Crazy Stories People Have About Meeting Ozzy Osbourne

From his early days as the frontman of hard rock powerhouse Black Sabbath to his successful solo career as the Godfather of heavy metal to his surprising turn as reality TV's favorite dad, Ozzy Osbourne has been rock 'n' roll's poster boy for mayhem for over half a century. With a reputation for debauchery that eclipses even Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe, Osbourne's wild antics have made him a legend. Yet, his appetite for drugs and alcohol was just as legendary and repeatedly put his life and career in jeopardy.

At the height of his popularity in the 1980s, Osbourne was hated by parents, feared by religious groups, and adored by legions of young fans. However, in just two decades, Ozzy Osbourne managed to go from bat-biting madman to heavy metal elder statesman. In 2002, the world got their first glimpse into Osbourne's family life with the premiere of MTV's "The Osbournes." The show revealed Osbourne as a lovable, scatterbrained patriarch of a close-knit, chaotic, and ultimately relatable family. Suddenly respectable, the man whose music was once labeled a threat to youth found himself invited to the White House and performing at the Queen's Golden Jubilee. 

Now in his 70s and facing a variety of health problems, Ozzy Osbourne is still fighting his demons and making music. Needless to say, meeting the Prince of Darkness is bound to leave an impression. Funny, touching, and always outrageous, these are some of the craziest stories people have about meeting Ozzy Osbourne.

Rob Zombie's uncomfortable first meeting with Ozzy Osbourne

Former White Zombie frontman, solo artist, and filmmaker Rob Zombie has a professional relationship with Ozzy Osbourne going back to 2001 when the two teamed for the song "Iron Head" from Zombie's second album, "The Sinister Urge." That same year, Zombie directed the video for Osbourne's single "Dreamer."

Throughout the years, Zombie and Osbourne have had their differences, most notably in 2010, when Zombie accused the former Black Sabbath singer of poaching bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson and drummer Tommy Clufetos from his touring band. Fortunately, Zombie and Osbourne have long since buried the hatchet with Zombie expressing his admiration for Ozzy in a 2020 A&E documentary.

In an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, Zombie recounted his "weird" first meeting with Ozzy Osbourne. "Ozzy's great. I've known Ozzy for a long time ... We toured together for the first time maybe 20 years ago," Zombie says. "The first time I met Ozzy was really weird. I went to his house—I don't remember why ... I thought, 'Oh, there's going to be a bunch of people. My manager will be there, Sharon will be there ... It ends up just me and Ozzy by ourselves. He's like, 'Oh, Rob, I want to play you my new record. So, he puts on his new record. I think he's going to play one song, maybe. He plays the whole album, looking directly at me, singing most of it. I'm simultaneously thinking, 'This is awesome!' and 'This is so uncomfortable I don't know what to do.'"

When Black Sabbath superfan Henry Rollins met Ozzy

Although it may come as a surprise to hardcore punk fans, former Black Flag singer and spoken word artist Henry Rollins is a huge fan of Ozzy Osbourne. Rollins has never been shy about expressing his love for early Black Sabbath telling The Sound of Vinyl, "The Black Sabbath catalogue is essential listening."

While introducing Black Sabbath's return in 2011, Rollins explained how Black Sabbath's music changed his life. "I was a very alienated young person," Rollins said. "When I heard Black Sabbath, my life had a soundtrack ... I heard Ozzy Osbourne's voice and I heard these riffs that were room-clearing, and I realized that there were some people out there using music to make great statements ... High school became powerless over me after that."

Never expecting to meet his idol, Henry Rollins jumped at the opportunity when his management arranged for The Rollins Band to open for Osbourne in 1996. Feeling Osbourne was too big to spend time with the opening act, Rollins hoped he would at least get a glimpse of Ozzy at the show. As Rollins explained in one of his spoken word performances, he got much more when the band received an unexpected knock on their dressing room door. "[The] door opens up. Ozzy walks in. No shirt and a cigar," Rollins recalled. Introducing himself, Osbourne asked if he could hang out with Rollins and his band. A gracious Ozzy Osbourne thanked The Rollins Band for opening and promised that he would accommodate their every need.

A metal journalist's sticky encounter with Ozzy Osbourne

As detailed on the music website AlwaysOutlaw, Metal Hammer writer Chris Ingham got much more than he bargained for when he interviewed Ozzy Osbourne for the first time in 1997.

