Sunday, September 19, 2010
Review: I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne
When my father passed away, I was still in college, and life was moving at Mach 20. After I graduated, I moved home to be with my mother, and although that was three years after his death, we had both hit a strange depression. I was home though, and hoped that we could both pull out of this funk we found ourselves. That fall the Osbournes reality series "The Osbournes" aired on MTV and my mother and I found a hearty laugh and a safe haven in their show.
Who would think that a foul-mouthed, crazy Rock & Roll first family would help pull us out of a serious funk, but they did. Now, if you know my mother at all, you know she is seriously straight-laced. Yet somehow, this crazy family's heart, love, and humor was enough to reach out through the screen to my mother and I. I know it sounds strange, but I have a real soft spot for the Osbournes and how their crazy antics could bring a smile back to our faces. They had this "I will stick by you because I love you, no matter what" kind of attitude that reminded us how powerful love is in a family. That regardless of our imperfections, our families can be our safety net.
Has there ever been a more extraordinary rock-star story than Ozzy Osbourne's? Born into a life so poor that the whole family slept in one room, Ozzy endured a tough upbringing. Music was his salvation and his band Black Sabbath went on to change the music scene forever. But along with the rock and roll came the inevitable sex and drugs and Ozzy fell into a long relationship with addictive substances. The stories of Ozzy's days on the road are legendary - biting the head off a live bat, losing his best friend and writing partner Randy Rhoades in a tragic plane crash - but few know of the real heartbreak he suffered during those days of excess. In the end it was love that saved him: the love of his wife Sharon and kids Kelly, Jack and Aimee. In his highly anticipated autobiography, Ozzy comes clean: in all senses."
Review: The show, "The Osbournes" was one of the shows that I credit for pulling me out of a serious depression after my father passed away from cancer. The thing that really struck me about that show was how much they genuinely loved each other. Yes, their lives were crazy, but the love they had for one another came pouring out of them. It made me smile.
Ozzy Osbourne's life was filled with crazy ups and downs; some he created and some came from left field. Ozzy worked in slaughterhouses, sang for Black Sabbath, and starred in his own reality show. Regardless of what he was doing, it was easy to see from his autobiography that Ozzy was always honest about where he came from and who he was.
I think the thing that struck me the most about Ozzy Osbourne's life was that although he admits to and acknowledges his many weaknesses, that his drug and alcohol abuse also helped to serve as a cover for his weaknesses. I realize that addiction is a disease, but no matter how honest one claims to be, addiction overrides that honesty and allows one to hide behind its gruesome coat tails. From all the drugs and alcohol that Ozzy took in his lifetime, it's hard to say why he's still alive. Beyond that, his escapades with other women and larger than life rocker lifestyle should have driven any semblance of family far from the picture, but he has managed to hold on to his family. This success at home has to be due to his wife Sharon, who put up with her fair share of abuse over the years.
As a fan of Ozzy's, I am hard pressed to really fault his own life story too much. The one thing I do wish he would have included more was his relationships with his children. Very little is mentioned about his kids, and I found myself curious about how he has maintained a strong, loving relationship with his children, regardless of his drug and alcohol abuse.
Right or wrong, the Osbournes are a family with heart. They want to be honest about their actions and feelings, which is strangely why they seem endearing. Ozzy's autobiography was interesting, and I enjoyed reading more about his life. I do have to give a huge disclaimer that there is a lot of profanity throughout the book, reminiscent of Ozzy's way of speaking. Honestly though, the book was trying to show this larger than life character for who he was, madness and all.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based off of a library copy of the book.