock in the morning, going, [intentionally slurs speech].”

The world never got to see Ozzy sing in Van Halen and, currently, fans are hoping they can see Ozzy at all as the rocker has had to postpone multiple world tour legs on the “No More Tours 2” farewell run, due to both injuries and the coronavirus pandemic. He most recently booked a 2022 European and U.K. trek with Judas Priest.

Ozzy Osbourne Remembers Eddie Van Halen

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Ozzy Osbourne’s Health Regime ‘Inspiring,’ Says Daughter

Ozzy Osbourne’s oldest child, Aimee, said the veteran singer was “doing really well” as he dealt with the health issues that have befallen him in recent years. Meanwhile, his wife, Sharon, confirmed that his farewell tour has been rebooked.

Osbourne’s road trip went through several postponements even before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the live-music industry, as he struggled with a life-threatening blood infection then a serious fall that sent him back to surgery. Last year, Osbourne admitted he’d fallen victim to depression before refocusing to work on his most recent album, Ordinary Man.

“He’s doing really well,” Aimee told Yahoo! Entertainment in a new interview. “He got an incredible physiotherapist, and he has really just come leaps and bounds. He swims an hour a day and does his physio an hour a day, and he’s a very regimented, disciplined person. So that’s very inspiring.”

She also said she’s spent the entire isolation period with her parents, calling it “quality time.” “There have been a couple of scary moments, where any time you have a slight temperature or you don’t feel 100 percent, and your mind goes to the worst place,’ Aimee explained. “There’s been a couple of times where it’s been like, ‘Oh, my God, what if I’m sick?’ But I think everyone has gone through that during this year at some point.”

In a separate interview with Planet Rock Radio, Sharon noted that “Ozzy’s tour has been rebooked. The British tour, he’ll be back in ’22. … Everybody’s booking their tours again for, like, 2022, and to find availabilities right now, it’s crazy. … Agents and facilities are going nuts, trying to get everybody back. It will be exciting. I think it will be a very exciting time when bands do go back, and it’ll be joyous.”

She also said Ozzy was continuing work on his next album, which was delayed while producer Andrew Watt recovered from COVID-19. “We’re going to do a movie of Ozzy’s life story and he’s got to do the soundtrack to that,” she note. “So, I’ll keep him busy, let’s put it that way.”

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‘The Osbournes’ Brought ‘Bad-News People’ Into Family Home

Aimee Osbourne, the eldest child of Ozzy and Sharon, recalled how the success of the reality TV show The Osbournes resulted in the family home being full of “bad-news people.”

Five years after releasing her first single under the name ARO, Osbourne also explained why she didn’t want mom Sharon to manage her career, even though she’s close to both of her parents.

Aimee was 18 when The Osbournes premiered. Now 37, she remains comfortable with her decision not to be involved with the show and having her face blurred the few occasions she did appear onscreen. “I moved out because it was just a bit too chaotic for me,” she told Yahoo! Entertainment in a new interview. “It wasn’t an easy time. In retrospect, I think my parents would have liked to have maybe done things a little differently. … There were definitely moments when I think all of us were like, ‘This is almost too much.’ No one was anticipating quite the level of exposure and interest that it got.”

She added that “it was a level of fame and exposure that attracts a lot of bad-news people who are kind of like parasites. I remember going over to visit my family’s house and seeing a bunch of cling-ons that literally no one really even knew, but were just at the house because it looked great on camera. My siblings [Kelly and Jack] were super-young, and when you are that young, you make friends really quick. They had false friends all of a sudden showing up. It was kind of an explosion.”

Aimee said she wound up “being taken for a bit of a ride” as she worked on her debut ARO album, Vacare Adamare, which will arrive on Oct. 30. “I think people assumed that it was an easy payday — you know, that I must have access to limitless funds, and so therefore they had a right to easily dip into that,” she explained. “It delayed things, and it made things really messy. … But it has definitely helped me become very good at being able to tell if someone’s interested in any capacity with my project for the right reasons.”

Asked why she didn’t ask Sharon to manage her, Aimee said, “She comes from a generation where management was handled a little differently from how it is today. Also, the genre of music that I make isn’t something that she was necessarily super-familiar with. … I mean, there were all these common-sense questions that I, of course, would turn to her for, but as far as the nuances of everything that I was trying to do and the way I was trying to do it, we are very different in that way. That’s why it was healthier for both of us to be supportive and there for each other, but not directly involved business-wise with each other.”

