Wednesday, January 5, 2011
CBRIII: Book#2: I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne with Chris Ayres
I used to be terrified of Ozzy Osbourne. His album covers were nightmare material and I suspected that the Prince of Darkness would emerge from the shadows of my back yard and murder me. I was afraid that listening to his songs would be akin to calling out Candyman in my bathroom mirror. I was such a pansy. But I got over it. And I listened to Black Sabbath and Ozzy and I realized this was just a man. A flawed, insane, entertaining man. I'm so glad that he 'wrote' (as I suspect Ozzy narrated and Ayres transcribed the stories with the help of a roomful of language experts) about all of the crazy things he has done in his life.
I'm going to be honest here: I read celebrity biographies and autobiographies in the hopes of getting all of the dirt. ALL OF IT. I can tell you that Ozzy does not disappoint on that front at all. He begins with his misspent youth and takes us all the way up to his current family life and daily struggles. I was mesmerized the entire time. (I started reading this Sunday and finished it last night, which was Tuesday.)
The books makes you feel like you're sitting with your grandfather and asking him to tell you about his life. Except your grandfather has nearly died about thirty times and has been addicted to every substance known to man. Ozzy's voice comes through clearly in the narration, which is why I believe Ayres must have transcribed everything. Ozzy jumps from place to place, putting in things that happened in a way that makes you think that the previous story reminded him of this story, which reminded him of this...But it's coherent and fluid and reasonably chronological, so it works.
I have to say that I knew Ozzy Osbourne to be a wild man. I'd heard the biting heads off doves and bats stories since I was young. The whole world seemed to see the aged and shaking star on The Osbournes. But I didn't realize that he had done so much crazy stuff in his life. The things this man has consumed and done would have killed most other people several times over. Learning about all of these things is what makes I Am Ozzy such a great read. You get the perspective of someone who shouldn't still have a memory relating impossible adventures. A rarity.