Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead are probably two of the most uniquely creative musicians to ever live. Lemmy is gone now, but Ozzy remains a multifaceted musician, friend, husband, and father. He’s grown and changed of course, but he is still amazing. Gus G., Ozzy’s current guitarist, told Blabbermouth Ozzy is really laid back these days.
“He’s a very, very cool guy — very laid back, very funny. I think he’s exactly the way people see him — you know, the way they know him from the TV shows. He’s a funny guy, he’s kind of clumsy, but he’s also a smart guy. And it’s just great to be around that guy. I mean, honestly, if he’s in the room, it’s just great to be a fly on the wall and listen to the stories from the past; it’s just amazing.”
Ozzy Osbourne takes care of his body now. He is eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest. Ozzy has given up drugs and alcohol after many years of the rock and roll lifestyle, but he still remembers, and sometimes, even though he is a very forward thinking person, Mr. Osbourne talks about the old days, just as Gus G. describes.
Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister was one of Ozzy Osbourne’s best friends from the time they met. At the time Lemmy was still in the band Hawkwind. Ozzy recalls that Hawkwind and Black Sabbath used to practice in the same facilities. Motorhead also opened for Black Sabbath’s first American tour. Ozzy told the Rolling Stone about partying with Lemmy.
“[Motorhead] would be partying every day. On that tour, I remember saying to Lemmy at one point, “Do you ever sleep?” And he goes, “Well, not much.” I go, “When was the last time you slept?” He said, “Let me think. Ten, 12 days ago.” I said, “You’re joking!” If I stayed awake for two days, I would be absolutely screaming, crazy. But they used to go for it … They lived on vodka, orange juice, soda, and they’d walk around with bourbon all the time.
Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath explained that at the time Motorhead and Sabbath were playing colleges, and any gig they could find. Ozzy said Motorhead was costing Black Sabbath more in the alcohol than Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead’s actual paychecks amounted too.
Black Sabbath’s dark, black magic image was misleading to the casual observer. Many people thought they were Satanic or in favor of the black arts, but in fact, the opposite was true. Tony Iommi once explained to The Guardian, that Sabbath’s message was meant as a prophetic warning against Satanism. Iommi, while still in his teens had a vision of the devil.
“It was peace and love, but then it all went pear-shaped. [The Devil] was a black shape, with horns and everything. I freaked out. That’s when we started warning against satanism.”
Tony Iommi believes very much in God. Geezer Butler says he does not, though he admits he prays fervently every time he is on an airplane. As for Ozzy Osbourne’s beliefs, Ozzy explained it this way to The Guardian years ago.
“I’ve done a good job of trying to kill myself for 64 years. But something’s kept me alive. I don’t know if it’s God, fate or whatever. I’m open-minded. But I don’t believe in organised religion at all.”
Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath are not about what is on his surface and neither was Lemmy Kilmister. Smart people never are, especially not about the important things. Osbourne is complicated and while he may not have that, simple faith so to speak, there is a faith in God there, rather than a fondness for the devil. Ozzy wants to believe. He certainly wishes those people who judge him so quickly would hear him out until the end of his songs, though. Black Sabbath music presents something complex, lyrically speaking, not what’s obvious in the first two lines.
“We were never really into the occult. It was a hobby until we started getting invites to black-magic rites in cemeteries. Then I got accused of doing this and biting that and there would be people picketing the arena with banners. But if you listen to the lyrics, there’s nothing that’s pro-black magic or pro-satanic worship. It’s like God Is Dead? – at the end it says: ‘I don’t believe that God is dead’, but they only hear the words ‘God is dead’.”
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead was a master when it came to writing lyrics. Once, Ozzy Osbourne was having a bit of trouble with a song he’d written. He left what he had so far with Lemmy for two hours, along with a book about World War II Osbourne had picked up for him. Kilmister was a huge WWII buff and a major collector of war memorabilia. Ozzy told the Rolling Stone what Lemmy said when he got back.
“[Lemmy Kilmister] said to me, “That book was crap also.” I said, “What book?” “The one you gave me.” He had read a book in an hour. I said, “Are you kidding me?” He said, “Do you like these lyrics?” And I think it was for “Mama, I’m Coming Home.” And I said, “They’re all right.” And he goes, “What do you think about these?” He’d written me three sets of lyrics.”
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Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, were not just party buddies, or guys who just work together. These guys ran deep. They traveled together till very near the end for Lemmy and the two were just as hungry for each other’s intellectual conversations as they were ready for a party. Most people don’t see how intellectual rockers like Lemmy Kilmister and Ozzy Osbourne are. Lemmy was a compulsive reader. He’d go through a whole stack of books in one night.
Even with Black Sabbath retiring soon, and Lemmy Kilmister passing away nearly a year ago, Ozzy Osbourne isn’t about to stop rocking. He’s in it for the long haul, and despite whatever Sharon may say about her husband not singing “Crazy Train” when he is 75, Ozzy fully intends to prove her wrong.
Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath misses his friend, Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, and he loves his wife, who would like for him to quit, but Ozzy will be singing “Crazy Train” till his last breath.
[Featured Image by Ga Fullner and Aleksandar Kamasi/Shutterstock]