Before I get into my Ozzy story I want to talk about how my taste in music is starting to change as an adult. The older I get the more I prefer my rock to be louder and harder preferably with a bit of screaming here and there. I'm not talking about death metal (Do they even still have that? Did I just date myself by referring to it as Death Metal?). I don't like the constant screaming. I still need to hear some sort of enunciation and actual vocal range from a decent singer. I still hold true to my classic rock roots; I'll never get sick of it. Some days I find myself not only listening to our local alternative station but also our local Rock station that plays everything from Punk to Hair Bands to Butt Rock. I'm really feeling emo/screamo right now like mad crazy and even have been going back to grunge bands that I loved in the 90's.
With that being said...
Ozzy. What do you think about when you hear his name? Before MTV came around and destroyed his evil image you may have thought something not-so-nice like I did. Growing up Ozzy was one of those musicians that was banned in our house and being the obedient little girl that I was I stayed away. I have to give credit to an old childhood friend's sister who contributed to my fear of him. I had this friend, her name was Brittany Philips, and she had an older sister who was quite intimidating. I can't remember her name. She did drugs, drank, messed around with boys and cursed - often. A trait that I would later inherit. The culdisac they lived in that was next to the interstate wasn't the best neighborhood either. You sort of had to grow up tough or you would have been mocked. That was probably the extent of it though, just mocking. But the fear of being mocked when you're that young is the worst fear you could probably have.
She had these pictures of Ozzy and Black Sabbath (I'm sure Alice Cooper was in the mix as well) that she had torn out of magazines and such that covered almost every spot on the walls in her bedroom. Pictures of him with blood all over his face and the most recent rodent carcass (plastic, but didn't know this back then) hanging out of his mouth. Even his black eye liner scared the crap out of me. I think I would just stand in the middle of her room on the rare occasion that I had entered it and with my mouth pierced shut and white face. I know that I never spoke a word in front of her hardly ever.
Between her bedroom walls and the fear my mother instilled in me I was terrified of him to say the least.
I was one of the "good" kids in the neighborhood and was often mocked for being spoiled. You know because being spoiled meant having my mom keep my clothes clean, making sure I was well fed and my hair was nicely done before I went to school every day. They had NO IDEA what my life was like before I had moved to American Fork. The kids in The Village were mean and tough. The Village was this little neighborhood that was known for the supposedly bad people that lived there. Mostly just bad things that happened there. Looking back I think it was just because the bad things that were done weren't as well hidden as they were in the surrounding neighborhoods. I hung out with the kids from The Village because they were funny, outgoing, cursed and did things I would never dare to do. It also may have been because I didn't want to get my ass handed to me. Most days I could see their innocent sides and we would play Barbies till an older sibling came along and mocked us for it. By the time Junior High came around the mocking ruled our lives. Mine so much that I decided that I would NOT ride the bus that I was suppose to ride and instead was willing to walk a few extra blocks north to ride the bus with my friends Marissa and Destry (RIP). The other kids ended up being ruled by the mocking and their environment that it became too hard for most to escape.
To this day, I'm thankful for the fear that forced me to walk the extra distance to the other bus stop.
I listen to Ozzy and Black Sabbath now days and I like it. I enjoy it. I listen to the words of the songs and realize that it's not so bad or even evil for that matter. I understand the showmanship that goes into rock music as ridiculous as it is on the surface. I actually love the eye liner look on musicians and the black hair and all. I'm proud of myself as an adult that I can listen to rock music or any other kind and not feel guilty or let it manipulate me in a negative way. I love getting lost in lyrics and guitar riffs and the thumping of a double bass. I love finding a really good song and putting it on repeat until I'm so sick of it I could vomit but then find myself returning to it later on to find that I still love it. I love going to live shows and listening to the screaming of the crowd and feeling the sweaty band tee from the fat guy in front of me hit into my face. I love it ALL.
I can't wait to share this love with my children if that day ever comes. I want to play every classic rock album I have for them, jump up and down in our living room to some Punk band and teach them to fist bump just as my mom did when I was three years old. I can't wait for them to have their own experiences with music and let them find what they like on their own.
To Rock and Roll...