Ozzy Osbourne says it’s “kind of nice” to be thought of as a hero by many people – but he wishes he could feel like a hero to himself.
He admits he gives himself a hard time for his human failings, illustrated by his constant battle against returning to drink and drugs.
And the Black Sabbath frontman, who’s been been three years sober, has recalled a moment during the making of his new TV series where he felt sorely tempted to start drinking again.
Told that he’s “a hero to many people,” Ozzy tells Goldmine: “That’s kind of nice. I wish I was a hero to me, sometimes. I do a good job of beating myself up.
“The thing is, I don’t like to treat people any less than I would like to be treated myself. I suppose I have an ego but I don’t like to go, ‘Do you know who the fuck you’re talking to?’
“If I’m walking down the street and someone goes,’ Hey, it’s Ozzy!’ I’ll go, ‘Oh my, here we go.’
“But if they don’t recognise me then I’m like, ‘Am I losing it?’ I like to be recognised. I said it on the last album: ‘I don’t want to live for ever but I don’t want to die.’”
He reports that he’s been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly since he put drink and drugs behind him in 2013.
But he nearly suffered a relapse during the shooting of reality show Ozzy And Jack’s World Detour, which he made with his son.
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“I was in Cuba and I hadn’t been doing meetings for a while,” says the vocalist. “We were in this restaurant and this guy goes, ‘Do you want to go upstairs and have a cigar?’
“We go into this private room and there are these bottles of fucking rum everywhere. I thought to myself, ‘It wouldn’t be that bad.’
“Then I go to myself, ‘Fuck off – you’d start with the puff of a cigar and then a shot of booze.’ I said to my son, ‘I have to leave here.’”
Since then he’s been attending meetings every day. “I hear all the time, people say they have another drink in them, but they may not have another sobriety in them. I don’t want to put myself in that situation.”
Reflecting that everyone from religious people to world leaders make mistakes because they’re human, Ozzy adds: “I’ve said the wrong things and I’ve done the wrong things, but I’m human.
“These days I just try not to make the same mistake twice.”
Black Sabbath’s farewell tour continues until February.
Black Sabbath: The End tour
Aug 17: Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, NY
Aug 19: Philadelphia Susquehanna Bank Center, PA
Aug 21: Washington Jiffy Lube Live, DC
Aug 23: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ
Aug 25: Boston Xfinity Center, MA
Aug 27: Uncasville Mohegan Sun Arena, CT
Aug 29: Toronto Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ON
Aug 31: Detroit DTE Energy Music Theater, MI
Sep 02: Indianapolis Klipsch Music Center, IN
Sep 04: Chicago Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, IL
Sep 07: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX
Sep 09: Albuquerque Isleta Ampitheater, NM
Sep 11: Salt Lake City USANA Ampitheater, UT
Sep 13: Portland Sunlight Supply Arena, OR
Sep 15: Oakland Oracle Arena, CA
Sep 17: Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena, NV
Sep 19: Hollywood Hollywood Bowl, CA
Sep 21: Phoenix AK-Chin Pavilion, AZ
Sep 24: San Manuael Amphitheatre & Festival Grounds, CA
Nov 08: Oklahoma BOK Center, OK
Nov 10: Houston Toyota Center, TX
Nov 12: San Antonio AT&T Center, TX
Nov 16: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Nov 19: Santiago Estadio Nacional, Chile
Nov 24: Cordoba En El Orfeo Superdomo, Argentina
Nov 26: Buenos Aires Estadio Velez, Argentina
Nov 30: Curitiba Pedrerira Paulo Leminski, Brazil
Dec 02: Rio Praca Da Apoteose, Brazil
Dec 04: Sao Paulo Estadio Do Morumbi, Brazil
Jan 20: Dublin 3 Arena, Ireland
Jan 22: Manchester Arena, UK
Jan 24: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Jan 26: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Jan 29: London O2, UK
Jan 31: London O2, UK
Feb 02: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Feb 04: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK