Thursday, April 8, 2010

Books That Rock: "I Am OZZY"

Post #92
Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography is the long awaited story of Ozzy's roller-coaster career as seen through his own eyes. Raised in poverty in Aston, Birmingham, England, and being a social outcast since his early childhood school days, Ozzy's highly unlikely rise to success in Rock N' Roll music is a fascinating story from page 1. Even more amazing and unlikely is the fact that he survived all the self-abuse he caused himself through his numerous harmful addictions and erratic, appalling behavior.

At this point in his life he has the perspective to look back on his life objectively, and he does so with humble & often brutal honesty. Reluctant to take credit for many of his successes, he never passes up an opportunity to thank those who have helped him out at the various stages of his life when he otherwise would have failed, or gone to prison, or been harmed, or may have died. He is not one to carry grudges, and has something good to say about almost everyone he's crossed paths with.

From a fan's perspective, I'm thankful to him for sharing his life-story with us. The context it brings to the music makes the songs more memorable. Some songs that I had almost ignored before, I now consider favorites. Others that I enjoyed for years are given more dimension by the events that gave rise to them. From his years with Black Sabbath, to his remarkable solo-career, the Osbournes & Ozzfests, my fanaticism has been fully rekindled.

Ozzy also mentions several musicians that have inspired him throughout his career. First and foremost are The Beatles. Led Zeppelin & Jethro Tull were other popular bands in the early days of Sabbath. One of my favorite passages was where Ozzy asked Tony Iommi if he'd heard the new Led Zeppelin album, and if he could believe how heavy it sounded. Tony casually replied, "We'll be heavier."

Ozzy also recalls the turbulent 80's with every appropriate emotion. The tragic death of Randy Rhoads, the 'Suicide Solution' lawsuit, the chaotic tour with Motley Crue, the biting-off of heads of bats or doves, the substance abuse and rehab.... Everything you've ever heard about Ozzy is put in perspective by the man who lived it. Check out this book & read it. Your heavy metal IQ will thank you for it!

Some songs that Ozzy specifically mentions (and are favorites of mine as well!)
From The Beatles: Roll Over Beethoven
-It Won't Be Long
-A Hard Day's Night

From Black Sabbath:
-Black Sabbath
-War Pigs
-Children of the Grave
-Changes (Later recorded as a duet with his daughter Kelly)
-Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
-Who Are You?

From Ozzy's solo years:
-Crazy Train
-Suicide Solution
-Goodbye to Romance
-Diary of a Madman
-Bloodbath In Paradise
-I Don't Want to Change the World
-Mama, I'm Coming Home
-My Little Man ( A tribute to his son Jack)
-I Don't Wanna Stop

1 comment:

tarleisio said...

This is a book I can't wait to read! because if your review is anything to go by, it looks as if the hype might actually be worth it!

As I wrote in my serial blog:
"In the world I lived in, this man WAS God, although he used another and very different term!"