A diehard Black Sabbath fan, Ingham lobbied hard to get the coveted assignment of covering the first reunion of the band's original lineup since 1985's Live Aid at 1997's Ozzfest. As Ingham writes, "Calls were made, agreements were reached ... and the biggest Black Sabbath fan won the day." Soon, Ingham was on a plane from London to Boston's Great Woods amphitheater to witness Sabbath's triumphant return. The following day, Ingham would travel to New Jersey's Giants Stadium for the next date and an interview with the Prince of Darkness himself.

Ingham's interview was nearly derailed thanks to his dawdling photographer, but the even later arrival of Black Sabbath's legendary riffmaster Tony Iommi saved the day. "I cannot overstate how warm, welcoming and downright funny it was to be around Ozzy Osbourne at that time," Ingham writes. Describing Osbourne as disarmingly honest, Ingham was surprised when Ozzy excused himself for the restroom, taking the reporter's Dictaphone with him so he could continue answering his question. "I'd forgotten all about it until it came to transcribing the tape a week or so later," Ingham recalls. "I could hear the Ozzman unzip and start to tinkle, but I couldn't hear any splashing water sounds, more like splashing upon porcelain and tiles and ... that's why the Dictaphone was all sticky."

Bassist Geezer Butler's weird first meeting with Ozzy

In the late 1960s, Black Sabbath bassist Terence "Geezer" Butler was a rhythm guitar player in search of a band. Spotting an ad reading, "OZZY ZIG NEEDS A GIG—HAS OWN P.A.," posted in a local musical instruments store, Butler was cautiously optimistic he may have finally located a singer and a singer with his own P.A., no less, a definite plus for any struggling band. Noting the address was not far from his own home in Birmingham's Aston neighborhood, Butler made the trek to check out this Ozzy Zig character. Unfortunately, Ozzy was out. However, he would show up on Butler's doorstep later the same day.

In a 2019 interview with Musicradar, Geezer Butler recalled meeting Ozzy for the first time. "My first impression of Ozzy was that he was not the full shilling, as we used to say back then," Butler says. "I opened the door and there was this skinhead, with a factory gown on, no shoes or socks, a chimney brush over his shoulder and a sneaker on a dog lead." Despite Ozzy's odd appearance, Butler knew he found his man adding, "He was perfect for my band. "

Guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward had also seen Ozzy Zig's music store ad. Arriving at Osbourne's house, Iommi realized that he knew Ozzy from school. Recalling him as a class clown, Iommi protested that he didn't want Ozzy in his band. Fortunately for heavy metal, Ward convinced the temperamental guitar player to give Osbourne a chance.

Boots not bats: Robert Trujillo met Ozzy at his maddest

Long before joining Metallica, Robert Trujillo was the bass player for the legendary L.A. hardcore punk and crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. A lifelong fan of rock and metal as well as jazz and Motown, Trujillo's flawless musicianship and versatility have landed him gigs alongside such artists as Alice in Chains' guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Black Label Society. In 2001, Trujillo joined Ozzy Osbourne's band for the 2001 album "Down to Earth." However, his history with the notorious metal frontman goes back to his days in the Suicidal Tendencies funk-metal side project The Infectious Grooves. In a 2013 interview with Vans Off the Wall TV, Trujillo related the wild circumstances around his first meeting with Osbourne.

"We managed to record an album at this amazing studio called Devonshire Studios," Trujillo recalled. "We're recording our first album ... and next door is my hero, Ozzy Osbourne! I remember one night at the studio, we hear this loud growl—this English growl ... And all I see is Ozzy's rock 'n' roll cowboy boots dangling in the hallway. And basically, Ozzy had tackled the bass player's girlfriend and he had bitten into her cowboy boot ... And she was pissed!"

Blown away by Osbourne's antics, The Infectious Grooves asked the singer to join them on the song "Therapy." After recording his part, Osbourne would repeatedly return to The Infectious Grooves' studio to dance to the song and ask for drugs. "We'd be like, 'No, Ozzy. No drugs,'" Trujillo said.  "And he goes, 'Man, you're boring.'"

Lita Ford met Ozzy for the first time ... twice

After struggling through her early solo career with two albums that failed to spark much interest, ex-Runaways guitarist Lita Ford hired Sharon Osborne as her manager, marking a dramatic change in her musical fortunes. With Osbourne guiding her career, Ford would record her most successful album ever: 1988's "Lita." Featuring songs co-written by Lemmy and Nikki Sixx, the highlight of the album was "Close My Eyes Forever," a ballad featuring Ford trading vocals with Ozzy Osbourne. Reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, the song remains the biggest hit for both artists. Amazingly, the song came together during Ford and Osbourne's first meeting.