Aimee also said Ozzy was “super-supportive,” but added that “he’s always got so much going on, as far as his own work and his own writing. He’s forever listening to music and painting and writing poetry or lyrics or toplines. He’s very dedicated and committed to what he does, so he’s not necessarily got loads of time. … He has commented on a couple of the tracks that he really liked on the album. He’s the perfect combination of being supportive but not overly involved to where it can feel a bit suffocating.”

Both Ozzy and Sharon were concerned at Aimee’s decision to enter the music business, she noted, but added, “I think, for my parents, knowing that I was a sensitive and creative person, they were concerned that I wouldn’t develop enough of knowing when to say no. I grew up in a world with direct access to fame and a really blessed lifestyle, and it’s been a wonderful gift. I’ve really focused on never taking that for granted, because I know where I come from is not the norm.”

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Ozzy Osbourne Farewell Tour Rebooked for 2022

Ozzy Osbourne fans will finally get to see the Prince of Darkness in 2022. Following Ozzy’s recent health issues and COVID-19 shutting down the live music industry, Sharon Osbourne has confirmed Ozzy’s No More Tours II run will take place in 2022.

“Everybody’s booking their tours again for like 2022, and to find availabilities right now, it’s crazy,” Sharon tells Planet Rock Radio. “Agents and facilities are going nuts, trying to get everybody back. It will be exciting. I think it will be a very exciting time when bands do go back and it’ll be joyous.”

Through Ozzy’s recovery from a nasty fall which displaced metal rods in his back and his ongoing struggle with Parkinson’s, stepping back onto the stage has been a constant source of motivation for the metal icon.

“Ozzy’s tour has been rebooked. The British tour, he’ll be back in ’22. You know, we just carry on as normal. We’ve been doing loads of TV shows here and you’ve got to just keep going until Ozzy can go back live.”

An Ozzy Osbourne biopic is currently in the works, as revealed back in May. “There is absolutely things in motion right now to make [the movie] a reality,” Jack Osbourne told the Jasta Show. “I think in the next few months, you’ll probably see something coming up about it. But we haven’t landed [at a studio] yet. So, fingers crossed.”

Stay tuned for the full list of Ozzy Osbourne tour dates.

Photos: Ozzy Osbourne Through the Years

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Ozzy Osbourne Reveals How He Spent His First Royalty Check

You may have visions of what would happen when the money starts rolling in as a musician, but it might surprise you that Ozzy Osbourne‘s first purchase after receiving his first royalty check was less than glamorous.

While appearing on SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard with host Billy Morrison (heard below), Osbourne revealed exactly what his first royalty check went toward. “I bought a pair of shoes, a bottle of Brut and I went to the pub,” recalls the singer.

For those not familiar, Brut was a cologne launched by Faberge that became popular in ’70s and ’80s TV ads. The Brut line later expanded to include aftershave, balms and deodorants.

“Brut’s like a cheap fucking cologne and aftershave,” says Osbourne. “But it was better than what I was smelling [like] at the time. But mind you, armpits and fucking Brut smells fucking great.”

Obviously things picked up quite a bit from there as Black Sabbath issued five studio albums in the first four years of their career, putting themselves on the map musically and becoming a major player in the heavy music scene. But the extravagance of living like a rock star didn’t happen overnight for Osbourne.

These days Osbourne is keeping busy with solo music, having released his Ordinary Man album earlier this year and already starting work on the follow-up with producer Andrew Watt during the pandemic downtime. That said, Osbourne is anxious to play shows again, issuing a plea to his fans to take coronavirus seriously.

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the fucking stage,” says Osbourne. “[Let’s] get this coronavirus under control. We can do some fucking gigs, please. If you’re listening to this show, please, don’t be dumb school and go to one of them stupid Covid fucking parties. That’s for fucking fools because it is real, it isn’t a conspiracy and it will kill your ass.”

Ozzy Osbourne Tells SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard What How He Spent His First Royalty Check

Ozzy Osbourne Issues a Plea Above “Covid Parties” to His Fans on SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard

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One of Ozzy Osbourne’s Grandchildren Tested Positive for COVID-19

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne‘s granddaughter and Jack Osbourne‘s youngest child, Minnie Theodora Osbourne, has tested positive for COVID-19, Sharon revealed on Monday (Sept. 21).

