You may recall that a couple of months back I commented on a documentary I’d just seen called God Bless Ozzy Osbourne. In that entry, which could probably double as a mini-review, I expressed my misgivings about Ozzy in the wake of watching it, and I must reveal now that my feelings have not changed much in the interim. I was very much bothered by God Bless Ozzy Osbourne and will attempt over the next few hundred words to explain exactly why.
I must say at the outset that God Bless Ozzy Osbourne is not a bad documentary at all. In fact, it’s about as good of a documentary about the life and career of Ozzy Osbourne as you are ever likely to get. Delving into all corners of his life, it tells the tale from beginning to now with thoughtfulness and care. It should receive full credit for doing this, especially since it’s because of this thorough approach to the subject matter that leads one to the almost inescapable conclusion that, whatever else Ozzy Osbourne might be, he is not a particularly good person.
The film begins with Ozzy as a child, talking about his family and his hardworking parents, especially his father. Ozzy’s relationship with his father was contentious, largely because Ozzy was such an inveterate ne’er-do-well. When the police came for a teenaged Ozzy in connection with a robbery he’d pulled off with some friends, his father told the cops to take his son away and put him in prison. They did.
You can’t really blame Ozzy’s father for feeling the way he did. Ozzy seemed destined to be an eternal screw-up, a drain on society. For a man dedicated to his career and family, Ozzy must have seemed like some kind of alien being. Certainly he did not share any of his father’s upstanding traits.
It was only when Ozzy fell into music that things began to change for him. He got into the band that would eventually become Black Sabbath on the strength of having his own amp. That he had a unique singing voice didn’t hurt, and the band proceeded to develop a signature sound that would later catapult them to mega-stardom. As of this writing Black Sabbath has sold over 100 million records. Yes, you read that number right.