30 Incredible Stories About Rock 'n' Roll Survivor Ozzy Osbourne
By Sarah Norman | October 5, 2023
Ozzy Dismembered A Shark While Touring With Black Sabbath
Ozzy Osbourne, the iconic frontman of Black Sabbath and successful solo artist, has lived a life that's as wild as the music he's known for. From drug-fueled exploits with rock royalty like Motley Crue and Van Halen to wanton destruction of hotel rooms and national monuments, Ozzy has been at the center of some of the most outlandish stories in rock 'n' roll history.
Now, in this gallery of Ozzy's craziest moments, we invite you to delve deeper into the mythos of this larger-than-life figure. Whether you're a longtime fan or simply fascinated by the excesses of rock stardom, you won't want to miss these tales of Ozzy's wildest exploits. So come along for the ride and discover the incredible stories that have made Ozzy Osbourne a legend in his own time.
Tony Iommi shared a shocking story during his 2011 interview with the New York Post while promoting his book Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. According to Iommi, his bandmate Ozzy Osbourne took their drug-fueled antics to a new level when he hauled a shark into their hotel room, dismembered it, and covered the room in blood. Iommi portrayed this incident as just another day on tour for Black Sabbath, as drugs often lead to boredom and reckless behavior. The fact that Iommi provided no additional context and presented the story as normal behavior is both alarming and disturbing.
He Fought Off A Burglar In The Buff
During an interview, Sharon Osbourne recounted a peculiar incident involving a burglar who broke into the home she shares with her husband, the septuagenarian rocker Ozzy Osbourne. As it happened, the Black Sabbath frontman had a tendency to sleep without clothing, and this proved to be a formidable deterrent for the would-be thief. Sharon said:
About eight years ago... in the middle of the night, a guy broke in, he came into the bedroom while I was sleeping. [He was] by the side of my bed, took my two wedding bands and my engagement ring... Ozzy woke up to go to the bathroom and saw him in my dressing room. And so Ozzy's [unclothed] and Ozzy picks the guy up from behind, but he's [unclothed]. He lifts the guy up and Ozzy goes, 'He could sue me for [forcing myself on him]!' So he let him go and the guy jumps out of the window and takes all the jewelry.
He Bit The Head Off a Dove In Front Of A Group Of Executives
After leaving Black Sabbath to pursue a solo career, Ozzy Osbourne wanted to impress his new record label CBS. As a gesture of goodwill, he decided to release a set of doves into the air. However, things took a bizarre turn when Ozzy bit the head off the closest dove and spat it onto the ground while he was reportedly intoxicated. Despite describing the release of doves as a "sign of peace," the CBS bosses were initially indifferent to Osbourne's actions. It was only after this shocking incident that they started to take notice of him.
He Also Bit The Head Off A Bat
During his 1982 solo tour stop in Des Moines, Ozzy Osbourne was at the height of his infamy and demonstrated his audacious persona. The singer famously bit the head off a bat, an act that has become one of the defining moments of his career. In an interview on the TV show Night Flight, Osbourne explained that he initially thought the bat was a fake rubber prop, but soon realized it was real after he picked it up. When asked if the bat was alive, Osbourne confirmed that it was until he bit its head off. This deranged episode has become a lasting legacy of Osbourne's music career. Osbourne recalls:
I had to go straight from the gig to the hospital, and the guy said, ‘we better give you some precautionary rabies shots.' I had one in each rear, one in each arm, and one in the top of my leg – and I had to have that every night. For anyone out there who thinks it’s ‘cool’… and if you want to be a complete [idiot], try it.
He Was So Rude To A Group Of Satanists That They Cursed Him
In his autobiography, I Am Ozzy, the beloved British singer recounted an experience where his band was invited to perform at Stonehenge, the Druid Mecca of Britain. He expressed disbelief upon learning that some people actually practiced the occult. Osbourne described encountering individuals in black robes and white makeup who invited him and his bandmates to attend black masses at Highgate Cemetery in London after their performances. The incident left a lasting impression on Osbourne, who shared this anecdote in his memoir. He writes
I’d say to them, ‘Look, mate, the only evil spirits I’m interested in are called whisky, vodka, and gin... At one point we were invited by a group of Satanists to play at Stonehenge... We told them to f*** off, so they said they’d put a curse on us. Britain even had a ‘chief witch’ in those days… Mind you, we did buy a Ouija board once and have a little seance. We scared the s*** out of each other.