She brought the news to The Talk, the CBS daytime talk show where Sharon regularly appears alongside co-hosts such as Carrie Ann Inaba. Via videoconference, the Osbourne matriarch explained that she’s currently in quarantine but that neither herself, Jack or Jack’s other children have tested positive.

Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.

“I was meant to be in the studio, I was so looking forward to it,” Sharon said. “And then, unfortunately, one of my granddaughters has come down with COVID. She’s okay; she’s doing good. I don’t have it, her daddy doesn’t have it, her mommy doesn’t have it. Her sisters don’t.”

Jack’s junior daughter is still a toddler, and Sharon underscored her young age when speaking about the situation on The Talk. The extent of COVID-19’s infectivity concerning babies and children has been a hotly debated topic since the coronavirus first emerged late last year.

“[Minnie] got it from somebody who works for my son,” Sharon made clear on the broadcast. “And it just goes to show you — she’s 3 years of age — that children can get COVID.”

It was unclear on Monday if Ozzy was also in quarantine or had recent contact with the child. (In late August, Jack shared an Instagram photo showing he and his daughters vacationing with the veteran rocker and Sharon.) Before the pandemic, a string of health issues had forced Ozzy to postpone several tour dates before he ultimately revealed a diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease in January. He still hopes to tour in 2022.

Sharon Osbourne on The Talk – Sept. 21, 2020

Photos: Ozzy Osbourne Through the Years

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‘Blizzard of Ozz’: 10 Facts Only Superfans Would Know

After his dismissal from Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne felt his career was over. Drug and alcohol-ridden and living in awful conditions, the singer was giving up, and chose to let the party end him until he was confronted by Sharon Arden.

The daughter of Black Sabbath’s manager, Arden knew Osbourne had more life and music left in him, so she offered to manage him (and they later married). He eventually got a band together and began working on what would be his first album without Sabbath, Blizzard of Ozz — the piece of work that would ultimately turn his entire life around.

1. It was supposed to be released as a band effort rather than solo.

Despite being recognized as Osbourne’s debut solo album, it was actually supposed to be considered a band effort. It was supposed to be a self-titled album by the band Blizzard of Ozz, with Osbourne’s name added for credit. The cover ended up displaying Osbourne’s name in larger font than the band name, so it appeared to be an album by Osbourne himself, instead.

2. Osbourne felt it was a competition.

The singer later admitted he felt like the album was going to be in direct competition with Black Sabbath, who had replaced him with Ronnie James Dio. Their first album with Dio, Heaven and Hell, was released just months before Blizzard of Ozz and was very successful.

“I’d be talking out my arse if I said I didn’t feel like I was in competition with Black Sabbath when we made Blizzard of Ozz. I wished them well, I suppose, but part of me was shitting myself that they were going to be more successful without me,” Osbourne wrote in his autobiography, I Am Ozzy.

3. …but it outsold his best album with Sabbath.

Blizzard of Ozz outsold Paranoid, having sold over six million copies worldwide. Paranoid sold more than five million worldwide.

4. They didn’t say it all.

A last-minute song called “You Said It All” was put together quickly by the band because the label wanted a new single, but it was ultimately never recorded. A live version of the song appeared on the 1980 Mr Crowley Live EP. 

5. Gary Moore was originally supposed to play guitar on it.

Osbourne’s first choice for a guitarist for his band to record the album was Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore. Moore was “always hot and cold” according to Osbourne, most likely because of the singer’s unreliable reputation that got him fired from Sabbath to begin with.

Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads got the gig on the sly, anyway. Osbourne fondly reflects on how strong their musical chemistry was.

6. The song “Suicide Solution” was written about Osbourne.

Bassist Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics for “Suicide Solution,” which he said was based on Osbourne’s self-destructive behaviors. Many have speculated the song was about AC/DC’s Bon Scott, who had passed away around that time from alcohol poisoning, but Daisley affirms it’s about Osbourne.

“I was going the same way as Bon Scott,” the singer acknowledged in an interview with Classic Rock magazine.

7. And he was later sued over it.

In 1986, a teenager named John McCollum shot himself and was found with headphones on. According to his parents, side one of Blizzard of Ozz was on his turntable, which contains “Suicide Solution.” Because of lyrics in the song like, “But you lie there and moan
/ Where to hide, suicide is the only way out,” the teen’s parents sought legal action against Osbourne and his labels.

