Ozzy Osbourne Talks Addiction
In his autobiography “I Am Ozzy,” newly released in the US, heavy-metal pioneer Ozzy Osbourne, now 61, chronicles his drug- and alcohol-fueled behavior. Gelu Sulugiuc of Bloomberg.com writes that Osbourne was hampered by undiagnosed dyslexia in school, later failing miserably at various factory jobs and at an incipient career as a burglar before realizing his rock-star dream with Black Sabbath.
Suluguic writes that the band’s quick rise to stardom with such hits as “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” propelled Osbourne into drug and alcohol abuse that lead to infidelity, neglectful parenting, abusive episodes with two wives, and a few near-death experiences over four decades.
“I should’ve been dead a thousand times,” Osbourne says in a telephone interview with Sulugiuc. “I’m not boasting about that. I don’t want people to read my book and think, ‘If he can do it then I can.’ I’m a very lucky guy to be alive. Drugs and alcohol were fun but there is also a very bad side about it. I don’t do it anymore.”
“Whatever I did, I did,” he says. “Everybody wants to take the road with the pot of gold at the end, but sometimes to get to that you’ve got to go across a few swamps and a few bad things. Would I do it again now? I don’t think so. But I’ve already done it, so I’ve got to accept it.”
Cocaine, hash, LSD, antidepressants and alcohol are recurring themes throughout the book, which was written with Chris Ayres.
“Drugs nearly killed me,” Osbourne says. “What I was doing was self-medicate, because I suffered from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. I didn’t like the way I felt because of the stigma that I had, so when I drank I thought that was the way I wanted to feel. I wanted to be carefree.”
He says he also regrets marrying his first wife, Thelma Mayfair, at the age of 20 and having two children by the age of 25. “I got married way too early and I got children way too early,” he says. “My parents never told me it’s not a good idea to get married early. I thought that’s what you do. What I do with my children, which I wish my parents had done with me, is talk to them. If they ever ask me questions I give them an honest answer.”
After numerous stints in rehab, Osbourne, who is working on a new solo record before headlining his Ozzfest festival later this year, says he has been clean “for about six or seven years now.”
“When I first tried to stop drinking I used to think, ‘How will I enjoy my life anymore?’” he says. “Then it shifted to, ‘At the end of the day where will I be?’ If I get off the phone now, smoke a joint, have