I thought Eric Clapton hated me until we met in AA,” says Ozzy Osbourne.

OZZY OSBOURNE ponders who he would most like to make music with, a sort of fantasy football but for rock stars.

“John Lennon if he were alive,” decides the “huge fucking Beatles fan.”

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Ozzy Osbourne will soon release his upcoming 13th solo album Patient Number 9.Credit: Ross Halfin
It features a cameo appearance by Eric Clapton, whom Ozzy believes was annoyed by making that face at the 1989 International Rock Awards.

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It features a cameo appearance by Eric Clapton, whom Ozzy believes was annoyed by making that face at the 1989 International Rock Awards.1 credit

“And I would have to have Jimi Hendrix, right?” he continues, and I tell him: “You can’t argue with either one.”

He then reminisces about Randy Rhoads, a highly gifted American guitarist who played on his first two solo albums, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman.

When they toured together in 1982, Rhodes, who was only 25 years old, died in a freak plane crash that has left Ozzy deeply shaken ever since.

“Randy was so good, so damn smart,” he says. He’s up there, dude.

The doctors told me something very scary - Sharon's heart is breaking, - says Ozzy.
Ozzy Osbourne surprised fans with a surprise performance at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Listen to Rhodes’ fiery metal riff in “Crazy Train” to prove why he deserves to be on Osbourne’s fantasy team.

Now let’s talk about the artists who will actually appear on Ozzy’s upcoming 13th solo album, Patient Number 9.

He enlisted the services of three legendary British guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and his old Black Sabbath buddy Tony Iommi.

America is represented by hard rock connoisseurs – longtime collaborator Zakk Wylde, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) and Chris. Cheney (Jane’s Addiction).

“GAME FROM THEIR SOUL”

The all-star line-up is a departure for Ozzy, as he explains: “I’ve never been one to have guests on albums.

“You can’t replicate what they do when you play live, but I love these people on my album.”

I ask Ozzy how he managed to get all the guests on Patient 9 and he explains it with free time created by the Covid pandemic.

He says: “So they didn’t get on the tour bus and for about three months they didn’t go out at all.

“As usual, America was out of control when the pandemic hit. People were buying thousands of bloody kitchen buns!”

He’s especially proud of Clapton’s instantly recognizable lines on One Of The Days and Beck, both on the ghoulish title track and on A Thousand Shades’ laid-back orchestration.

“When you have people of this caliber working with you, it’s fucking different because they play with such taste and soul,” says Ozzy enthusiastically.

“When the Jeff Beck song came out, his solo was in my head.

“And you should watch the video for the Eric Clapton song. Everyone on set said, “That’s fucking great.” His style and his sound are revealed.”

For decades, Ozzy has been in awe of the man known as Slow Hand, looking up at him with an “I’m not worthy” expression.

“He’s fucking Eric Clapton!” he exclaims. “When I met Paul McCartney, I just screwed up.

“When I see a person I admire, I go crazy for him.

As usual, America was out of control when the pandemic hit. People were buying thousands of damn kitchen muffins!

“Today there are thousands of bands, but in the sixties and early seventies there were few of them. And Eric Clapton was the GREAT guitarist.”

Ozzy makes his way through the mists of time to say, “I’ll tell you a story about Eric. A few years ago, my wife Sharon and I went to an awards show in New York. . . ”

I better make a scene. It’s 1989, and a less than sober Ozzy is joined by the ferocious and fantastic Grace Jones to present the MVP (Most Valuable Player) guitarist’s gong at the International Rock Awards.

The nominees are Clapton, The Edge, Mark Knopfler and Joe Satriani. . . and the EU is declared the winner.

Ozzy continues: “After that, I was taking pictures with Grace Jones, and suddenly Eric was there. I thought, “Oh my God, he’ll think I’m a complete jerk.”

“I didn’t know that he, too, had just come out of rehab and was going as crazy as I was.”

At this point, much to his embarrassment and worse, the photographer demands, “Make your face Ozzy!”

This signifies the classic look of a killer psycho – bulging eyes, mouth wide open, arms raised like claws, ready for an imaginary attack.

“Reluctantly, I did it,” says Ozzy. “And I immediately got the idea that Eric Clapton must hate me.

“Then ten years later I was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in the Valley (San Fernando) in Los Angeles. I look over my shoulder and see Eric.

“I just spent ten years saying to myself, ‘He must think I’m the biggest bastard on the planet.’

“At the end of the meeting, I decided to get the hell out of there, just to avoid him. So I got into the car and drove home.

