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Is Ozzy Osbourne Satanic?
Transcript of Is Ozzy Osbourne Satanic?
Where does the name Black Sabbath come from?
The name comes from a film by Boris Karloff in 1963. The name is also the name of their first album and a song that is written about a visitaiton of a dark presence to drummer Geezer Butler in the middle of the night. According to Butler the dark presence was standing at the foot of his bed.
Black Sabbath and their music
Every member of the band was obsessed with horror movies and stories, and wanted to create a form of horror music.
Most members of the band dabbled in the occult.
Geezer Butler was more interested in Witchcraft and the occult than his other band mates.
They wanted their music to be counter culture.
Songs such as War Pigs were against wars such as the one in Vietnam.
They came from working class families and wanted to shine light on the struggles of the working class.
They knew the reality of everyday life is dark and wanted their music to reflect that.
First Heavy Metal Songs
Where did Ozzy get his start?
Definitions to know:
The Occult: supernatural powers or practices and the things (such as gods, ghosts, and magic) that are connected with them.
Satanic: of, relating to, or worshipping the Devil
Black Sabbath was formed, but under the name Earth or Earth Blues Company.
The band wanted to make music that was like watching a horror movie. This darker "heavy" form of blues became what we know as Heavy Metal.
"It's a Satanic World" - Geezer Butler
Loud distorted guitars
Blues styled solo instrumentation
Prominant driving drum and bass
Lyrics that follow the beat and cadence of guitars
Ozzy Leaves Black Sabbbath
Ozzy's wild lifestyle became too much for the other members of Black Sabbath.
He was kicked out of the band for his alcohol and drug addictions in 1978.
Ozzy's Solo Career
Blizzard of Ozz
Released Sep. 12, 1980.
Featured legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads.
Featured several of his best known songs, such as, "Crazy Train", "Suicide Solution", and "Mr. Crowley".
Ozzy's Drug and Alcohol Addictions
The drug and alcohol problems that eventually got him kicked out of Black Sabbath continued well on into his life.
He later claimed he was on a "40 year bender."
Genetists found he had unique elements in his DNA that may have made him more resistant to overdose.
However, his substance abuse made for large portions of his life and performances he can not soberly account for.
“I really wish I knew why I’ve done some of things I’ve done over the years. I don’t know if I’m a medium for some outside source. Whatever it is, frankly, I hope it’s not what I think it is - Satan.” - Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy bit the head off of a live bat
After the show Ozzy had to receive several vaccinations for Rabies.
He claimed he thought it was a rubber toy.
it was later determined a fan threw the bat on stage.
Ozzy has bitten the head off of several animals in his career.
During a meeting with executives of a record company he bit the head off of a live dove. He later said in an interview he was drunk during the meeting and was feeling under appreciated at the time.
Ozzy's Bitting Problem
Ozzy's alcohol induced killing of the dove and bat were seen as pagan sacrifices, and did nothing to improve his public perception of a satanist.
October 26, 1984
John McCollum (19) shot and killed himself.
He was listening to Blizzard of Ozz.
The song "Suicide Solution" was one of the songs on the album.
McCollum's family sued Ozzy saying that the song incited their son to kill him self.
Ozzy has later said that the song is actually a warning against the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
He said that the "Suicide Solution" was actually refering to alcohol and drugs being a solution that kills.
Solution was being used in a chemistry context, not an answer to a problem.
The case was dismissed on the grounds that song lyrics were protected by the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Even though the lawsuit was dropped, many religious groups jumped on the McCollum case as proof that Ozzy was a servant of Satan, or worse the Devil incarnate.
1st Amendment and Song Lyrics
The McCollums tried to sue on the basis that the music was endangering the public.
Records sold to private individuals are not subject to cesorship.
Even concerts are private due to the fact that tickets are purchased by private partys voluntarily.
If the song had been played over the radio, there could have been precidence, but the radio station would have been liable, not Ozzy.
FCC (Federal Comunications Comision) cencors content on radio and television that could be inappropriate for the public.
Groups like Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) lobby with record labels and government to ensure that people know the content of the music they are consuming.
PMRC Congressional Hearing
The PMRC, headed by Tipper Gore (wife of then Senator Al Gore), were able to get a Congressional Hearing to investigate whether or not government action needed to censor music.
The Congresional Hearing
Artists like Dee Snider, John Denver, and Frank Zappa all testified against government censorship.
The PMRC expected the artists to not be well spoken or informed.
All three of the artists came prepared with well informed arguments against censorship.
But there was already a deal!
The Record Industry Assosiation of America (RIAA) met preemtively to with 19 different record labels and had agreed to put a Parental Guidence sticker on albums that with foul language or suggestive themes.
The PMRC wanted a rating system like the one used for films and television, as well as a list of lyrics for each song included with the album. The RIAA refused, saying that their parental guidence sticker was enough.
Ozzy and Aleister Crowley
Who was Aleister Crowley? He was a magician, poet, and novelist who believed in witch craft who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He created an occult religion called Thelema.
"Do what thou wilt" -Aleister Crowley
Social side of Crowley
Firm believer in recreational drug use.
Traveling the world.
Free thought and speech.
Second song of Blizrd of Ozz, and one of Ozzy's most well known songs.
Distorted up beat guitars with several solos and improvisations throughout the song is centered around.
Heavy pronounced bass guitar that drives the undertone of the song.
The drum beat is simple with brief drum fills during transitions.
Loud yelling vocals that show off Ozzy's vocal range.
Ozzy owned several books written by Crowley and had talked about writting a song about him for years.
Having his own solo band gave him an opportunity to do so.
Ozzy identified with Crowley because both of them were considered pariahs and agents of evil. Aleister Crowley was actually called "The Wickedest Man in the World." Thus a connection, though bad for his connection with the occult, was formed. Both were Deomonized by the media of their day.
The song "Mr. Crowley" is written as a letter from Ozzy to Crowley. He wonders why Crowley did what he did. "What went on in your head?" Ozzy refers to Crowley's drug use with the frase "Will you ride my White Horse?" which is slang for opium. He asks "did [he] talk to the dead?" and says "you fooled them all with magic." Ozzy sounds as if he is trying to understand how and why Crowley did what he did.
This was the song that made many believe that Ozzy was truly a servant of the Devil, because of his self association with a man who openly called himself an occultist. Even though Ozzy meant it as a song to compare Crowley demonization to his own.
The song contains many of the elements
from other Ozzy Osbourne songs, but
uses a slower pace.
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Ozzy never meant to be satanic. The reason he became associated with satanism and the occult was because of the darker subject matter of his songs and onstage persona. His substance abuse only helped fuel the fire of religious groups who sought to make him and his music that of the Devil. His intrigue for the occult made him seem very dark, and when intoxicated brought out many of his dispositions toward darker behaviors.
Regardless, he and his bands created a new genre and inspired generations to create music.
Ozzy Osbourne's Controversies and Association with the Occult
by Wesley Lewis