Ozzy Osbourne: ‘My problem, really, is I don’t remember I’m 70’ [He’s 69]

The singer on Black Sabbath, being superstitious and moving back to England

I am so pleased I gave up drinking. At one point, I never ever imagined going a day. I was a raging alcoholic. When I used to drink booze, I’d buy a Ferrari or whatever, and Sharon would always be getting rid of them so I didn’t do anything stupid when I was drunk.

I was always afraid of my mum or dad dying when I was a child. I used to play this game where if I ran on the road and stepped on a cracked paving slab, it meant that something bad was going to happen to them.

I’d like to be remembered for the work I did with Black Sabbath. I’m so proud of the music. But to be honest, just being remembered would be an achievement to me. I come from Aston in Birmingham, y’know? I used to play on bombsites. I don’t get to go back very often, but I went back for some BBC show once. There’s a guy living in the house I grew up in, and they charge people £200 to sleep in the bedroom I had as a kid.

Decision making is not a strong point for me. I have real problems with that. “Ozzy, do you want the red one or the black one?” “Oh I don’t fucking know, you pick.”

I thought I was going to fucking die when I met Paul McCartney. The Beatles are my favourite band. They’re the reason I got into music. And he’s a lovely man. Some people say he’s not, but I don’t give a shit. He was lovely to me.

It’s crazy that anyone would think I’d be in league with the devil, because I’m terrified of all kinds of shit. I’m very superstitious. I have to try not to be, otherwise I wouldn’t leave the house.

I tell you what I am scared of… rats. They’ve got so many diseases we don’t have the cure for. Also, I’m scared of war. I was so pleased I grew up after the war. Now it feels like there’s a war every fucking day. It’s not good.

I am a bit of a hypochondriac. If I wake up and I’ve got a lump on my neck, I don’t just think: “I’ve got a lump on my neck.” I think I’m going to die. Trouble is, I always think I know more than the doctor. In fairness, he doesn’t know what he’s fucking talking about.

I make good fish and chips. You can get fish and chips in LA, but they’re bollocks. If you come to LA and you want good fish and chips, go to one of the English pubs.

I’d like to move back to England one day. The weather is great here, but it’s so easy to fall into the LA bullshit. All the newspapers say I’m ill. Fuck off! I’m on the front of the National Enquirer, like: “Ozzy is dying, his last words were ‘Eugh’.”

The hardest thing about getting old is all my good friends are dead. My problem, really, is I don’t remember I’m 70 [he’s 69]. I don’t really know what 70-year-old people are supposed to do. So I just do my own thing.

Ozzy Osbourne headlines Download Festival on 10 June (downloadfestival.co.uk)


James McMahon

The GuardianTramp

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