God Bless Ozzy Os­bourne

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 8.30pm, ABC2 Be­fore this doc­u­men­tary about the former lead singer of Black Sab­bath be­gins, a ban­ner comes across the screen: ‘‘ The mak­ers of this movie spent more than two years on the road with Ozzy Os­bourne.’’ Then there’s a pause. ‘‘ Nearly ev­ery­one sur­vived.’’ Yes, a great sense of hu­mour is at work here. A few min­utes in and a news­caster de­claims, in the ter­ri­bly se­ri­ous Amer­i­can voice we all know so well, that one of the great­est mys­ter­ies in life is why Os­bourne is alive at all af­ter decades of hard drink­ing and drug abuse. Though we mostly know him now as a bum­bling per­son­al­ity on the chat show cir­cuit, where more of­ten than not he seems like a ven­tril­o­quist’s dummy with wife Sharon pulling the strings, could there be more to the guy best known for bit­ing the heads off live doves and head­lines such as ‘‘ The night I nearly killed my wife’’? Your first chance to find out comes at a sur­prise party thrown for Ozzy’s 60th birth­day. ‘‘ It’s hard work be­ing 60,’’ he says as Sharon fid­dles with his shirt ruf­fle. Thank­fully things move quickly back to the man’s child­hood. Born in 1948, Os­bourne grew up work­ing-class poor in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land, and had to share a bed­room with five sib­lings. There are in­ter­views with the sib­lings, with former band mem­bers, and with Ozzy about his aim­less­ness un­til he found the foun­tain of youth in rock ’ n’ roll. There’s some con­cert footage, but more of Ozzy in lonely ho­tel rooms in the wee small hours of the morn­ing, on the phone to Sharon.

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