Though Osbourne felt terrible, he didn’t feel he was at fault. The judge threw out the case because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to claim the singer was trying to convince anyone to take their lives, and he was rightfully expressing freedom of speech. However, many felt he should have been more careful.

8. A goodbye letter.

Osbourne later admitted that he felt the song “Goodbye to Romance” was a goodbye message to Black Sabbath.

9. The issues of a reissue.

Osbourne had to hire a new bassist and drummer for the 2002 reissue of the album, since he had been sued by Daisley and original drummer Lee Kerslake for unpaid royalties after they were fired. The singer’s drummer at the time of the reissue, Mike Bordin, re-recorded the drum parts and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo played the bass.

10. A tribute to Rhoads.

“RR” is a Rhoads outtake that was recorded during the Blizzard sessions. It was later included on the reissue of the album as a tribute to Rhoads, who passed away just two years after the album initially came out.

Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1980s

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40 Years Ago: Ozzy Osbourne Releases ‘Blizzard of Ozz’

There are a number of reasons why Ozzy Osbourne’s solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz, which was released on Sept. 20, 1980, is one of the greatest albums in the history of metal. First, it was a stunning comeback from an artist who seemed completely stricken down and burned out.

In late 1978, after recording, eight albums with Black Sabbath, Osbourne was coming apart at the seams. Incapacitated by drugs and alcohol and dealing with debilitating writer’s block, he went AWOL and missed six weeks of rehearsal with the band. Ultimately, the other members of Sabbath – who had severe alcohol and drug problems of their own – decided they couldn’t move forward anymore with Osbourne.

“At that point, Ozzy didn’t want to do anything apart from go out and get drunk,” Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi told me for the book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal. “So it came to the point where the other guys said, ‘Well, look, if we don’t do anything we’re gonna break up. We’re not gonna stand it. We’re gonna leave.’ So that was the decision between the three of us. We said, ‘We’re gonna have to replace Ozzy.’”

At that point, Osbourne was living in a run-down hotel he could barely afford since he had spent so much money on cocaine and booze. He had lost his wife, his band, his self-esteem and, he thought, his charisma. But Sharon Arden, the daughter of Black Sabbath’s manager, Don Arden, felt that Osbourne had been the star of the show when he was onstage with Sabbath and could still be a part of something exceptional. So she took him under her wing, first as a friend and then as a manager and restored his confidence as a performer. Then she worked with him to put together a new lineup of musicians. Initially, they wanted to recruit guitarist Gary Moore, but he wasn’t interested, so, at the suggestion of Ozzy’s friend Dana Strum, they tracked down a young, virtuosic guitar player named Randy Rhoads.

“We drove to a studio somewhere so I could hear him play,” Osbourne wrote in his memoir I Am Ozzy. “I remember him plugging his Gibson Les Paul into a little practice amp and saying to me, ‘Do you mind if I warm up?’ ‘Knock yourself out,’ I said. Then he started doing these finger exercises. I had to say to him, ‘Stop, Randy, just stop right there.’ ‘What’s wrong?” he said. ‘You’re hired.’ You should have heard him play, man.”

From that point until March 19, 1982, Rhoads was Ozzy’s not-so-secret weapon.
To complete the lineup, Ozzy wanted Strum to play bass, but that didn’t work out so he added ex-Uriah Heep bassist Bob Daisley and one of Ozzy’s friends, Barry Screnage, as their temporary drummer.

With new blood, strong musicianship and excellent chemistry, Rhoads, Daisley and Osbourne started writing at a live-in studio in Monmouth, Wales. In early 1980 the band demoed three of their strongest and most popular songs, “Crazy Train,” “I Don’t Know” and “Goodbye to Romance” with drummer Dixie Lee. Realizing they needed someone who could keep a more powerful and consistent beat, they auditioned and hired drummer Lee Kerslake, who had previously played with Daisley in Uriah Heep. It was slight compromise since Ozzy was gunning for Tommy Aldridge who was busy at the time. But Kerslake served the band’s needs, though he and Daisley would both later get ensnared in a legal battle for unpaid royalties.

The Blizzard of Ozz band, as it was called at the time, flew to Ridge Farm Studio in Rusper, England to start recording the album with producer Chris Tsangarides. Max Norman was his engineer. The first song they tracked was “Goodbye to Romance,” a tune that would establish Osbourne’s reputation for balancing high-energy anthems with heart-on-sleeve ballads. They repeated the formula on the haunting “Revelation (Mother Earth).”

