The Truth About Ozzy Osbourne And Lemmy Kilmister's Relationship

Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmister are rock 'n' roll legends with reputations for going to extremes, so it feels like the friendship between the two British rockers turned California residents was kismet. According to what Ozzy told Rolling Stone in 2015, the year Lemmy died at age 70 from cancer, the pair "used to have a standing joke with each other: "Which one of us is going to go first?'" Osborne said. "But I curbed my ways, staying up all night and all that s***, a long time ago. But Lemmy said to me one time, 'What's the point of living to 99 if you're not enjoying it? It's my life, and I want to have fun with it.' And he lived to 70."

Maybe it's because Ozzy "curbed" his ways," but at 72, he is still alive and making music. Recently, he even put out an animated video on YouTube of him and Lemmy to accompany a mash-up duet of the long-time buddies singing their co-written song "Hellraiser." According to Blabbermouth, Ozzy said, "I'm so glad we were able to honor my dear friend Lemmy with this duet and now the video. We immortalized him with a clip of the two of us being together, hanging out, and getting into some trouble as we so often did."

Two OG Hellraisers

When Lemmy died, Ozzy posted on Facebook, "Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side."  Nearly six years later, it's clear that Ozzy still misses his friend. Notably, he included the revamped version of "Hellraiser" on the 30th anniversary digital release of Osborne's "No More Tears" album, which was released in September 2021. According to Blabbermouth, the song in its new mash-up form with Lemmy and Ozzy each singing verses has not been previously released.

The animated video revisits the old friends hanging out at the legendary Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip, where Lemmy was a regular. He and Ozzy are seen playing video games — with the former drinking and smoking a cigarette — when suddenly there is an alien invasion, and one of the aliens has the nerve to steal Lemmy's bass. Oh hell no! Naturally, the dudes have to kick some alien butt, and animated hijinks into space and back ensure  — one more adventure for the two OG hellraisers.  "This is just a small way to honor my friend, Lemmy," Ozzy said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. "Sharon [Ozzy's wife] and I talk a lot about how much we miss him."

It was like Spinal Tap

Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmister first met in the 1970s when Ozzy was in Black Sabbath, and Lemmy was in a band called Hawkwind, according to Rolling Stone. The bands used to rehearse in the same space back in England. By the late 70s, Ozzy had gone solo, and Lemmy had left Hawkwind and formed the band that he would forever be known for — Motörhead

Ozzy told Rolling Stone of Motörhead, "They were like the pirates of the rock business." Soon enough, those pirates would go on tour with the so-called Prince of Darkness when Ozzy toured as a solo artist. He said, "When they toured with me, it was like 'Spinal Tap.' They'd come off the stage, soaking with sweat, they'd get in the bus and just drive. They wouldn't shower. We were doing colleges, anywhere we could play. And their rider was like a case of Jack Daniel's, a case of vodka." Ozzy later said, "Back in those days, I was hitting it pretty hard as well. But nothing like them. They put a new f****** meaning to partying. It was catastrophic."

Ozzy and Lemmy wrote several songs together

But it wasn't all booze, drugs, and crazy nights. After all, a rock musician nor a rock band can exist without songs. The pair collaborated together over the years, with Lemmy writing lyrics for several of Ozzy's songs. The Black Sabbath frontman told Rolling Stone Lemmy had written the lyrics for his songs "See You on the Other Side," "Mama, I'm Coming Home," "Hellraiser," "Desire," and "I Don't Want to Change the World."

According to Ozzy, his friend Lemmy had a gift for writing lyrics. "He just writes them as if he's writing a message," he said. "And it's like, 'He wrote this in how long?' And they're not good lyrics – they're f****** amazing lyrics." Ozzy also said he admired Lemmy's intelligence, saying he was a voracious reader. "To look at Lemmy, you'd never think he was as educated as he was," he said. "People look at the music we do and the way we look, and they go, 'Oh, this bunch is a bunch of yobbos. They don't know what they're doing. They're bad people.' But it's not true. Lemmy looks like an old biker, but he was so well-read. He was very up on a lot of things. He was a very clever guy."

Ozzy was worried about Lemmy in the end

Toward the end of Lemmy Kilmister's life, he switched to drinking vodka and orange juice every day instead of Jack and Cokes and had cut down to a pack of smokes a day to be healthier, according to The Guardian. He mused even with various health issues, saying, "Apparently, I am still indestructible." Ozzy Osbourne spoke to Rolling Stone about seeing his friend a few months before he died at the Roxy on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. He said Lemmy was at the bar looking "very thin, very unwell, but he lived life the way he wanted and lived with the consequences. " When Ozzy asked if he was doing alright, Lemmy seemed "shocked," Nobody goes, "I'm going to die next year," Osbourne said. 

Knowing that Lemmy's health was declining, Ozzy told Rolling Stone, "I was constantly texting him, saying, 'If you need anything, call me.' I was just looking at my phone, and there was a message from him that said, 'Thanks for caring.'"

Ozzy called Lemmy his 'hero'

According to Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister had a "great sense of humor," but he also didn't "mince about it" if he had something he wanted to say to someone. For example, he was pretty upfront and unapologetic with The Guardian about why he liked his rock stardom. For one, women were always available. "You get all these birds fastening themselves upon you," he said. "And you get a lot of drinks and a lot of presents. So, it's pretty good. You get everything for free — I've got money now, and I never have to spend it." Another example of Lemmy's bluntness came in his biography called "White Line Fever," when he spoke of his own death, according to Rolling Stone. He wrote, "People don't become better when they're dead; you just talk about them as if they are. But it's not true! People are still a*******, they're just dead a*******!"

Yet Ozzy told Rolling Stone of Lemmy after his death, "He was my hero. He was f****** great, a good friend. I'm missing him already. I'll never forget him. I don't think a lot of people will forget Lemmy. He'll be so missed in my camp. He was a good guy, a good man, a good friend of mine. He was just a f****** great dude, man. Not enough time for him."