Spirituality? From Ozzy Osbourne? You bet, and it’s not black magic voodoo stuff. Which he claims he was never into (I believe him). Nor is it intentional, but it’s there. I realized it during a chance encounter on an airplane coming back from the LA premiere of Get Low.
As deplaning began, the woman across the aisle stood. Noticing that I was holding “I Am Ozzy,” Ozzy’s autobiography, she said “Isn’t he great?” It’s one of those comments that people just say without thinking. Having read most of it, though, I was keenly aware of the fact that he was not, in fact, great. Nor would he ever say that he was. According to his own book, Ozzy spent most of his life miserably drunk and high. Not happily drunk and high: miserably drunk and high. The stories of what he did when he was in that state are absolutely hysterical, but at the end of almost all of them he writes about how awful it was being so wasted all the time. So I didn’t want to simply agree with what she had said.
“He doesn’t seem to have been very happy,” I said.
“But he made a lot of money,” she said. As if that made it all OK.
“Made a lot of money, and lost a lot money, and then made it again,” I replied.
“Yeah,” she said. “He’s great.”
Somehow, the fact that Ozzy was miserable during all this time fails to have sunk in with her. He had money. He was famous. That seems to have been good enough for her. Now, I expect having lots of money is better than not having enough, though I really wouldn’t know about either firsthand. And a little bit of fame is nice, so I imagine a lot would be all right. But the fact is, Ozzy Osbourne was miserable most of his life. The money was irrelevant to his happiness. His fame was irrelevant to his happiness. He was so drunk and high that he hated most of it. Sure, the stories are funny, but they’re the kind of stories that are only funny when they’ve happened to someone else. When they happened to you, they’re pitiful, and he’s got a book full of them.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that people are not learning from Ozzy Osbourne’s mistake of turning to drugs and alcohol to solve his problems. In general, people suck at learning from the mistakes of others, and that’s especially true when those mistakes are hidden behind fame and piles of dough. But it’s right there, throughout his autobiography. If you can stop laughing long enough to see it.