Tribeca: Ozzy Osbourne, the rock star. And the family man? Not so much

This entry was posted on 26.04.2011

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Considering the Ozzy Osbourne overkill in the media within the last decade, it would be no surprise if you give “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” a pass. Especially if you know that Jack Osbourne, Ozzy’s son, is the producer of this documentary which premiered on Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival. What shall we expect? Another MTV soap opera? Think again – “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” is a surprisingly open and extremely interesting movie about one of the greatest singers of heavy rock.

There’s different ways to see the movie, directed by Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli. “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” tells the story of the singer, the madman (and drug-addict) and the family-man – the later being the most interesting of them all. And of course they all belong together.

Ozzy, the musician: Not surprisingly the movie isn’t able to reveal a lot. Together with Black Sabbath the singer wrote some of the most anthemic titles ever released in (heavy) rock. “Paranoid”, “War Pigs” and “Iron Man”, all released on the second album, are monuments of music – and these titles are just examples. “Crazy Train”, from “The Blizzard of Oz”, is one of the impressive tracks of his Post-Sabbath era. Interestingly though, the movie basically doesn’t mention any subsequent releases. But it does show Ozzy’s routine before a gig, including working-out, warming up his vocal cords (a very intimate procedure) and praying.

Ozzy, the madman and drug-addict – wow, did he live up to these descriptions. Even Tommy Lee, member of the notorious Mötley Crüe, thought Osbourne was too much. One day both Ozzy and the Mötley Crüe members sat at the pool at some hotel, trying to outdo each other. Vince Neil pissed on the ground and licked his own urine, but Ozzy beat him – by licking Neil’s urine. Later that day, Ozzy made a No. 2 in his hotel room and smeared the feces on the walls. “I am down with using the toilet,” Tommy Lee comments.

The drug habit started early – when Black Sabbath recorded “Vol. 4″, the band got “cereal boxes full of cocaine delivered to the studio”. Later on, the drug abuse got Ozzy fired from Black Sabbath. In one scene the singer looks at all the videos he did in the Eighties – he can’t remember any of them. “I was fed up with me being fucked up all the time,” Osbourne explained during the press conference for “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” why he finally got (and stayed) sober a few years ago.

But a lot had to happen until Ozzy got to that point – including one attempt to kill his wife Sharon. The singer woke up in jail, not knowing what got him there. This is the most touching part of “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne”.

The movie tells in brutal honesty how the singer destroyed his first marriage and how he left his children alone. “When he was around and wasn’t drunk, he was a great father,” his first son explains. The truth is, he barely was around and almost never sober. All the three children he has with Sharon admit that their dad was never around when they needed him. How devastating must it be to hear this on a big movie screen? Ozzy still has trouble remembering things – when the filmmakers ask him when his first daughter was born, he answers “in 1971 or 1972″. He has to look it up.

Ozzy regrets that he never had a real conversation with his father, a hard working man who made the original crosses for Black Sabbath. He was to wasted to be able to talk, and then his dad died.

The singer admits that it was shocking to see “what an asshole I’ve been in the past. You don’t realize how bad you are.” In the press conference he explained that he isn’t proud of his behavior. “But it’s part of my life.” And he deserves a lot of respect for not trying to cover this up in the movie.

It seems like he came to terms with his life and personality. After four decades he is finally able to do what he always wanted to – he got a driver’s license (after 19 attempts). What the movie doesn’t tell: He crashed his Ferrari the day after he bought it.

Also read “What an asshole I’ve been – Ozzy Osbourne about “God Bless Ozzy”

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