A chat with Ozzy Osbourne is exactly how you might envision it.
He’s a little bit in his own universe, veering into whatever topics pop to mind.
But he’s also focused when asked about his recently released greatest hits collection, “Memoirs of a Madman,” and its accompanying DVD of his highly vivid and amusing videos.
Osbourne, as fans of his reality show “The Osbournes” (2002-2005) know, is also quite funny, and intentionally so, such as when we inquire if he’s interested in social media and he responds, “I can’t the turn the bloody light on, never mind a computer. I can text, but I keep sending the texts to the wrong person.”
Talking from his house in Beverly Hills, Calif., Osbourne, 65, mentioned how wife Sharon is organizing the May 2015 OzzFiesta in Mexico, filled us in on the status of Black Sabbath and explained why he hates watching himself on screen.
Q: So what are you working on at the moment, Ozzy?
A: Not much, to be honest. Doing a bit of writing here and there. I finished (touring) with Black Sabbath July 4. Can you believe the album (“13”) went to No. 1? It’s the first No. 1 album I had in America — it took this long! But the sad thing was that Bill Ward wasn’t on it. When I first left Sabbath in 1979, it was not friendly terms and it was a bad scene for all of us. But we’re going to do one more album and tour, and it’s going to be the last one ever. Bill is going to send me some melodies and stuff, and then we’re disbanding the name. You’ll still see me with my solo career.
Q: When you see your hits compiled in one place as with “Memoirs of a Madman,” what kind of memories do they bring up for you? Is each song still attached to a certain point in your life?
A: I love what I do for a living. It’s not a job, it’s a blessing. I can’t put it into words. To be successful in any entertainment industry, it’s a gift, not a job. When people say is retirement coming, I say, retire from what? Having fun? I decided to put the (collection) out since Black Sabbath has taken a lot of my time and (“13”) was a big hit. I was starting to get letters from fans saying when are we going to see Ozzy solo again? What this record is about is letting people know I’m not retired.
People say to me, which is the best song or best album and I say, “Diary of a Madman.” This collection, it’s like a living diary for me, but it’s kind of typical because someone will say, “Why didn’t he put that song on, or that song?”
Q: Have you watched any of those old videos?
A: I cannot stand to see myself on screen. I never watched one of (the episodes of) “The Osbournes.” I don’t like to see myself on TV. I have seen bits and pieces of the TV show and I’m like, “What the (expletive) is that all about?” (During the show) my wife got cancer, my kids got hooked on drugs. The show was a great thing for the exposure, but was it worth the toll it took on my family? I dunno. Do I regret it? No, I don’t. But my son (Jack) asked me one day, “Do you like that people laugh with you or at you?” I have to think about that.
Q: At this point in your career, what do you still want to accomplish?
A: I don’t really want to accomplish anything — I just hope the party continues. I don’t like what I do, I love what I do. Nothing makes me happier than seeing an audience get happy from hearing my music. I’ve always said if the audience dwindles and I’m playing bars, I’ll pull the plug, but I’ve been blessed with longevity. Right now I’m learning to live in the moment.
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