Buggy's Reviews > I Am Ozzy

I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne
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Nov 24, 11

bookshelves: addicted, bio-memoir, shelf-11, demonexy, rock-gods
Read from February 12 to 17, 2011

Opening Line: "My father always said I would do something big one day."

I grew up in the 80’s so the Ozzy that I knew wasn’t the comical, stuttering MTV family man of today but the Prince of darkness. Black Sabbath’s scary, out of control singer who bit the head off of bats and doves and worshiped the devil. (Or so the rumours said) My brother used to play his records (yes I’m that old) during his rocker/bad boy phase (he’s now with the RCMP) and I remember being forced to listen to Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train and Bark At The Moon 24 hours a day. Ozzy’s exploits with drugs, women and Satan were legendary. In those days he was the ultimate in heavy metal music, if you wanted to be cool there just wasn’t anybody badder or scarier.

So you can imagine how strange it was for me to see him years later bumbling around with his family on MTV. Who the hell was this guy? Although he did provide an excellent example of the 80’s campaign “this is what happens to your brain on drugs” (anyone remember that ad with the fried egg?) It was hard for me to comprehend that this was the same man, Ozzy was the devil not a man who lived in the English countryside with a wife and kids. I was intrigued enough that I had to read his biography, to figure out which Ozzy was the real Ozzy. The truth is though, they both are.

Honestly this is one of the better rock biographies out there and I give credit to co-author Chris Ayers who’s managed to piece together all of Ozzy’s insane stories yet still allowed his true voice to ring through. I did wonder how on earth Ozzy could possibly write a book much less remember anything after 40 years of drug and alcohol abuse but it turns out the godfather of heavy metal remembers quite a lot. We start at the beginning in England with “John” growing up in a poor factory town without enough to eat or an indoor toilet. Crazy from the get-go John always wanted more and his rise to fame is an amazing journey.

Ozzy admits early on to struggling with dyslexia and I can only assume that he dictated this, leaving Chris Ayers with his work cut out for him. He’s done a fantastic job though because this flows really well and every page is funny, fascinating, shocking, at times unbelievable and brutally honest. All the dirt is here too so if you’re a fan of the music then theres a plethora of information about album covers, lyrics, band politics and the truth behind the music. We also get to see a lot of other rock royalty joining in the debauchery. In the end I wondered (as Ozzy does) how he’s managed to stay alive through it all. All aboard ….

Some of the many highlights for me were;
32 pages of color photographs
His jobs in a meat processing factory and testing car horns (pardon?)
His rise to fame and first experiences in America, the land of plenty (of cocaine)
His sexual exploits with groupies including an aids scare
Details of his first marriage and trying to keep it together for the kids while seeing Sharon
Almost killing a vicar with hash cake
The real story behind the bat
The death of his guitarist in an airplane that crashed into his tour bus
Waking up in the middle of a freeway
Thinking Betty Ford could teach him to drink like a gentleman or James Bond
His remorse over the moments he missed in his children’s lives because he was always pissed
Buying a horse because he couldn’t pass his drivers test and riding it to the pub
The realization that guns and booze don’t mix
His numerous arrests including the infamous pissing on the Alamo
The chaos that ensued after the success of the Osborne’s
Meeting the president and the Queen
The horror when he wakes up in jail not knowing why he is there and is told he tried to kill Sharon.
How Sharon stuck by him through years of outrageous intoxicated behaviour.
Why he stutters and shakes
Where he is now
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Reading Progress

02/12/2011 page 9
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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message 1: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Great review Buggy!
Sounds like a fascinating "tell-all".:)


message 2: by Quinn (new)

Quinn I grew up with Ozzy, too, Buggy. I even had a Black Sabbath record (yes, I'm that old - LOL). I might have to read this some day, it sounds good.