He Once Accidentally Drugged A Vicar
Osbourne knows how to party, so much so that he brings non-partiers into his orbit just by merely existing - that includes members of the clergy. He told GQ:
I’d bought some hash and I’d made a cake with it. I put it in a tin and went to the pub and I said to my ex-wife, ’Don’t let anybody eat this cake. It will be bad.’ Anyway, I came back from the pub a few days later and I did a double-take, because the vicar was in our house, having a cup of tea in the kitchen with a piece of this cake. I hadn’t got a driving [license], but he was slumped in my kitchen, so I had to drag him out by his hair, push him in the back of his car, drive him to his door and then walk home.
I thought I’d killed him. Then I saw him in a pub on a Sunday morning and he said, ‘I must have caught such a dreadful flu at yours. I hallucinated for three days and had to miss church.’ I was just relieved to see him.
Ozzy Got Wasted In The White House
In 2002, during their peak of reality TV fame, the Osbourne family was bizarrely invited as guests to The White House. However, the event turned out to be a nightmare for George W. Bush, the then US President. Ozzy Osbourne, the notorious Black Sabbath leader, made the most of the free bar and had a great time, while Bush was allegedly so annoyed with him that he muttered, "This might have been a mistake." The two never developed a friendship and haven't met since.
He Nearly Killed Sharon
Ozzy Osbourne would often party for days on end, getting blackout drunk and leaving him with immense anxiety when he wakes up with a massive hangover. His biggest fear was waking up with no recollection of the previous night and having potentially killed someone in a fit of violence. Unfortunately, his worst nightmare nearly became a reality. He recalled:
I woke up in this little single cell... I thought, what… have I done now? Has one of my practical jokes backfired? So I asked a police officer. I said: ‘What am I here for?’ I hadn’t got a clue. It’s the most horrific feeling. He read me a piece of paper, and said, ‘You’re charged with attempting to kill Mrs Sharon Osbourne.’ I can’t tell you how I felt. I just went numb.Sharon added to the horrific story:
We’d had a couple of fights. You can tell it was building to something, you could just feel it. I just knew it was coming. I had no idea who sat across from me on the sofa, but it wasn’t my husband. He gets to a stage where he gets this look in his eyes where his shutters are down and I couldn’t get through to him. He was calm—very, very calm—and he lunged across at me. I felt the stuff on the table and felt the panic button and just pressed it. Next thing I know the cops were there.
He "Redecorated" The Alamo
Ozzy Osbourne, during a night out hitting the bars of San Antonio, Texas, in 1982 got so drunk that he ended up urinating on the sacred cenotaph, an act that led to his arrest. Adding to the bizarre incident, he was wearing one of Sharon's dresses after she hid his clothes to stop him from going out, but it didn't deter him. Despite being heavily intoxicated, Ozzy was arrested by the police for his actions. A decade later, Ozzy is said to have donated $10,000 to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas caretakers of The Alamo before saying:
We all have done things in our lives that we regret. I am deeply honored that the people of San Antonio have found it in their hearts to have me back. I hope that this donation will show that I have grown up.
People Thought He Died After A Cocaine Duel
During a concert in Alabama in November 1978, Van Halen opened for Black Sabbath. Following the show, Ozzy Osbourne and David Lee Roth decided to challenge each other on who could consume the most illegal drugs without dying. The next morning, when their tour bus arrived in Nashville, Ozzy was missing, causing panic among the band and police being called. After a few hours of uncertainty, Ozzy was found in the hotel lobby, wobbling, but alive, and was greeted with chants of "Ozzy is alive."
Ozzy Had A Personal Little Person Who Accompanied Him On Tour
In the early days of his career, Ozzy Osbourne used his wealth to fulfill his desires, which included bringing a little person on tour with him. John Edward Allen, a Broadway actor who had appeared in movies such as Bladerunner and Under the Rainbow, caught Osbourne's attention, and he was subsequently hired to join him on his Diary of a Madman and Speak of the Devil Tours.
Osbourne Snorts Ants With Mötley Crüe And Lives To Tell The Tale
In 1984, Mötley Crüe and Osbourne went on a tour filled with drug use and outrageous stunts. As part of a competition to outdo each other, Osbourne reportedly snorted a line of ants while at a hotel in Florida, cementing his reputation as the wildest member of the tour while maintaining his legend status. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx writes of this experience in The Dirt:
I handed him the straw, and he walked over to a crack in the sidewalk and bent over it. I saw a long column of ants, marching to a little dugout built where the pavement met the dirt. And as I thought, 'No, he wouldn’t,' he did. He put the straw to his nose and... sent the entire line of ants tickling up his nose with a single, monstrous snort.
