"How Ozzy Lost his Cool"

by Jim DeRogatis

Published July 24, 2002 7:00PM (EDT)

[Read Jim DeRogatis' "How Ozzy Lost His Cool."]

Clinton bashing shows up in the most unlikely, superfluous places. In Jim DeRogatis' article on Ozzy Ozbourne, he compares Ozzy and Sharon's marriage to "something akin to Bill and Hillary Clinton's unholy, scheming alliance." Let's see, they've been married for over 30 years and have a wonderful daughter. If that's unholy, I'd hate to think what he considers Ward and June Cleaver to be.

-- Brian Gygi

Your article is amazingly superficial, as is most of your work. I find it very sad that articles like this are written, seemingly pandering to Midwest housewives who have a great grasp on their American values on such heady topics as what Britney wore last night (oh my!). The same Midwest housewives look to Martha for decorating advice. Is this your audience, Mr. DeRogatis?

You want to be a music critic, but I question your authority on the subject (or any) if you honestly felt that Ozzy "lost his cool" as a result of "The Osbournes." I mean what did you really expect from this show? Obviously, you expected way too much, which makes you more of a moron than you think Ozzy is.

While you complain about the current Gen Y culture, you do nothing to encourage anyone to think beyond what has already been spoon fed to them. In fact, you perpetuate what you whine about, with your (to use your own term) "shat out" articles.

Anyone with half a brain would take MTV's "The Osbournes" for what it's worth: Not very much more than a chuckle after a long day at work during a war, which most of us have checked out on acknowledging beyond the obligatory flag-waving.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, please try not to delude yourself -- or anyone else -- into thinking that "The Osbournes," or any reality TV show for that matter, can accurately reflect the real man/woman or child they present.

The worth of a man comes from what's in his heart. Ozzy's worth should be determined by the art that he's given to the world. His lyrics which have touched countless hearts. While you might like to attribute these contributions to various members of Black Sabbath please remind yourself (if you are even aware) that Ozzy was kicked out of Sabbath decades ago -- prior to some of Ozzy's best work. You contend that Ozzy was the "band's soul" without ever acknowledging his talent. If you believe that Ozzy could possibly produce so many hits throughout his career without incredible talent, well, it seems as plausible to me as getting dozens of winning lottery tickets throughout one's lifetime!

Furthermore, if "Iommi's riffs were always Sabbath's musical strength" as you assert, why is it that without Ozzy, Sabbath and the solo projects of its remaining members languished into utter musical obscurity? While Iommi's contributions to music history -- with Sabbath -- are monumentally undeniable to say the least, Sabbath was a band, not a solo effort as you infer. As history can attest, without the Ozzy ingredient, Sabbath fell apart! None of the members made as dramatic a contribution to music post Sabbath as Ozzy.

-- Anne M.

Since the first episode of "The Osbournes" aired on MTV, I've been seething. I'm one of those staunch metalheads who grew up with Ozzy's music. I didn't care about his drug addiction, or his cutthroat manager/wife, or whether or not he bit the heads off of animals--I simply worshipped Ozzy the musician. Even though he's a blathering old coot nowadays, I still listen to "Diary" and "Blizzard" as often as I did 15 years ago (and, though I may be in the minority here, there are a few tracks of the new album that remind me of just how powerful Ozzy's voice can be). The music has held up while, unfortunately, the man has degenerated into a joke.

But, of course, MTV (for perhaps the billionth time) has ignored the music entirely and instead has served up everything except the music: the privileges of celebrity, voyeurism, dysfunction, absurdity. The people who perpetrated this crime (and, unfortunately, Sharon must be included in this group) should be shot in the genitals for what they have done. They've taken a truly great -- though drug-scarred and head-scrambled -- artist and divorced him from his art completely in favor of dopey, sitcom-style shenanigans. Ozzy himself is also to blame, but that's only because he's become so successful that he's allowed the people close to him to cash in on his marketability. Hey, Ozzy, wake up! You're being used.

I have to wonder: Is this how Ozzy will be remembered? The Iron Man, the Price of Fucking Darkness, reduced to a lame-ass TV character?

Thank you, Jim DeRogatis, for acknowledging Ozzy's musicianship and for condemning the bastardization of a rock icon. I just hope that Ozzy's music can outlast MTV's butchery.

-- Matt Hutchinson

While I agree that Ozzy has cashed in and in many ways is not as cool as he was back when he lost his bandmate Randy Rhodes in a monstrous party conflagration involving a plane and a rented Florida mansion, his life is still quite interesting and most of us really don't care if he pees in his pants. So Jim DeRogatis comes off as sounding a bit holier than thou in this piece (which by the way was much more tastefully done in the New York Times). Ozzy is like the chairman of the board of some demented echo of what the music business biz was back when Frank and the boys were in charge. So what if he sold out? Would you rather he remained truer to the mayhem image, like Phil Anselmo who seems to genuinely hold a palpable contempt for his audience? Ozzy mellowed in his old age and now Jim thinks we are all laughing at him? Please, I was laughing at Ozzy back in the '80s. He's always been provocative and entertaining and he's now (with the help of Sharon) putting together a plan to exploit 35 years of celebrity via a variety of new media. I think that makes him a genius and I'll take Jim's opinion seriously when he puts together that impressive a record.

-- Robert Lukitsch

I am responding to the article about Ozzy Osbourne. I can certainly respect a person's opinion, however, it tends to be difficult to do so when blows are taken below the belt. I was bothered by a couple of things that Mr. DeRogatis felt necessary to share. I am far from being Ozzy's biggest fan or worse enemy. I was terribly troubled to hear this gentleman make it out as though Ozzy's family were making him the butt of all jokes. I believe there comes a time in a person's life when they are simply ready to mellow out and become a much different individual at 50 years of age versus 21. I think it is quite a beautiful thing to see how people change priorities and appearances after a long road called life. Perhaps Mr. Osbourne does have bladder issues, but then it appears that millions of people in the world have this problem. That must be why commercials are ran for this particular medical problem. Give the man his room to have issues like the rest of us.

Maybe that is why people like the show: He has more in common with ordinary people than was known before. So if the intentions of the article was to put Ozzy in a corner and laugh at him as Mr. DeRogatis has apparently tried to do, he failed miserably with me. Thank you. For you have just made this man look a bit tougher than I saw him before. I imagine there are a lot of people from the '60s who are crapping their pants every day and could only hope to have the nerve to get on stage and continue to please people of all ages with a passion to entertain. I am sure that if any of us were a Kelly or a Jack or a Sharon, we would all be doing the same thing. Besides, do you really want to see his special toilet?!! I am sure Mr. Osbourne would be more than happy to show you if it were a real desire of yours to get up close and personal. Some things do not always have to be a show and tell.

-- Amanda Hale

Jim DeRogatis is obviously a woman-hater. I can read it between the lines as well as on them. He is typical of his generation of dumb-ass white boys who just don't get it and pass themselves off as "rock journalists."

Here are two things DeRogatis will never know:

The media always gets it wrong.

Sharon and Ozzy love each other.

Belittling the fact that this woman saved this man's life and kick-started a sagging industry, giving life (not to mention jobs!) to a sad, sad music scene is dishonest -- as it is hateful. A sad scene brought about by despicable, reckless slobs like Jim DeRogatis.

I am so sick of strong smart women being vilified for being strong and smart.

-- Victoria Joyce

By Salon Staff

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