5 Things You May Not Have Known About Ozzy Osbourne
- The “OZZY” tattoo on his knuckles were his own handiwork.
Osbourne was all of 16 when he decided to put ink to skin and tattoo his first name onto his knuckles, which is a decision that certainly paid off in terms of becoming one of the most iconic aspects of his heavy metal visage. Osbourne has also said that this was virtually the only occasion when he got a tattoo whilst sober, which seems credible.
- His history as a bully almost kept him out of Black Sabbath.
When Tony Iommi and Bill Ward responded to an ad at the local music shop which read, “Ozzy Zig requires gig, owns his own P.A.,” and went to the address that was listed, Ozzy’s appearance at the door led Iommi to snap, “Oh, no, forget it: I know this guy.” A year younger than Iommi, Osbourne’s predominant claim to fame was that he used to go around beating people up, and Iommi wasn’t of a mind to team up with someone so volatile. In the end, however, Ozzy teamed up with Geezer Butler, after which he came looking for Ward to serve as their drummer, but when Ward refused to go anywhere without Iommi, Iommi conceded and said, “Why don’t we all have a go? Get a band and see how it goes.” Thankfully, it went well.
- He tried to start a solo career before he was fired by Black Sabbath.
In 1978, Ozzy stepped away from Black Sabbath for a few months to work on a solo endeavor which was to be called Blizzard of Ozz and – at least initially – was to have found Ozzy backed by three former members of the band Earth, later known as Necromandus. In the end, the members of Black Sabbath asked Ozzy to come back to write and record the NEVER SAY DIE! album, and by the time Ozzy was asked to depart the band’s ranks again, he’d moved forward with new musicians.
- He sang lead on a track by Was (Not Was), one which almost featured backing vocals by Madonna.
The song in question, “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go to Bed),” was recorded in 1982 and released on Was (Not Was)’s 1983 album BORN TO LAUGH AT TORNADOES. Prior to achieving platinum-selling success on her own, Madonna recorded an audition vocal for the track, but the band opted against using it. The song itself wasn’t originally a hit, but several years later, the band re-recorded it for their 1992 album HELLO DAD… I’M IN JAIL, and in addition to having Ozzy update his vocals, the original plan was to belatedly utilize Madonna’s vocals. Unfortunately, she refused them permission, so they instead brought in Kim Basinger to provide additional vocals. (It should be noted, however, that Madonna’s version has managed to slip into the marketplace on a couple of compilations over the years.) Upon being released as a single, the song climbed to #4 on the UK Singles chart.
- Ozzy’s highest-charting single isn’t with Black Sabbath or by himself: it’s a duet with his daughter.
When Kelly Osbourne decided to pursue a singing career of her own, she got a major boost by joining forces with her pops on a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes,” which made it all the way to the top of the UK Singles chart.