Ozzy: Embrace success before ego gets in way
Ozzy Osbourne has warned young hopeful musicians to embrace the first years of their success – before ego and business concerns get in the way.
The Black Sabbath frontman wants rising stars to learn from his own experience, saying the years during which he recorded his first albums were the happiest of his career.
Ozzy tells In The Studio: “Having a car, flying first class, doing all this exciting stuff – it was a dream come true. The early part of the success is so much fun.
“The first two Sabbath albums were great for us because it was so new. Then all of a sudden it becomes deadly serious, because people start telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.”
With that added pressure came Ozzy’s infamous reliance on drugs – leading to his dismissal from the band he’d helped form. He remembers: “What happened with me and Black Sabbath was that, in the beginning we all had a purpose. But as it went along that inevitable thing stepped in called ego.
“The fact is that success does change you. When you’re hungry, you all have one goal, and that is to get successful. It affected me – I didn’t give a shit. I was full of cocaine and all the rest of the crap I used to do. That stuff makes you talk total horse crap.”
Ozzy has fought back since his lowest ebb at the end of the 1970s, culminating in the recording of a new Sabbath album, his first since 1979. And he remains vigilant about his drug problems.
“I’m not a bad person getting better, I’m a sick person getting well,” says the singer. “Alcoholism and drug dependency is a killer disease. I went to two rehab places and then I still went out again. And then I stopped again and then I started.
“I have accepted I have a problem with drugs and alcohol. That’s a big stepping stone, you know. I’m very lucky that I’m still alive and I’m also very lucky I can still put two words together.”
His message to rising stars is: “If you crack the egg, man, enjoy those first few years – because you never recapture them.”