Cops thought Ozzy was kidnapped... but he was just lost in a coke haze

The author of a book about Van Halen has recalled how police thought Ozzy Osbourne had been kidnapped in 1978 – when he’d actually got lost in a haze of cocaine.

Stories about the “krell war” between Ozzy and Van Halen counterpart David Lee Roth have long been known. The pair are said to have consumed enough drugs for six men in a Birmingham, Alabama hotel, while the bands were touring together.

Author Greg Renoff tells the Boston Herald: “I didn’t discover the story, but I was able to flesh out all the details. In Birmingham they both snorted enough coke to kill an elephant.

“After a bus ride to Nashville, Ozzy passed out for 24 hours in the wrong hotel room, and in effect was missing. The police thought he’d been kidnapped.

“Let’s face it – any story involving Ozzy, Dave Lee Roth and drugs is going to be a fun one to tell.”

Osbourne’s addiction issues led to his dismissal from Sabbath in 1979, and he didn’t record with them again until 2013. Two years earlier he admitted: “I should have died a thousand times, but I didn’t. I had shit up my nose and in my veins by 12pm every day.”

Renoff’s book Van Halen Rising is on sale now. Sabbath will undertake their farewell tour next year – including a headline appearance at the Download festival.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.