Other standouts on the album were the storming “Steal Away the Night,” the occult-themed “Mr. Crowley” the classical guitar instrumental “Dee” and the controversial “Suicide Solution.” Some thought the song advocated suicide, but it was actually a warning about the dangers of drowning in alcohol.

Nonetheless, in 1984 after teenage fan, John McCollum, shot himself in the head, possibly after listening to the song, the boy’s parents sued the Prince of Darkness and CBS Records for encouraging vulnerable individuals to commit suicide. The case was dismissed by a court, which determined that Osbourne’s freedom of expression was protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Ironically, Ozzy and his bandmates were initially disappointed with the sound of Blizzard of Ozz. They blamed Tsangarides, who they fired, and promoted Norman to the producer’s chair. Though he’s not credited on the release, Norman strengthened the sound of the record and worked as Ozzy’s producer until 1986’s The Ultimate Sin.

When the Blizzard of Ozz band finished the album, CBS Records created artwork that featured Ozzy’s name in large print and Blizzard of Ozz in much smaller font. Immediately – mistake or not – the album was considered Osbourne’s first solo album. In all likelihood, when the label realized how strong the record was, they figured it would be easier to market as the solo album from Black Sabbath’s former singer than as a totally new band.

“By the time we got Blizzard in the can, I knew we had a cracking album,” Ozzy wrote. “We had a couple cracking albums, actually, because we had a lot of material left over when we were done.”

Some of that material was used on the follow-up to Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, which was written quickly and recorded between February and March 1981. By then, Osbourne was still partying heavily, but he was back at full strength, able to record and perform exceptionally using muscle memory. All it took was a major injection of success.

“Even if you think something’s brilliant, you never know what the general public’s going to pick up on,” wrote Osbourne in I Am Ozzy. “But as soon as the radio stations got hold of ‘Crazy Train,’ it was a done deal. The thing just exploded.”

Blizzard of Ozz entered the Billboard album chart at No. 21 and it was No. 7 in the U.K. The album was certified gold July 31, 1981, and platinum June 18, 1982. To date, it has sold over four million copies in the U.S.

In 2002 Osbourne reissued Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, but since he had been sued by Daisley and Kerslake, their parts were re-recorded for the release by bassist Robert Trujillo and Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin, who was playing in Osbourne’s band at the time. Some fans were outraged by the move, which Sharon said was Ozzy’s decision, while the Prince of Darkness claimed he didn’t even know the albums were revised until after their release. A later reissue of the Blizzard of Ozz, which came out in 2011 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the record, featured Daisley and Kerslake’s original bass and drum parts. The reissue also included the B-side, “You Looking at Me, Looking at You,” a previously unreleased version of “Goodbye to Romance” and “RR,” a Rhoads solo outtake from the original album session.

To date, Blizzard of Ozz isn’t just one of the most successful metal albums of all time, it’s also one of the most influential. “The first album I got knowing full well that it was heavy metal was Blizzard of Ozz,” says Testament lead guitarist Alex Skolnick. “I wasn’t familiar with Sabbath yet. But that was a great discovery for me. And hearing Randy Rhoads playing was completely mind-blowing and pretty much reinvented the way I thought of the electric guitar and what you could do with it, which was pretty amazing.”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Blizzard of Ozz Placed in the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Debut Albums of All-Time

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Uriah Heep and Ozzy Osbourne Drummer Lee Kerslake Dead at 73

Lee Kerslake, who played drums with Uriah Heep, Ozzy Osbourne and others, has died at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer that began around 2015.

Semi-retired for health reasons since 2007, Kerslake was best known for appearing on Osbourne’s first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, and for the legal dispute that arose over his contribution to the early ‘80s titles.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I share with you that Lee Kerslake, my friend of 55 years and the best drummer I ever played with, lost his battle with cancer at 03:30 this morning,” Kerslake’s longtime Uriah Heep bandmate Ken Hensley wrote, according to Classic Rock. “He died peacefully, praise the Lord, but he will be terribly missed.”

English-born Kerslake’s first notable appointment came with a band called the Gods, with whom he recorded the albums Genesis and To Samuel a Son in 1968 and 1969, and in 1970 he appeared on Orgasm with Head Machine and Toe Fat’s self-titled LP. All these projects featured Hensley, who became part of Heep’s founding lineup. In 1971 Kerslake played on Albert One with National Head Band.