It wouldn't be a collection of stories about Ozzy Osbourne if there weren't chaos. While staying with guitarist Zakk Wylde at The Four Seasons, Ozzy Osbourne grew bored and decided to throw a TV out of the window in a move that has become iconic in the world of rock 'n' roll. Without hesitation, he opened the window, picked up the TV, and hurled it out, causing a loud explosion when it hit the ground below. However, at the time, they were unaware that a man smoking outside the hotel was just seconds away from being struck by the high-impact TV. Ozzy was held responsible for the damages and ended up paying not only for the TV but also for three months' worth of room time, which totaled more than £40,000.
He Drove His Pregnant Wife To The Hospital While He Was Completely Wasted
It is a well-known fact that Ozzy Osbourne has never been one to shy away from a drink. However, when his first wife Thelma went into labor with their first child, the situation became more serious than a mere social indulgence. Urged by Thelma's insistence to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible, Ozzy found himself in a pickle. Not only was he drunk as a skunk, but he didn't even possess a driver's license. Despite the circumstances, Ozzy accepted the challenge, and with Thelma in tow, set off on his journey. Despite the odds stacked against them, they ultimately arrived at the hospital in time for Thelma to deliver their child later that day.
He Is... Cow Man
Before he became the frontman of one of the most influential heavy metal bands in history, Ozzy Osbourne spent years working a variety of unglamorous jobs. His resume included stints testing car horns, plumbing, and even thievery, but perhaps the most unexpected of all was his time at Digbeth Slaughterhouse, where he toiled for two years. At the tender age of sixteen, this was the first job Ozzy truly excelled at. Initially tasked with carving open carcasses and removing their innards, he soon rose through the ranks to become a cow killer, a role he described as involving "man-on-cow death matches." He later developed a specialty in removing cows' stomachs and dispatching pigs.
He Was Convicted Of Burglary Before He Was 18 Years Old
At the tender age of 18, Ozzy Osbourne found himself on the wrong side of the law, having been apprehended and found guilty of burglary. He served a six-week sentence at Winston Green Prison for his crime. Ozzy's haul, it transpired, was a modest one: a television set that tumbled onto him during his escape and was ultimately left behind, along with some infant clothing that he had mistakenly believed was adult-sized, and a smattering of t-shirts. In retrospect, Ozzy ruefully acknowledged his ineptitude as a thief, remarking, "I tried a bit of burglary, but I was useless."
He Used Patrol Car As A Urinal
Following a boozy dinner in Memphis back in 1984, Ozzy Osbourne vanished for the evening. According to accounts given in a recent documentary, the next thing he knew, he was waking up in the great outdoors, with a pressing need to answer nature's call. In a moment of alcohol-fueled misjudgment, Ozzy relieved himself on an unmarked police car, thoroughly drenching it in the process. The arresting officer allegedly told Osbourne:
When you’re finished shaking that thing, I’m taking your a** to jail.
It's clear that when alcohol is in the mix Ozzy has little care for where he is or who's around.
He Was Terrified By Whitney Houston
On a recent installment of "Ozzy Speaks," the SiriusXM channel hosted by the legendary heavy metal icon, Ozzy Osbourne recounted a chilling encounter with the late R&B icon Whitney Houston that left him badly shaken. He said:
When we were doing Dancing with the Stars [with one] of the kids, in one of the breaks, Whitney [Houston] came down to sing in the break, you know, in the show. And she came down and I saw her when she was on the prime of her things. When that woman sang, it was like something out of a… it was like mind blowing. And she came and she looked tired, burnt out. She stopped in the middle of it, and I thought she was looking at me. She was. She walks towards me and I’m going… I’m trying to think… my brain’s going, ‘Have I met her? Have I ever insulted her?'
Osbourne couldn't figure out how he knew Houston, but he assumed that he must have. He continued:
No, I’m, I’m going like, ‘have I met this woman? She’s gonna come over and tell me I’m a c***?' ‘Did I say anything about her in an interview?’
When Houston walked right up to Ozzy and said, "good to see you," he was even more confused. Ozzy looked to Sharon after the run in and said, "I never knew you knew Whitney Houston." She responded, "You never asked."
