Ozzy Osbourne has been called a lot of things over the years, from a rock ’n’ roll madman to a new kind of family man…but before now, no one has called him “Doctor.” The rocker has survived events that kill most people—he’s lived through alcohol and drug abuse, was once struck by an crashing airplane, and was even declared dead on two occasions—and yet he keeps on going, riding the crazy train to possible immortality.
Original Guns n' Roses member Duff McKagan has a memoir out, It's So Easy.
In Trust Me, I’m Doctor Ozzy—a new book partially drawn from Osbourne’s write-in column that appears in Rolling Stone—the legendary rocker dispenses medical advice that’s been field-tested in the crucible of touring, and surprisingly, much of the advice is pretty good. Here, Dr. Ozzy generously gives us a free consultation.
Lots of great advice in this book: Eat your vegetables, get regular checkups and take afternoon naps. You’re not in danger of going sane on us, are you?
Enough crazy shit has happened to me to last a thousand lifetimes, so it’s about fucking time I ate my greens and had a nap. My life still ain’t exactly “normal” though. I mean, for this book, a bunch of scientists mapped out my DNA. I still have the results somewhere—they basically downloaded me onto a computer chip. Every time I think things are getting a bit saner around here, something mind-blowing like that happens.
You’re pretty open with your life in this book. Do you think you could give medical advice as easily as you seem to do without revealing so much about yourself?
That’s why people come to “Dr. Ozzy.” If you want to know the side-effects of a certain drug, why not ask someone who’s taken everything? And no, I ain’t gonna bullshit anyone, or pretend like there aren’t downsides to every pill you take. In fact, I think doctors are too gung-ho when it comes to handing out medications. Back when I was a practicing junkie, going to the doctor’s office was like going to a supermarket—I’d walk out of the place with a shopping cart full of prescriptions! I suppose it didn’t help that if it said on the bottle, “take two every six hours,” I’d take six every two hours, then blame it on my dyslexia.
Have you ever received any medical questions that are just too batshit crazy to answer?
It’s surprising how many questions are too far-out for Dr. Ozzy. I find the really weird sex stuff hard to answer, ’cos I can’t really identify with a grown man who likes to wear diapers and shit his pants twice a day. Lady stuff ain’t my specialty either. I mean, someone just asked me how to treat menstrual cramps. Seriously—they asked Ozzy fucking Osbourne, “How do I cope with time-of-the-month pain?” I’m the Prince of Darkness, not the Princess!
The advice you gave to the kid whose friend was being bullied—that he should talk to his friend’s parents, before something tragic happens—was absolutely spot-on.
Well, it’s easy to say “stop complaining, it’ll make you stronger” if it ain’t your head being flushed down the toilet 15 times a day. I know that from my own experience. Until I made friends with the older, bigger kids at my school in Aston by making ’em laugh, I was picked on a lot for being poor and smelly and dyslexic—which, by the way, didn’t exist in those days. It just meant you were “stupid.”
I mean, yeah, kids have gotta stand up for themselves to some extent. But when it comes to harassment or physical violence, people have gotta know that it’s OK for parents or teachers or whoever to step in. Standing by and letting it get to the point where bullied kids are ready to do themselves harm is just unfucking-forgivable, if you ask me.
Going back to having your DNA mapped out, how do you feel about that experience one year on?
I still don’t really understand what they did, apart from the fact that they basically downloaded me onto a computer chip—which I’ve got lying around in my kitchen somewhere. Maybe they can use it to turn me into a hologram when I die. I suppose it would also be pretty cool to get a disease named after me, based on the research they’re doing into my snot genes and alcohol genes, which are both apparently very unusual. Not much of a fucking surprise on the alcohol genes, I suppose.
In your opinion, what is the absolute worst thing you can do to your own body?
Smoke cigarettes. They’re fucking poison, man. If it wasn’t legal, nicotine would be considered one of the most dangerous drugs out there—which it is, if you ask me. Cigarettes were the first thing I gave up when I got sober a few years ago.
I’m hoping for an advice freebie here—what cure do you recommend for writer’s block?
Hire a co-writer—that’s what I did with Chris Ayres, who helped me with this book and I Am Ozzy. If I’d been doing it myself, I’d still be on the first chapter.