The Ultimate Sinner: Ozzy Osbourne at the Joint at Hard Rock

The Prince of Darkness Rocks Sin City - November 24, 2007

Posted by Chuckmonster

Ozzy Osbourne at The Joint at Hard Rock Las Vegas - November 24th, 2007

Ozzy Osbourne

...a name that has striken fear into the hearts and minds of mothers and religious nuts since his early days fronting Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne ...a name that has inspired millions of rock fans worldwide to hoist lighters, devil horns and cellphones to the sky in allegiance to the Prince of Darkness and rock and roll itself. Ozzy Osbourne ...reluctant reality tv star and father of way cool Jack and way annoying Kelly, and husband to outspoken and somewhat devious wife Sharon who manages the Osbourne's massive headbanger cottage industry. Ozzy Osbourne ...58 year old recovering addict, alcoholic, and bat eater who now passes time watching war documentaries on basic cable, mediating family arguments and shuffling around the recording studio in his Beverly Hills estate.

Diary of A Madman

My relationship with Ozzy goes back twenty-five years, when, as an aspiring guitar slinger, I became hypnotized by Black Sabbath's Paranoid, possibly the greatest 39 minutes of music ever recorded. From tip to toe, Paranoid is the textbook upon which all rock since has been modeled upon. Just look at this track listing: anti-war anthem War Pigs/Luke's Wall followed by the hard rocking chug of the title track Paranoid, cooled down by Planet Caravan's spacy jam-jazz, then the sludgy thud of Iron Man closing out Side One. Side Two kicks off with Electric Funeral, a psychedelic no-nukes message bathed in wah-wah that melts beautifully into the trippy funk of Hand of Doom. The quick drum and guitar freak out jam session Rat Salad revvs up Sabbath's engines for the album's closing track, the outlandish dub heavy groove of Fairies Wear Boots. It is apparent at once that Black Sabbath was (is) not a heavy metal band, doood, but instead an extremely diverse group of musicians capable of treading the seas of psychedelia, acid rock, jazz, swamp funk in addition to the burgeoning molten moniker they have become synonymous with.

After leaving Sabbath (or being fired, depending on who you ask) in the late 70s, Ozzy drifted into wasteland of alcoholism and copious drug use. With the help of his manager, Sharon Arden, Ozzy got it together long enough to form a new band, Blizzard Of Ozz, which featured guitar phenomenon Randy Rhoads, formerly a member of unknown L.A. rock act Quiet Riot. CBS Records convinced Ozzy to drop the band name and release his debut album Blizzard of Ozz under his own name in September 1980. The album and subsequent tours were hugely successful and Ozzy released a second album Diary of A Madman while the irons were still hot in November 1981. A third album Bark at the Moon was recorded with new guitarist Jake E. Lee after freak plane accident claimed the life of Randy Rhoads during the Diary of A Madman tour. It is these first three Ozzy Osbourne albums that cemented his status as a viable solo artist on equal footing with his legendary work with Black Sabbath.

April 21, 1986

I first saw Ozzy live at the Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) in New Jersey during his 1986 tour supporting his fourth studio LP The Ultimate Sin. The opening act for the show was a very young Metallica, who would suffer their own tragedy 6 months later when bassist Cliff Burton was killed after their tourbus slid off of an icy highway in Sweden. Metallica had just released the groundbreaking Master of Puppets LP - the only album of theirs you'll ever need - and put on an incredible opening set with the full graveyard stage set. Ozzy's career was flying high with a #1 single, Shot In The Dark, but personal issues kept his future teetering on the edge of the abyss. During the mid-late 80's Ozzy was stuck in a revolving door that had the road on one side and the Betty Ford Clinic on the other. His performances of the era were booze and blow glam rock affairs with the Ozz dropping his dark gothic stage show for a shiny silvery sparkly set design. Ozzy jumped around on stage wearing a sequined bathrobe that looks like it was stolen from Steven Tyler's wardrobe closet. The band was awesome, particularly underrated guitarist Jake E. Lee, whose guitar solo was unreal. At one point in the show a fan had thrown a seat cushion onstage and Ozzy picked it up and threw it back into the crowd, causing the raucous crowd of 12,000 people to tear out nearly every seat cushion in the arena and throw them onstage. At the end of the concert, stage was covered in a piles of yellow seat cushion foam and over $100,000 dollars of damage was incurred. The insanity continued outside of the show with three cars in the parking lot being flipped over and set on fire and the New Jersey State Police invading the parking lot with bats and guns drawn. It was a great night for Ozzy and a great night for heavy metal.

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Comments & Discussion

Sounds like a mostly fun show! It would be cool to see a Black Sabbath reunion with Ozzy, Sweet Leaf is my fave. How was the Hard Rock? I have only been there once and that was a long time ago. PS Did the Ozzman play the theme from DOG - the bounty hunter? ;-)

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