He Was Fired From Black Sabbath For Being Too Rock N Roll
After completing a 1978 tour with Van Halen, Black Sabbath relocated to Los Angeles, where they spent a year immersed in the creative process for their next album while indulging in whatever substances took their fancy. However, according to bandmate Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne's behavior during this time was on another level entirely. Despite the band coming up with new song ideas, Osbourne seemed disinterested and refused to sing them. As pressure mounted from the record label and frustrations with Osbourne's lack of input boiled over, Iommi ultimately made the fateful decision to dismiss the singer in 1979. For Iommi, it was a choice between letting Osbourne go or breaking up the band altogether. Iommi said:
At that time, Ozzy had come to an end. We were all doing a lot of drugs, a lot of coke, a lot of everything, and Ozzy was getting drunk so much at the time. We were supposed to be rehearsing and nothing was happening. It was like, 'Rehearse today? No, we'll do it tomorrow.' It really got so bad that we didn't do anything. It just fizzled out.
Drummer Bill Ward, who was closest to Ozzy at the time, was tapped to fire his singer and friend. He said:
I hope I was professional, I might not have been, actually. When I'm drunk I am horrible, I am horrid. Alcohol was definitely one of the most damaging things to Black Sabbath. We were destined to destroy each other. The band were toxic, very toxic.
He Went In Drag To Get A Drink
Ozzy Osbourne's reputation as a hard-living, rock 'n' roll icon is well known, and during his drinking days, his family tried every trick in the book to keep him from hitting the bottle. At one juncture, his wife Sharon went to extraordinary lengths, taking away all of his clothes and stashing them in a hotel room, under the assumption that he wouldn't venture out to a bar if he had nothing to wear. However, this gambit ultimately proved fruitless when Ozzy simply donned one of Sharon's dresses and made his way to the nearest watering hole.
Police Thought Ozzy Had Been Abducted, But He Was Just On A Binge
During a tour with Van Halen in 1978, Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen's David Lee Roth embarked on a drug-fueled binge that lasted until Ozzy vanished one day. According to a tour member who witnessed the events, Ozzy passed out for an entire day in the wrong hotel room in Nashville, leading authorities to suspect he had been kidnapped. In his autobiography, Roth corroborates this account and even reveals that Sabbath had contemplated continuing on without Ozzy, with Roth stepping in as the new vocalist. However, the plan quickly fell apart when Roth realized he didn't know the words to any of the band's songs, forcing everyone to wait for Ozzy to sober up.
He Painted Tommy Lee's Hotel Walls With His Own Feces
As far as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is concerned, Ozzy Osbourne's feelings toward the band were either overwhelmingly positive or intensely negative. In a bizarre incident related by Lee, Ozzy allegedly invited him to his hotel room, only to drop his pants and defecate on the floor before Lee's astonished eyes. Lee said:
He starts smearing [feces] all over the walls. He's painting with it! And I thought, 'This is some next level [stuff]. I'm not ready for this!'
British Airways Used His Yard As A Trash Target
Acclaimed photographer and music video director Dean Karr, best known for his work on the Dave Matthews Band's iconic "Crash Into Me" video, recently paid a visit to Ozzy Osbourne at his sprawling estate in England. While there, Karr made a surprising discovery: the Osbourne family weren't the only occupants making use of their vast property. Karr said:
They have the biggest plot of land; it’s like five football fields of endless manicured grass with Greek statues all over. So Jack and I were cutting across the grass on the quad and I stopped him because there were little three-inch plastic wrappers everywhere. I asked Jack what was up and he said, 'Oh hey, British Airways pulls the bilge over dad’s house once a week, and it just rains down these peanut wrappers.'
He Nearly Died In An ATV Accident
In 2004, Ozzy Osbourne narrowly avoided a tragic demise in a decidedly unglamorous manner: while piloting an ATV, he lost control and flipped the vehicle, subsequently falling into a coma that would last for eight harrowing days. Fortunately, thanks to the quick actions of his bodyguard, Ozzy was pulled back from the brink of death. Reflecting on the incident with the Sunday Mirror, Ozzy credited his survival to the heroic efforts of his protector, stating, "If it wasn't for Sam, I probably wouldn't be here. He had to bring me back to life twice."
