age has caught up with Ozzy Osbourne. At 74 years old, his health no longer allows him to continue offering tours. The news is unusual. The vocalist of Black Sabbath he had never given up the great machinery of his concertswhich were the same in Japan as in Mexico or Europe, the continent that dressed him in black.
This Wednesday he announced that, although his voice is in perfect condition, due to spinal injuries caused by a accident four years ago, he definitively retired from touring. “This is probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to share with my loyal fans,” he wrote in Twitter.
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Ozzy it grew far from the pacifist dreams of some English youth. He didn’t live in London or Manchester, where teenagers did alchemy with the blues negro, turning it into a sensual and danceable rocanrol.
Ozzy he lived in Birmingham, an industrial city that had been devastated in the Second World War and which was known as The Black Country (The dark country). Some of the deadliest German bombing raids took place there, leaving thousands of families—among them Ozzy— in poverty and homelessness. The sounds of cranes removing rubble and the noise of factories smelting metal day and night to rebuild the UK were the symphony John grew up with. Michael Osbourne —his real name—, shy and dyslexic boy.
One day, Ozzy received a comment from his father, a worker General Electric and Aston Villa fan: “I have a hunch, John Osbourne. Either you end up doing something very special or you end up in jail.” The man was right in his predictions: Ozzy He was in prison for stealing a television and later joined Black Sabbathas told in the autobiography I am Ozzy.
The voice of that boy from Birmingham found resonance with a group of misfits just like him: a guitar player big-fingered man named Tony Iommi, a bass guitarist violent and somewhat drunk named Geezer Butler and an energetic and eccentric drummer named Bill Ward. Together they formed a band that conceived the heavy metal Like the bastard son of rock and roll.
The purpose of Ozzy Osbourne -And all Black Sabbath—was to provoke fear and scandal. There were not a few newspapers that branded them as having made a pact with the devil. nothing new for the music of African American origin. At the turn of the 20th century, the same thing was done to guitarist Robert Johnson by white slavers on the Mississippi. Ozzy, in fact, was seen as some kind of antichrist who invited dark rituals. excesses of alcohol and cocaine in the band they increased the bad reputation of its members. People were unaware that the group sounded so dark because —among other things— it used the tritone, an interval musical Banned for centuries by the Church and then revived by the old peasants who played the blues in the cotton fields of the United States.
Always in the media, Ozzy Osbourne possesses a humor that leads him to exceed his borders as a rockstar. In several interviews he has expressed something that, at first, surprised him, but later he got used to it: thanks to his reality show from MTV, The Osbournes, millions of people began to identify him more as a television star than as a musician. And it is that although Ozzy keep singinghis name is already seen as a brand that is sold in the form of television series, beauty products, Funko dolls, clothing lines, sunglasses and even thermoses to take to the office.
The rebellious side, however, is not forgotten. His stories about having consumed industrial amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and all kinds of antidepressants have been confirmed by himself. Mind you, it’s not clear if he really did bite a live bat to death during one of his shows. Ozzy It doesn’t confirm it, but it doesn’t deny it either. He says that he was always high on cocaine. He is now 74 years old and only addicted to tea.
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Although diminished by the passage of time, her voice continues to be an unmistakable hallmark of how to sing in the heavy metal. Regardless of the range or tone, what is important, according to Ozzy, it is reflecting the same hysteria that the instruments around them detonate. By absolute majority, people who play metal —since Judas Priest y Iron Maiden even Metallica and Korn—agree that Osbourne holds the unique title of The Prince of Darkness (Prince of Darkness).
And it is that more than 50 years after the birth of the heavy metal Hand in hand with Black Sabbath, today the genre is far from being marginal or provocative. Ozzy’s voice continues to be, despite the years, leading. Just like when, without needing to look like a demon, he shocked the world just by opening his mouth.