"One day [Sharon and Ozzy] came to visit me in the recording studio," Ford told Guitars Exchange. "Sharon got bored and left the studio. Next thing I know Ozzy and I are playing pool and drinking wine and we came out with 'Close My Eyes Forever.' It was really an accident — what a great accident!"

Nevertheless, Ozzy's problems with substance abuse were at an all-time high. In a 2016 interview with Fox News Magazine, Ford recalled a sad experience she had with Osbourne just months after recording their hit song. "At that point, he was dabbling in all kinds of stuff, " Ford said. "Six month after we had a top-10 single, he didn't know who I was. I saw him at a party, and he says to me, 'I know you. I know you.' It was like the lights were on, but nobody was home."

Taylor Swift left Ozzy Osbourne in awe

For better or worse, Ozzy Osbourne always makes an impression. Known to be gracious and accommodating to his fans, Osbourne's encounters with his adoring public are overwhelmingly positive leaving thousands of metal fans blown away by his kindness and down-to-earth demeanor. Despite his fame, Ozzy himself is just a music fan at heart. An admitted Beatles superfan, a brush with Paul McCartney once reduced the Prince of Darkness to a nervous fanboy. However, you may be surprised at another star who's left Ozzy speechless.

As reported by Contactmusic, pop songstress Taylor Swift left Ozzy Osbourne in awe. According to an October 2013 article, Sharon Osbourne told the audience of "The Talk" that she and Ozzy had unexpectedly bumped into Swift while shopping in Los Angeles over the weekend and struck up a conversation. "My husband doesn't say anything about anyone," Sharon Osbourne said, "He knows who Taylor Swift is, he knows her music, but he's never met her before, and he was so blown away with her beauty and the aura that she projects. [Ozzy] said to me 'I have finally met somebody that I can say is a true superstar.' He said, 'She reminds me of Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn.'"

When asked by Conan O'Brien if she was afraid that Ozzy might make a play for the "Shake It Off" singer, Sharon Osbourne laughed off the idea of a May-December romance between the Prince of Darkness and America's Sweetheart, quipping that her husband was "leaning more to November!"

Comedian Jim Breuer's airborne Ozzy encounter

Funnyman Jim Breuer, best known for his mid-1990s stint of "Saturday Night Live" and hilarious roles in such comedies as "Half Baked," is a lifelong metal fan. With a stand-up act featuring dead-on impressions of AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Ronnie James Dio, and James Hetfield, Breuer has found himself opening up for many of his headbanging heroes.

Breuer's comedy has connected him with many movie stars and metal luminaries over the years, but, as he hilariously explains in his stand-up act, his most memorable celebrity encounter was an unexpected plane ride with Ozzy Osbourne. "I've hung out with everyone from Tom Hanks to Alec Baldwin to rock stars," Brewer says. "One of the coolest people I've ever met was Ozzy Osbourne. I grew up listening to Ozzy and Black Sabbath ... The song 'War Pigs'—I learned more from that song than history ever taught me or the news ever taught me about politics and war."

An early '90s gig for MTV would find a stunned Jim Breuer on Ozzy's plane en route from New Jersey to California. Once in the air, Osbourne, laden with jewelry, shuffled his way down the aisle to where the comedian was seated. Seizing the opportunity to tell his hero how much he meant to him, Breuer related a story to Osbourne about how his father and uncles survived as soldiers in WWII. Visibly moved by the anecdote, Ozzy lowered his sunglasses and spoke some heartfelt, but totally unintelligible, words that Breuer proclaims he will never forget.

Slash couldn't keep up with Ozzy's appetite for booze

In the 1980s, Guns N' Roses' penchant for excess was unrivaled. Riding high on the success of their 1987 debut "Appetite For Destruction," GNR indulged in every vice the music scene had to offer. Nevertheless, not even the band's hard-partying lead axeman Slash could keep up with Ozzy Osbourne's appetite for alcohol.