“The English scene was always at a boil,” he recalled in 2002. “We were always waiting to get connected in English music, because there was so much cross-talent. Where I was born and bred, there were major musicians Bob Fripp, Greg Lake, John Wetton – and I consider myself somewhere in among that league. There were some fabulous musicians, but the only way we could make it was to go up to London, because it’s the heart of the music industry.”

Later in 1971 he reunited with Hensley in Heep in time to become a member of their classic-era lineup. The drummer’s first studio appearance came on their fourth album, 1972’s Demons and Wizards. “When I was offered it the first time, I turned it down,” he admitted. “And it wasn’t [Hensley] that was the deciding factor. It was when I met [band leader] Mick Box. Mick and me got together down at Jubilee Studios. … I set my kit up, he set his guitar up and we just started playing a bit and jamming. About three and a half hours later, when we put our instruments down, we looked at each other and went, ‘Fancy a beer?’”

He added of breakthrough LP Demons and Wizards, “Mick and others said the missing link was, they didn’t have the drummer – they didn’t have the harmony choral parts quite there … I was the missing part of the key, so to speak. From then on, I wrote music as well. I wrote three songs with Mick on that album, and with David Byron. It seemed to gel when I joined. We all worked with each other.” He played on eight further LPs before being replaced by future AC/DC drummer Chris Slade for 1980’s Conquest.

That same year Kerslake met Osbourne, who’d recently been fired by Black Sabbath, and helped found the band Blizzard of Ozz alongside bassist Bob Daisley and guitarist Randy Rhoads. He recalled receiving a call from an agent in Germany: “He phoned me up and said, ‘I didn’t know you’re not in Uriah Heep. Do you want to join the band Ozzy Osbourne’s trying to put together?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. We’ll audition each other.’ I auditioned them, and they auditioned me. It was the first time I ever heard Randy Rhoads play. I knew Bob Daisley – I knew how good Bob was. When I heard Randy, I just went, ‘Wow!’ And when he heard me, he jumped about three feet in the air. I hit the drums and they went off like a couple of cannons and hit him in the back! He just jumped for joy. It was great. As much as they were impressed with me, I was certainly impressed with Randy and Bob.”

He remembered the musical experience as incredibly positive, saying, “The recording was fun, because we were left to our own devices – me, Bob, Randy and Ozzy. …We all used our own experiences. I would come up with ideas from Randy’s guitar part. Randy would come up with ideas for a riff, and give me a drum pattern to it. It was great. Wonderful. And the tour was excellent, because it was so tight. Professional. It was really good.

“As soon as we finished that English tour, things started to take flight with Blizzard of Ozz and we were asked to do another [album] together. That’s when I had the opportunity to come in with a lot more ideas. That’s when I co-wrote six of the songs. I had ideas from other things I’d been writing. Plus what Randy had, and what Bob had. We put them all together. On a couple of the tracks I think we churned out two of them in about eight or nine minutes. That was the magic.”

Things began to go wrong during the Madman cycle, Kerslake said. “[T]he only annoyance we had was we were trying to get them to give us the money they promised up front. We were going in, doing the album, and saying, ‘Wait a minute. You’ve got a record deal. We want some money up front. We need to have some money to live off of, and get ourselves together.’ … They said ‘OK, guys, you’ve got your deal. Now go back and finish the album.’ So we thought, ‘That’s great.’ We went away for a break, and next we found out [Daisley and I] were out.

“Everything [had been] working fine. It was only when Sharon [Osbourne] came in that we had a problem… she wasn’t the manager until Diary of a Madman. … [S]he came in and it started to get edgy. But we never suspected a thing until we went away on holiday. Next minute, they’re rehearsing with Tommy Aldridge and Rudy Sarzo, and going to America. Ouch.”

After his 1981 dismissal – with the official line having been that his sick mother needed his care – Kerslake received a call from Mick Box, who wanted to reinvent Heep, so he rejoined and brought Daisley with him. “Our minds were taken off [Diary of a Madman]. We were too busy getting Uriah Heep off the ground,” the drummer said.

However, foundations for the future legal dispute had been laid when Kerslake and Daisley were denied Madman songwriting credits they believed they were entitled to, and neither were named in the recording credits. Aldridge, of Whitesnake fame, spoke in 2005 of his involvement in being named and pictured as the drummer on the LP: “I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s not my drumming on that album. I have never taken credit for that recording and have always given Lee Kerslake, whenever asked or interviewed, the credit he rightly deserves. … As for the photo, it was as big to me as well. I first saw it when everyone else did… when the record was released. It was not my choice/decision for that image to imply that I was on the album.”