Buggy Thanks Auntee-Yes he tells all (and then some) here

Quinn LOL nice to meet another 80's gal. If that's your era then you would definitely enjoy this, lots of "oh I remember that" moments


Buggy Thanks Zosia, Its nice to know I'm not the only one that remembers (and still owns, somewhere) records.


message 5: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim I loved Ozzy in the 80's and now. I can't wait to read this. Thanks for the great review Buggy! BTW, I do remember the fried egg commercial!


message 6: by Buggy (last edited Feb 21, 2011 01:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buggy Yay, Miss Kim! You remember the fried egg commercial. You'll enjoy this, it surprised me with how well written, cohesive and funny it was


message 7: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine Great review! I'm not that old, but I grew up listening to his music and loving it. This sounds like a very interesting book. I might just have to pick it up. I love biographies because it's really interesting (for me) to take a peek into people's lives.


message 8: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim Buggy wrote: "Yay, Miss Kim! You remember the fried egg commercial. You'll enjoy this, it surprised me with how well written, cohesive and funny it was"

I like most rock biographies.

I remember that commerical well. I think I was a freshman...oh boy long time a go!


message 9: by Buggy (last edited Feb 21, 2011 02:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buggy Thanks Catherine, I love looking into other peoples lives too. I think that's why I like Rock bio's so much. Their lives usually start out similar to mine(I mean normal, middle class) and then develop into insane excess.

Miss Kim Have you read any other good rock Bio's that you could you recommend. Slash was pretty awesome. I was in high school when the fried egg ad was on. I particularly remember it during those after-school specials


message 10: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz Great review Buggy :) I remember that commercial "this is your brain on your drugs" --very effective!

Are you going to read Keith Richards autobiography? That sounds like an "interesting" one too.


message 11: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Good rec, East. That's supposed to be a good one.


Buggy Thanks Eastofoz, I'm surprised at how many people remember that ad. Yes Keith Richards is on the wish list, that sould be good. Another guy that I'm stunned can recall anything. I've also got Eric Clapton and Motley Crue on the TBR shelf


message 13: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine They must have still been playing that ad in the 90's because I remember seeing it on TV. I think most people remember that ad. This was a popular ad as well. :)


message 14: by Miss Kim (last edited Feb 21, 2011 03:01PM) (new) - added it

Miss Kim I read Slash's book and liked most of it, but I also think he likes to hear himself talk. That was loooong.

Nikki Sixx's book was pretty good. Its a really pretty book too. It is his diaries while he was high. I can't think of the name of it, but it is on my biography shelf.

Keith Richards should be a good one East. I'm going to add that one now!

I want to read Dirt--the Motley Crue one. Vince Neil just came out with his own--I'm not sure if I'll read that one. He loves himself so! lol


message 15: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim Oh yeah, I remember that one too Catherine! Remember the one with the guy smoking weed upstairs and his mom is coming up and he's trying to get the smoke out the window? He's like 30. lol


message 16: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine I don't remember that one.


message 17: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz That Motley Crue one should be another "interesting" read ;)

Buggy I think people remember that commercial because it was one of the first "shock" kind of commercials. It certainly sticks with you.

Catherine I've never seen that other commercial but it certainly speaks volumes (!)


Buggy Eastofoz, I think you're right it was the first shock commercial. I do remember there was a lot of talk and controversy about it at the time


message 19: by Carolyn (new) - added it

Carolyn Wesley Great review...I've been so anxious to read Ozzy's bio. Eastofoz, Motley Crue's autobiography "Dirt" was amazing...I couldn't put it down!


Buggy Thanks so much Carolyn, I've had Dirt on my shelf for a while now, I'll have to pick it up


Greta is Erikasbuddy Very cool review, Buggy!! I think I've found what I'm getting my Dad for xmas ;) He was the big Ozzy fan in our house. I guess I grew up in the 90s and he was a 70s child. He was all into Kiss and Black Sabbath and Aerosmith (before American Idol hahahs). I grew up listening to him play those records over and over and over again. This book sounds most awesome!! Thanks for the review! I even want to read it now ;)


Buggy Thanks Greta, this was definetly one of the better rock bio's I've read. I think it would make a great Xmas gift for your dad. Most of the stories include the bands/people he grew up listening too.


Greta is Erikasbuddy COOOL!! He'll love it!


message 24: by Hannah (new) - added it

Hannah Honey I think people remember that commercial because, to anyone who actually dabbled in drugs, it was so stupid. It was obvious that smoking some weed or taking some mushrooms were NOT going to fry your brain like an egg. The Reagans were so out of touch, so weird and fake and obvious, it's amazing they were able to eff things up as drastically as they did.


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