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One of my greatest regrets is that I urinated on the Alamo.

By Snuggiepants/Kriegerfrau | Books | August 6, 2010 |

By Snuggiepants/Kriegerfrau | Books | August 6, 2010 |

if you have even the slightest bit of interest in Ozzy Osbourne, please check out this book. I’ve never been a huge fan (but also never disliked him), but after reading this, I really feel as though I know the guy. That’s crazy, I realize, but he and his co-author did such a great job capturing his life and his voice, that you feel all cozied up to him by the end.

Before I get ahead of myself, a bit about the autobiography: yes, he had a co-author. Osbourne is profoundly dyslexic. He can read, but has read only a few books in his entire life. He isn’t a writer, either, obviously. He quit school at 15 and by his own admission has spent most of his life turning his brain to jelly with alcohol and drugs. So yeah, Chris Ayres did the actual writing. Which worried me at first. Ghost writers can be horrible or they can be terrific.

But I didn’t have any reason to worry. Every single word absolutely sounded like Ozzy Osbourne. Completely. The co-author did a bang-up job crafting all of Ozzy’s incredible stories into some great writing. So that concern is put to rest.

The pacing is great, too. One of the pitfalls of any story, real or imagined, is getting too bogged down in a particular part or parts. Doesn’t happen here. There’s just as much detail about his pre-Black Sabbath days as there is about his Black Sabbath days as there is about his most recent decade, and everything in between. And it never feels like too much with names, dates, and places. I was easily able to keep track of who was who as the autobiography went on. I appreciated that.

He seems very down-to-earth and though he acknowledges his material wealth, it really doesn’t seem to have changed him the way it does to many other people. He’s still amazed he has an indoor “bog” and not a bucket outside, which is how he grew up. He’s mature and philosophical about his addictive behavior (he’s been sober for a while now). He describes how emotionally torn to bits he was when his father passed, then his mother, how terrified he was during Sharon’s cancer treatment, and it’s clear how devoted he is to her and his kids.

One thing I found amusing was how Black Sabbath came to be Black Sabbath, with all their dark magic, “Satanistic” stuff. They were just a blues-type group trying to get gigs, when one of the band members thought they’d get more attention if they had a bit of a darker edge. The Manson family was in the news, there was starting to be the tiniest bit of rebellion against all the flower power hippie love fest crap that had been going on for years, and they capitalized on that, strictly as a guess. As we all know, it worked, but I loved reading how Ozzy never failed to be amused and annoyed by the fans who took it all very seriously and would conduct rituals outside their hotel room doors.

Ozzy’s a clown, a bit of a lunatic (the biting of the dove head was done after being totally annoyed during a long meeting with CBS and of course while doped up on everything under the sun), and really a very anxious sad guy inside most of his life, but mostly he’s a good guy. The fact that someone who couldn’t write music or play an instrument ended up the front man of such a successful band and then such a successful solo artist is amazing. He even claims he should have ended up in prison and not in the life he did. But you like him because he’s so damn thankful for everything that’s come his way. Read this. It’s nearly 400 pages, but it only took me about 8 hours to read it, and when I finished, I wish it had been longer.

For more of Snuggiepants’ reviews, check out Kriegerfrau.