Ozzy Essentially Bought A Hotel Room After Letting Off Fireworks In It
There are plenty of stories about rock stars smashing up hotel rooms and running up enormous bills, but Ozzy is one of the few (and possibly only) singers to essentially buy an entire hotel room after laying waste to it. Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi explained that after one particularly chaotic night on tour Ozzy did just that:
We were all woken by a huge bang and a whoosh! Smoke started seeping under my door so I opened it and saw Ozzy just going [wild]. He was letting all the fireworks off in the corridor. Alarms were going and the next thing I knew the police had surrounded him with guns. He was arrested and taken away. The eventual bill was more than $200,000.
The Man Has An Insatiable Drive For Hooking Up
After decades of being one of the most famous rock stars in the world it's no surprise that Ozzy has his fair share of stories about groupies, but this one takes the cake. He described this encounter in easily the most accommodating Holiday Inns in America:
So we’re in this Holiday Inn and I’ve just finished talking to [his then wife] on the phone when there’s a knock at the door. I open it and there’s this beautiful chick standing there in a little dress. ‘Ozzy?’ she goes. ‘The gig was awesome, can we talk?’ Off comes her dress, down go my trousers and after five minutes... off she went. Five minutes later there’s another knock on the door. I’m thinking, she probably left something in the room. So I get up to answer it but it’s a different chick. ‘Ozzy?’ she goes. ‘The gig was awesome, can we talk?’ These Holiday Inns are magic, I thought. Then there was another knock at the door. You can guess what happened next.
He Didn't Get His Driver's License Until He Was 60
Ozzy says that he's never held an actual driver's license because he's never been sober enough to take the exam, let alone pass a driving test. After a while, he had chauffeurs to do the driving for him so it didn't really bother him. He said:
The first test was about 1974, then '75, '76, '77, '78. I've lost count how many times. I remember one time I was doing the three-point turn and I passed out because I'd been to the doctor's earlier and got some Valium for my nerves. At the end they'd say 'You've failed,' and I'd be staggering around the car park. Some [examiners] would say, 'I'm not even ... getting in the car with you.' Would you?
Ozzy Almost Burned The House Down While Making A Sandwich
Despite his considerable wealth, Ozzy Osbourne seems disinclined to delegate the task of making his own sandwiches to a hired chef. In fact, he's been known to take matters into his own hands, even when the results are potentially disastrous. As his wife Sharon recently revealed, Ozzy once came perilously close to setting their house ablaze while attempting to fry up a bacon sandwich on his own. Perhaps it's time for the rock legend to reconsider the merits of outsourcing his culinary needs.
According to Sharon's twitter, Ozzy nearly burned their house down when he tried to make a bacon sandwich in the middle of the night. Now that's rock n roll.
He Accidentally Sent A Text To Robert Plant About A Cat
During an appearance on the Conan O'Brien Show, Jack Osbourne regaled the host with a story that neatly encapsulated his dad's lack of technical skills. As Jack recounted, Ozzy had once attempted to send a text message to none other than Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, informing him that he couldn't locate his cat. In a charming display of kindness, the elder rocker responded to Ozzy's message with a simple inquiry: "You can't find the cat?" Ozzy explained to the O'Brien:
I try, but I end up sending the wrong message to the wrong person. I can’t work a bloody digital watch, never mind a phone.
He Freaked Out Rob Zombie
It's a rite of passage for many celebrities to acquire their very own "Ozzy story," a memorable anecdote detailing their first encounter with the legendary heavy metal icon. For horror-rock luminary Rob Zombie, that initial meeting, which took place some two decades ago, was a decidedly uncomfortable affair, as he recently recounted during a conversation with Apple Music's Zane Lowe. Zombie detailed the unusual predicament in which he found himself thanks to the Black Sabbath singer:
Ozzy is great. I’ve known Ozzy for a long time. We’ve toured together for the first time maybe 20 years ago but I met him before. The first time I met Ozzy was really weird... I went to his house, I don’t remember why. And that was where I met him, at his house, and I thought, oh, it’s going to be a bunch of people. My manager will be there. Sharon will be there, whatever. It ends up to just me and Ozzy by ourselves. I just met him. He’s like, ‘Oh, Rob, I want to play you my new record.’ So he puts on his new record, I think he’s going to play one song maybe. He plays the whole album looking directly at me, singing most of it. And I’m simultaneously thinking, 'This is awesome, and this is so uncomfortable, I don’t know what to do.’
Zombie continued, noting that he's no longer uncomfortable around the singer:
Ozzy is great. It sounds so pretentious, but just the way it goes, I’ve been on… A lot of times, we’re on a private plane together and Ozzy will tell you the best stories, but I can’t tell, because it’s throwing other rock people under the bus, but they’re good stories.