The Big Issue: A lot of your contemporaries have retired or died – what’s the secret behind you carrying on so long?
Ozzy Osbourne: I’m not retiring but people ask me, “Why do you keep doing it? You’ve got the money, you’ve got the success” and I say, “It’s what I do”. What else am I supposed to do? Sit back and remember? I have the time and I want to spend it singing, what is wrong with that? I don’t want to sit at home with a fucking scrapbook going, “Oh, remember when I did this or that?”
How has your lifestyle changed to allow you to do that?
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke tobacco, I don’t do drugs, I don’t womanise any more. I’m pretty normal these days – well, as normal as Ozzy Osbourne gets anyway. I mean, the amount of booze and drugs I was taking at one point, I couldn’t have survived. I turn 70 on December 3 and how I got this far is a fucking miracle.
How is it different doing gigs at the age of 70?
Well, I’m having the best time of my life – apart from that fucking thing with my thumb [Ozzy was forced to postpone gigs in October after suffering staph infections in his right thumb] and I didn’t realise that it was very dangerous. I was in hospital for a couple of days and had emergency surgery and I remember waking up in the morning and Sharon said: “What the fuck have you done to your hand?” The funny thing is they reckon I got it from a manicure! It won’t stop me heading to the UK in February.
Just in time for Brexit!
People keep going on at me about that – is it a big deal over there? What will happen with it? Are people voting in or out, what’s going on?
We voted to leave the EU but whether we’ll get another vote on the terms of how that will happen is unclear. A lot of people are concerned because it is a big change and could affect their lives.
Are the people for it or against?
Some people who have voted to leave may be reconsidering it now that it has become clearer what it might mean for people.
What do you think will happen?
It might mean that Britain is at risk of losing trade and there could be rising poverty.
Well, without getting involved in Europe surely that means that we would be paying extra money to the EU? I don’t know. I don’t read the newspapers and I don’t really talk politics because I don’t really know. I don’t really understand Brexit.
Tell us about life under Trump.
Over here there is one channel that is pro-Trump and there is one against Trump so it is not really news, you know. I don’t get involved to be honest with you. I mean, people spout off and I go, “What the fuck does that mean?” I’m just a rock ’n’ roller.
We find it hard to follow at times too. Are there any plans for a new record or songs to accompany this tour?
My manager is my wife Sharon and she said: “You know what, there is no real point because you’ll pay to record it and it won’t go anywhere, they’ll just download it and that will be it.” I would love to make another album. Hopefully as time goes by I’ll be able to get one together.
The Osbournes reality TV show broke new ground. What do you think about series like Keeping Up With The Kardashians that followed you?
I said to Sharon the other day, “What the fuck is the deal with these Kardashians? They don’t sing, they don’t act, they don’t do anything.” She told me, “The trend now is that people want to be celebrities and make money for doing fucking nothing.” And I was like, “Oh.” I mean, I don’t want to put them down and if I was to start slagging them off they would say, “So what?” Good luck to them, if they’re happy with it then I’m fine with that. When we did The Osbournes it was totally raw, there was no script. We just did what we did and had the camera rolling. Have a camera crew in your house for three years and you go a bit crazy!
Have you bumped into anyone like Kim filming a reality show in LA?
No. I don’t really go out much to be honest, I just sit in my house and watch TV – I’ll watch documentaries on anything. Now LA is like fucking Blackpool Pier – it’s not exclusive any more, people go on holiday to Beverly Hills. It’s all because of the invention of these fucking camera phones. They get on my nerves but then I get pissed off if people don’t recognise me. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
What are your Christmas plans?
I hate Christmas! I’m one of those bah humbug people, me. When you get pissed it’s great but when you’re sober and everyone around you is getting pissed it’s a different fucking Christmas. I just have people coming up to me saying, “I love you,” and I’m like, “You don’t love me, you’ve just bloody met me so don’t say you love me, you’re a lying bastard!” It makes me want to poke my eyes out because I hate people who drink around me because they do it right. If it was me then I’d disappear for a fucking week and come back with my head under my arm. I couldn’t do that any more, it’s fucking amateurish. And most of my drinking partners are fucking dead!
Tickets for Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tours 2 are available at livenation.co.uk