Ozzy Osbourne executed an entire coop of chickens with a shotgun at point-blank range. His first job in the “music industry” was tuning car horns. He had to get a series of painful rabies shots after he bit the head off a bat. He got fired from a factory job for huffing a degreasing chemical, and he’s purchased truckloads of cocaine from a man who claimed to be an FDA agent. Bob Marley smoked the biggest joint Osbourne’s ever seen before taking the stage on Top of the Pops, and the famously straightedge Frank Zappa tried to score drugs off Osbourne “for his bodyguard.” Ozzy even fed hash to a priest. And he’s not only remembered it all — despite his dyslexia, he’s written it all down.
Sure he did. Maybe it’s naïve to think this autobiography by the man who usually couldn’t even pen the lyrics to Black Sabbath songs wasn’t ghostwritten, but I Am Ozzy is rambling and obscene enough to be believable. And we’ve heard most of these stories before — the bat, the pigeon, a certain Texas landmark to be named later — but the insight into what was going on in Osbourne’s head at the time makes the book an incredibly fascinating (and totally metal) psychological case study.
Without fail, you’ll be happy to know, Ozzy acted like Ozzy because he was insanely high and drunk all the time. That goes double, by the way, for when he pissed on the Alamo. It’s true he was wearing Sharon’s nightgown (she’d taken all his clothes out of the room to keep him from leaving), but he swears he meant no disrespect. He just thought he’d found a nice dark corner, and he didn’t connect the wall he was spraying with the John Wayne movie he loved until after he was arrested. I Am Ozzy sets a new, impossibly high bar for celebrity memoirs while also serving as an effective 300-page advertisement for chemically induced brain damage. It may just be the last book you’re physically capable of reading. — Jeremy Martin