Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy!

My best friend in high school, Steve's nickname was "Ozzy. He's the one who memorized all the banter from "Speak ofthe Devil". "Does anyboddyeee remembah th' ol' Phill Maurice? Yeah Maaan Phil Maurice*- woo! We used to get shitfaced...with yew groupies!...Let's hava RIOOOOTTT!" (*vomits out strawberry soda*). Randy Rhodes was one of my fave guitarists then. I once was in Westwood (L.A. area) and my friend bought me this killer 8x10 pic of Randy. I put it up next to one of Randy that Steve gave me from the Day on the Green show in Oakland (4th July '81).

Steve making the "Ozzy Face" and me trying to avoid the camera - '88 yearbook. 

When my friends & I went to see him & Metallica on "Ultimate Sin" tour, the shithead stoners at school said they're going "to Metallica" even though they thought they were a "new band". My friend Danny's family were born-again Xtians but his mom was moving away from it and was OK with him going to the show. Tho' he had to keep it secret from his xtian/rascist fuckhead dad. My dad oddly enough almost prevented me from going. He was starting get involved in his (otherwise pretty liberal church) and believed that Tipper Gore was right about some of this "parental advisory" shit. He got pissed off at me putting the "Fuck Like A Beast" cover on my wall - so that's beginning of it. (Oh and...he was constantly pissed off at my hella punk rock sister). 

Anyway, I heard a lot of the singles from "Blizzard", "Diary" and "Bark" back then. I even had a full Ozzy wall in my room (and a 'Maiden wall) where Steve  would imitate every expression that Oz made (see pic above). The show was great. At the time I was burnt out on hearing about Metallica. Odd, sure but I was tired of all these dickwads that otherwisewould've hated them 2 years earlier. ("Fuck this, punk shit - put on Aerosmith!" I'm sure they'd say.) Metallica came on and they so fucking fast & heavy we COULDN'T deny how amazing they were. That and were quite stoned & tipsy from weed & wine in the parking lot earlier. 

Ozzy that night was iffy at best. The band sounded fine but his voice was cracking and here & there was fuckin' a lyric or two. Still, I got a shirt with Ozzy clapping alongside Jake E. Lee. I started losing interest around '87 when I was burning out on much of Hard Rock & Metal. Didn't even care when "No Rest" came out. Having a guitarist named Zakk Wylde in the height of glam-fluff excess didn't help either. That said, he worked with a ton of great musicians and made some great stuff that I always feel good coming back to.