Aging and appearing on a terrible reality show have reshaped Ozzy Osbourne's public image. Now seen as a lovable old coot, it's hard to remember that in the 1980s, Ozzy was one of the two scariest boogeymen lurking in popular culture. And while kids were pretty certain that the other boogeyman, Freddy Krueger, wasn't real, Ozzy most assuredly was.
With the Prince of Darkness coming to Cruzan Amphitheatre tonight with a reunited Black Sabbath, we thought it an opportune time to look back and reminisce about the ten scariest moments from Ozzy Osbourne's checkered past.
10. Peeing in Public
In 1982, Ozzy was arrested and banned from San Antonio for urinating on a monument commemorating the Alamo. Even worse, he was wearing his girlfriend's dress (who had hid Ozzy's clothes so he couldn't go out drinking) while peeing. Texans can forget intoxication, but they will always remember cross-dressing.
9. Peeing in Public II
In 1984, while touring Lakeland, Florida, with Mötley Crüe, Ozzy demonstrated his continued love for urination in women's clothing. After putting on a summer dress he stole from an elderly woman, Ozzy pissed on the ground, then got down and licked it all up the way a dog would lap up a water bowl.
Ozzy then dared Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx to do the same. Sixx peed on the pavement, but before he had a chance to fulfill the second part of the equation, Ozzy got down and licked up the sidewalk first.
8. Ants No Longer Marching
During that same night in Lakeland, Florida, Ozzy was desperate for cocaine. Since no one in his or Mötley Crüe's entourage had any, Ozzy picked up a straw and snorted a line of ants crawling on the ground up his nose. Some of the insects managed to survive and crawled out of his mouth.
Ozzy was just a bystander for this one, but while touring Florida in 1982, his guitarist Randy Rhoads was a passenger on a small plane. The pilot saw Ozzy's tour bus and continuously flew close to the bus. On the third pass, the plane's wing clipped the bus, causing a fatal crash that killed Rhoads, the pilot, and the tour hairdresser.
6. Pig Parts
During his 1981 Night of the Living Dead tour, Ozzy would pelt the audience every night with 25 pounds of pig intestines and cow liver. At a certain point, audiences came prepared with their own spooky ammunition to hurl back at Ozzy.
5. War on Oz
Taking a break from less serious crime, Reagan's FBI investigated Ozzy in 1982, while on tour in St. Louis on nefarious plans to urinate on the steps of the White House. Whether he planned to do such an act while wearing women's clothes has never been revealed.
4. Not a Solution
Two different sets of parents whose teenagers had committed suicide blamed Ozzy Osbourne's music and took him to court over it. The 1985 and 1991 cases both claimed the song "Suicide Solution" with the charming lyrics "Where to hide, suicide is the only way out/Don't you know what it's really about?" led their children to take their own lives. The court, however, ruled in the Prince of Darkness' favor.
3. The Bat Incident
In 1982, after a concert in Des Moines, Iowa, Ozzy had to get rabies shots. After Ozzy threw meat (see number 6) at the crowd, an audience member threw a bat onto the stage. Stunned by the light on stage, it lay motionless. Ozzy picked up the bat and bit off its head. When asked why, Ozzy said he thought the bat was a toy.
2. Prince of Darkness Eats Doves of Peace
The bat can be explained. He might have really thought it was a toy or perhaps was scared of vampires, but an incident in 1981 is inexcusable. Ozzy was scheduled to meet head honchos at his label, Epic. As a publicity stunt, Ozzy was supposed to throw two doves in the air. Instead he proceeded to bite off both birds' heads. According to a witness, Ozzy ate the heads and spit out the feathers as he was being kicked out by security.
1. Please Don't Stop the Music
Most sinister of all is Ozzy's role in MTV no longer showing music videos. Sure, MTV had original programming with The Real World and Beavis and Butt-Head, but after the widespread success of The Osbournes, starring Ozzy and his family, reality television represented a larger and larger percentage of MTV's programming. In 2010, this resulted in a symbolic change of MTV's logo erasing the words "music television" once and for all as part of the station's identity.
Black Sabbath, with a DJ set by Andrew W.K., 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach; 561-795-8883; cruzanamphitheatre.net. Tickets cost $25 to $125 plus fees via livenation.com.
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