Part of Kerslake’s argument centered on the musicians’ assertion that Blizzard of Ozz had been a band of equals, while Sharon Osbourne argued that it had always been a solo project with three hired hands. The lawsuit went to court in 1998, with Kerslake and Daisley claiming credits and royalties. The case was ultimately dismissed in 2003, leaving the pair bankrupt. The previous year, reissues of both albums had featured new drum and bass tracks by Mike Bordin and Robert Trujillo respectively, with the originals only returned in 2011. “That was a really kind of fucked-up thing,” Faith No More and ex-Ozzy drummer Bordin said later. “That wasn’t what I was going in expecting to do. It wasn’t the way it was presented to me at all. I never knew that.”

“The audacity!” Kerslake said in 2002. “Whatever we’ve done to deserve that, I have no idea. It doesn’t make me look bad, or Bob look bad. It makes Ozzy and Sharon look terrible for doing such a destructive thing. Those first two albums have stood the test of time – 20 years – because of us writing and playing them. … It’s like taking a Harley-Davidson and making it sound like a Yamaha. … It is senseless, because at the end of the day all the fans are gonna realize… that’s why suddenly I’m getting inundated with interviews.”

In 2003 Kerslake and Daisley recorded their own versions of some of their Osbourne tracks with Living Loud, which also featured Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse and Australian singer Jimmy Barnes. Kerslake continued to work with Uriah Heep until his health-related departure in 2007, after having appeared on 13 more studio albums. A band statement said that he’d “found the rigors of constant touring increasingly stressful and will now take the opportunity over the next few months to embark on a stringent campaign in order to resolve his health issues.” Box lamented the departure of “not only someone who I have worked with for some 35 years, but also one of my closest and oldest friends who I love like a brother.”

In 2009 Kerslake explained, “I’ve had a lot of illnesses which I’ve refused to let take me over and beat me. But there are certain things you cannot beat, old age and everything that comes with it. You can’t deny that. That’s why I had to retire. I have rheumatism in my neck bones, from shoulders to the brain. So because of this I have a headache 24/7. It’s bit of a pain but I’m not going to complain because that’s my life. I’ve had a tough life, I’ve lived hard and fast and I’ve enjoyed it. And I’m enjoying it now probably more than ever. … I couldn’t do a three-month, six-weeks on one go anymore. It just takes all out of me. But I still play just as hard on the drums. As I did when I was 25. Except now it hurts!”

Among other projects, he formed his own Lee Kerslake Band to continue working periodically and also appeared alongside Hensley and fellow ex-Heep man Paul Newton on occasion. In 2015 he and Hensley appeared with Heep for a two-hour reunion show in Moscow.

He announced his cancer diagnosis in 2015 but asserted his determination to defeat the illness, saying, “I have had numerous tests and have been told by my specialists that I will be around for a good while yet — meaning years. My bone and prostate cancer can be controlled for me to live pretty much a normal life — after all, I kicked my diabetes into remission, so I will bloody well beat this.” He added, “I still have a lot of loyal fans to play to, which I intend to do in the coming years. I also want a big spread on my 80th.”

He continued to work intermittently, pursuing a documentary about his career to be titled Not on the Heep. “I wanted people to realize there is camaraderie in the music industry between all the musicians, even when we don’t speak to each other for maybe 20 years,” he said in 2018. “I went to Joe Elliott’s house from Def Leppard and he did an interview, I went to Ian Paice’s house, and it was bloody wonderful – we played drums together.” He added that he also wanted the film to act as encouragement for artists who were trying to work through poor health. In addition, he reported he’d completed a solo album, Eleventeen, which he was “shopping” with a view to a 2019 release.

In 2018 Kerslake reported he’d been given eight months to live, and said the dispute with the Osbournes was “all forgotten and forgiven,” adding, “I’ve written to Sharon and Ozzy recently, a personal letter basically asking them to kindly send me platinum album certifications for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, to hang on my wall before I die. It’s on my bucket list. I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes. I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts. It costs me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house, and then started to get ill. … But a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic. … It would say I helped create those albums.” In January 2019 his wish was granted when the Osbournes sent him his platinum discs.

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