“Three weeks later he’s back there and as I walk across the room he says, ‘Ozzy! Good to see you.'” Of course, the two Brits bonded in their straitened circumstances, and Ozzy quickly realized that Eric was ‘okay’ with me.

After that, I was taking pictures with Grace Jones, and suddenly Eric was there. I thought, “Oh my God, he’ll think I’m a complete jerk.”

“We chatted and I thought, ‘Wow, what a nice guy.’ It was all about my paranoia,” says the man whose most famous song is “Paranoid.”

This story has an unlikely payoff: “A couple of days later I go to the music stand, open a magazine and see this old photo!”

Now, all these years later, Ozzy is thrilled to see his old AA buddy doing his thing in One of Those Days.

BABY IN A SWEET SHOP

Ozzy reports that the track didn’t go quite smoothly. He says, “This song is about a bad day, and one of its verses is, ‘I don’t believe in Jesus.’

“When Clapton hears this phrase, he responds: “I don’t really like it.”

“So we changed it to ‘I don’t believe in Christmas’ but that sounded stupid.

“I discussed it with my producer Andrew (Watt) and we decided to go back to the way it was, and then Eric was like, ‘OK, I’ll do it anyway.’

Regarding Jeff Beck, another leader of the sixties British blues phenomenon, Ozzy says: “I met him several times and now we have the same business manager. I said to this manager, “It would be great to have Jeff on my album,” and he said, “OK, I’ll ask him,” and I’m like, “What!”

When you listen to Ozzy, you feel like he’s still like a kid in a candy store when he’s making a record.

This process is like a life force to help him overcome his well-documented physical problems.

For the first time, Black Sabbath member Tony Iommi appears on his solo recordings.

They are together on two tumultuous tracks: “No Exit from the Present” and “Rules of Degradation”. Of the album’s final, furious punchline, Ozzy says, “That would be a damn cool Sabbath track.”

The couple continued their love this week when they performed Paranoid to close the Commonwealth Games in their hometown of Birmingham.

We chatted and I thought, “Wow, what a nice guy.” It’s all about my paranoia.

“Tony and I are the Black Sabbath sound and we still have it,” says the singer.

Although he had not met him before, Ozzy was also delighted to have the late drummer Taylor Hawkins contribute to his album.

“We were with him a week before he died,” he says. “He was a good, sweet man.

“My producer knew him, so Taylor came to the studio. He just said, “I play for the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl is my boss.”

The mention of Hawkins makes Ozzy think about rock musician friends who are no longer with us, especially Motörhead with Lemmy and “Fast” Eddie Clarke.

“They’re all dead in Motorhead and I’m going there, by the grace of God,” he says. “They would live on amphetamines like you have no idea.

“When I did my first solo tour in America, they were with me (on the bill).

“They attacked gunpowder, drank vodka and did not sleep all night.

“One day Lemmy said to me, ‘You know what? I know that I will die early, but I will live the way I want to.”

One of Ozzy’s living acquaintances is Paul McCartney, who celebrated his 80th birthday in June. Although he didn’t make it to Macca’s performance at Glastonbury, he says, “I’ve seen him perform and you’re like, ‘How many fucking hits has this guy done?’

“He sings one after the other and most of them take first place. He’s great.”

With his passion for the Beatles in mind, I ask Ozzy if he would ever like to spread his wings away from the heavy metal arena.

“You know what, I wish there was a little more variety,” he replies.

“Black Sabbath’s music is very aggressive, even if there’s something mind-blowing about it.

“But we fought the fucking world to make it big,” he says proudly, before adding, “but mind you, it’s a good thing we didn’t get our royalties when we were 23 because I would have fucked.” ** moved to another planet.

As our conversation draws to a close, Ozzy tells me why he named his new album after the opening song “Patient Number 9”.

“It’s about a lunatic asylum, and I probably should have been to some of them,” he says.

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“Why not patient number 8 or 7?” I asked him. For some reason, Ozzy finds this question incredibly funny and we both start laughing until tears roll down our faces.

I never find an answer, but it’s good to report that the Prince of Darkness still shines.

Ozzy performed Paranoid with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi to close out the Commonwealth Games in their hometown of Birmingham.

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Ozzy performed Paranoid with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi to close out the Commonwealth Games in their hometown of Birmingham.Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Tony will first appear on one of Ozzy's solo albums.

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Tony will first appear on one of Ozzy’s solo albums.1 credit
Ozzy Osbourne's

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Ozzy Osbourne’s “Patient 9” will be released on September 9th.Credit:

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