Ozzy Osbourne gave up LSD after talking to a horse for an hour

Composite short of Ozzy Osbourne and a horse showing a Flehmen response
Ozzy Osbourne (left) and a horse (Image credit: Ozzy Osbourne: Ross Halfin | Horse: Peter Meade)

Ozzy Osbourne once revealed that he stopped taking acid after a trip that left him conversing with a horse for a hour.

The story is told in the new issue of Classic Rock, which revisits Black Sabbath's chaotic heyday and the making of the 1972 classic Vol. 4. "We lived together in a house in Los Angeles, rehearsed there, did loads of drugs and made an album: simple," says Ozzy. "Those were good times." 

The story of how Ozzy stopped using acid after an equine encounter in the early 1970s is also told.

“At that time in America, people were very fond of lacing your drinks with acid," says Ozzy. "I didn’t care. I used to swallow handfuls of tabs at a time. The end of it came when we got back to England.

“I took 10 tabs of acid then went for a walk in a field. I ended up standing there talking to this horse for about an hour. In the end the horse turned round and told me to fuck off. That was it for me."

The members of Black Sabbath have talked about their experiences with psychedelic drugs before. In 2017 drummer Bill Ward told Metal Hammer, "It’s interesting to talk about the phenomena of LSD when you’re playing in front of 25-30,000 people, but in hindsight I was taking huge risks with not only my performance but the entire performance."

Meanwhile, in 2020 bassist Geezer Butler told Metal Hammer about his first trip, saying, "I thought I was a skeleton. I got in the van and they all went ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I said ‘Can’t you see? I’m a skeleton!’ We were driving along and there was a park on the side of us with all these flowers in it, and I thought the flowers were trying to get into the van. I went onstage and thought it was on a boat and the crowd were waves. It was horrendous. I was watching my hand playing the songs and I thought it wasn’t connected to my body. Scary."

To complete the set of acid revelations, in 2016 guitarist Tony Iommi told Classic Rock that LSD was the worst drug he'd taken, saying, "I hate being out of control. With cocaine I felt I was in control, I knew what was going on. But acid… I was in America in the early 70s and I had a terrible headache, and this girl said she had a couple of pills for it. And she gave me some acid. Bloody hell, I didn’t know what hit me! Thank God the rest of the band came and sat in my room and calmed me down. I was gonna jump out the window!"

Ozzy Osbourne also talks in detail about the making of his new Patient Number 9 album in the new issue of Classic Rock. It's in UK stores now, and is also available to buy online.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.