In a 2010 fan Q&A for Revolver, Slash recalled his boozy first encounter with Ozzy. "It was around '89 or '90, in L.A. at the Mondrian Hotel," Slash recalled. "I was staying there with my girlfriend at the time. It was early in the morning and we were introduced in my room. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels by my head, and Ozzy said, 'Hey, can I have some of that?' And I was like, 'Sure.' And I said, 'Why don't we go downstairs to the bar. I'll take a shower and meet you down there.'" Little did Slash know that his meeting with Ozzy was already over. "So he took off and I got up to take a shower," Slash said. "And by the time I was done someone came to tell me that Ozzy had passed out and they'd taken him home. And this was at, like, nine in the morning!"

Over the years, Slash and Osbourne have shared the stage many times. In 2010, the duo recorded "Crucify the Dead" for Slash's self-titled solo album. Most recently, the top-hatted guitar player contributed tracks to Osbourne's 2020 album "Ordinary Man."

Ozzy Osbourne wouldn't give up on Rick Astley

Although most people these days know singer Rick Astley as an internet meme, in the 1980s, he was one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Astley's 1987 release "Whenever You Need Somebody" generated a string of hits including the smash "Never Gonna Give You Up,” propelling the 21-year-old British-born singer to worldwide fame. In 1994, Astley, then just 27-years-old, left the music scene entirely to concentrate on family life. Astley began a comeback in 2000 and embarked on a successful tour four years later. A good sport about the popular internet prank of "Rickrolling," he's not above playing his hit for laughs as he did when he performed the song in a surprise live performance at the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Obviously, it's hard to imagine the perfectly-coiffed popstar having much of anything in common with a rock 'n' roll wildman like Ozzy Osbourne, but as Astley told Rolling Stone in 2016, the unlikely duo found themselves engaged in a barside conversation at Los Angeles' Sunset Marquis Hotel. Recognizing Astley, Osbourne strolled over to say hello. Soon, Ozzy was giving the "Together Forever" singer his recommendations for musicians for Astley to take on his upcoming tour. Recognizing that her husband was out of his element, Sharon Osbourne quickly intervened. According to Astley, Sharon exclaimed, "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing? Do you really think he wants to work with the long-haired guys that you do?" "It was just a bizarre moment," Astley adds.

Pat Boone: it was always a beautiful day in Ozzy's neighborhood

In the 1950s, singer Pat Boone was the squeaky clean alternative to raucous rockers like Elvis and Chuck Berry. Boone's tamed-down covers of such classics "Ain't That a Shame," "Tutti Frutti," and "Long Tall Sally" made him a superstar, but, by the next decade, Boone would move away from pop music to concentrate on a successful career in gospel music. In 1997, a leather-clad Boone shocked the world with "Pat Boone in a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy." The album, which featured jazzy covers of hard rock and metal hits including Van Halen's "Panama" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," was Boone's first mainstream hit in decades.

Boone first met Ozzy Osbourne when the rocker and his family moved next door to his Beverly Hills home. Surprisingly, straight-arrow Boone and Ozzy hit it off right from the start. "I got to know Ozzy when he moved in next door to me ... so, of course, we visited back and forth," Boone told the Television Academy Association in 2010. "He told me about being in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and said, 'I even say an odd prayer now and then.' I said, 'It's not odd to me, Ozzy!'"

In 2002, Boone expressed his love for the Osbournes as neighbors to the Associated Press. As detailed by People, Boone told the AP his "fondest memory ... was riding bikes with Sharon through Beverly Hills on the sidewalks, and she's towing Ozzy behind her in a wagon because [of his] balance problem."

Metal frontman Jon Oliva met Ozzy Osbourne through a contest

Savatage might not have the name recognition of Iron Maiden or Metallica, but true metal fans know the band as one of the most influential bands in the genre. Like nearly all '80s metal musicians, Savatage founding member and lead singer Jon Oliva cites Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne as prime influences. "I saw Black Sabbath at the California Jam in 1974 and it changed my life," Oliva told metal website Crystal Logic.

In the mid-1980s, a low-point for Black Sabbath marked by the album "Seventh Star," which was basically a Tony Iommi solo project, Oliva was approached to join the band. Unfortunately, the audition never happened and Black Sabbath instead recruited vocalist Tony Martin for 1987's "The Eternal Idol."

