Ozzy Osbourne said it wasn’t true that he’d been taking anti-depressants ever since the passing of guitarist Randy Rhoads in 1982.

Rhoads died as the result of a plane stunt going wrong during a tour, and the tragedy affected Osbourne deeply. In the past he’d referred to using a “low dose” of drugs as a way of dealing with the incident, even though it had taken place decades previously.

In a new interview with GQ he was asked if he’d “been on anti-depressants ever since,” replying: “No, that’s not true. But it was a very depressing time in my life. Every time I talk about that, the tape starts to run in my head of that day when he died. It was awful. It was like a bad fucking horror movie. This house was on fire. The bus had been hit by the plane. There was glass and gasoline everywhere. The fucking house was engulfed. And he was such a nice guy. A very gentle man, a very tiny man... but so powerful with his instrument.”

Osbourne repeated that 2020 had been the “worst year” of his life, with coronavirus lockdown coming on top of a series of health setbacks. “I’ve got emphysema, so if I get this virus I’m fucked,” he said. “If I go out I wear a mask, but I don’t like wearing a mask, so I don’t go out much. The producer on my album [Andrew Watt] got the virus. I’d phone him up every day and he said he couldn’t sleep, because as soon as he went to sleep he’d stop breathing. He’s not the same person now... It’s like anyone who’s had a near-death experience: he’s become a bit careful with life.” He added: “But my two granddaughters caught it and you wouldn’t think they had anything wrong with them. It just bounced off them.”

He revealed that he’d taken to playing with a pellet gun to relieve the boredom. “I’m going super nuts now,” he explained. “I’m shooting pellets at the wall every day. I’m getting through 10,000 pellets a week. Bang, bang, bang.” Asked what he was shooting he replied: “Just targets I’ve made. In the past I shot everything you could shoot, though. Cows, sheep, calves, pigs, all kinds of things, dogs…” When queried over shooting dogs he said: “Not many. A dog. One dog. Not on purpose. It was in a lot of pain and I put it out of its misery. It’s not like I go dog hunting at night.”

 

Ozzy Osbourne Year by Year Photos: 1969-2020