However, if Oliva had joined the legendary metal band, it's unlikely that he could have lived up to the outrageous standard set by founding frontman Ozzy Osbourne. When asked if he ever met the legendary singer, Oliva responded with a typically outrageous anecdote. "Yes, I have met Ozzy Osbourne. I actually had dinner with him at the Lakeland Civic Center here in Florida," Oliva says. "I doubt he remembers because he was totally wasted ... It was very interesting and very funny. I was with a group of people who won a radio contest and that's what the prize was, to have dinner with Ozzy. I remember he came out in an evening dress and was totally wasted, one of the funniest things I've ever seen and it didn't last very long."

Randy Rhoads got the gig with Ozzy just by tuning up

Aside from Sharon Osbourne, the person most responsible for pulling Ozzy out of his post-Sabbath career slump was guitarist Randy Rhoads. In 1979, Rhoads was one of L.A.'s hottest guitarists and Edward Van Halen's chief rival. His band, Quiet Riot, had attained a large and loyal following in Japan but had failed to gain traction in the United States outside the California club scene. At the urging of bassist Dana Strum, Rhoads reluctantly auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne. Rhoads, a dedicated musician with classical influences was no Black Sabbath fan, but, with Quiet Riot stalling out, he decided to take a shot at the gig.

Recently fired from Black Sabbath for his drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, Osbourne was plotting a comeback. The first step was assembling a top-notch band to develop a sound distinct from Sabbath. With the help of guitar legend Gary Moore, Osbourne set about auditioning guitarists. Despite his formidable chops, Rhoads felt unprepared and outgunned. "I had never looked for auditions or gigs outside of what I was doing," Rhoads told Guitar World shortly before his death in a tragic plane crash in 1982. "Besides, I thought I would hurt my band. When I did go down, there were all these guys with Marshall stacks. I brought along a tiny practice amp. I started tuning up and Ozzy said, 'You've got the gig.' I didn't even get to play! I had the weirdest feeling because I thought, 'He didn't even hear me yet."'

When Sharon met Ozzy, it wasn't love at first sight

Sharon Levy was only 16 when she first laid eyes on Ozzy Osbourne. Invited by her father, famed music promoter Don Arden to see an up-and-coming act at London's Marquee Club, she had just joined the family business as a receptionist.

The band, of course, was Black Sabbath. The buzz around the group and their upcoming debut album was palpable, and Arden hoped to snatch them away from their comparatively small-time management. Raised in the business, Sharon was practically a music industry veteran as a teenager, but she'd never seen or heard anything like Black Sabbath. "Suddenly, I had goose pimples on my arms and felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, and it was like What. The. F***. Is. This? I had never heard anything like it," Sharon Osbourne writes in her 2005 autobiography "Extreme." "And it was just a brilliant show. You didn't have to know anything about the genre — and none of us did, because it didn't really exist until Black Sabbath invented it."

The following day, Arden brought the band to his office to discuss adding them to his stable of artists, and Sharon got her first good look at Ozzy. "The singer — the only one without the droopy mustache — was the strangest of them all," she writes. "Although it was winter, he was wearing open sandals. For a shirt he had a pajama top, and on a string around his neck was a [beer] tap."

Meeting Ozzy came with a warning for Kirk Hammett

As a fan of classic-era Black Sabbath, guitarist Kirk Hammett felt the pressure of being the lead-in for Ozzy Osbourne when Metallica opened for the legendary singer in 1986. "It was really intimidating," Hammett told Gibson TV. "To me, at that point, Black Sabbath were the ultimate." The band got the seal of approval from their hero when Ozzy showed up at a soundcheck. "We were playing, maybe [Black Sabbath's] 'Hole in the Sky' or maybe 'Symptom of the Universe,'" Hammett says. "And all of a sudden, out in front of the stage there's Ozzy with a big ole smile, going, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Touring with the rock 'n' roll madman, however, came with some rules, Hammett says. "We were told by Sharon the entire time, 'You can't drink around Ozzy ... Don't give him any booze,'" Hammett recalls. "And we were really good. We were really paying attention to that."

However, Ozzy fell off the wagon with a little help from bassist Cliff Burton. "Ozzy ... goes onto our bus, and sees Cliff, and the first thing he says to Cliff is, 'Got any beer?' And Cliff is like, 'Yeah, Oz, right there, help yourself.'" Hammett says. "And so after about 20 minutes, all of us go on, and there's Ozzy on our bus, and he's drinking. Now we're like, 'Holy s***! What are we gonna do?'" Eventually, Osbourne's tour manager was able to extricate him from Metallica's bus. Somehow, the band escaped Sharon's wrath and remained on the tour.