“I said to Sharon, ‘I think I’ve broken my neck’”: Ozzy Osbourne on the night he got the injury that forced him to retire from touring

Ozzy Osbourne in 2020
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

After a five-year hiatus, The Osbournes podcast returned today (September 12th), the first release under the umbrella of Osbourne Media House. As explained by son Jack at the top of the show, the idea is to launch an Osbournes web channel that will include individual podcasts from each family member as well as the traditional format where Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly all get together and talk over each other. Early on in the new episode, Jack asks his dad to give the listeners an update on his health. Back in February, Ozzy announced his retirement from touring, explaining that whilst his voice was up to scratch, his body could no longer handle the travelling and the Black Sabbath singer details the night that his long-running neck and spinal injuries began.

“I went to the bathroom one night,” Ozzy explains. “The lights were out, it was pitch black and I misjudged the bed and missed it and landed flat on my face. I hit the ground so hard and I just lay there. I went smack on the floor, face down. I knew I’d done some damage, I wasn’t in pain but the way I hit the ground was flat. Sharon said, ‘What are you doing down there?’, I said, ‘call us an ambulance.’ She said, ‘are you joking?’. I said, ‘I think I’ve broken my fucking neck.’”

The accident happened over four years ago but the pain is such that Ozzy cancelled his scheduled appearance at next month’s Power Trip festival six months ahead of time. He was replaced on the bill by Judas Priest. Whilst playing live is currently off the menu, at least he has his family’s planned podcast empire to throw himself into, with son Jack revealing that Ozzy’s solo offshoot will see him chat with guitarist Billy Morrison, who previously co-hosted the Sirius XM show Ozzy Talks with Osbourne. “We can say whatever the fuck we want,” enthuses Jack to his dad. “I think this is a great place for us. We don’t work for anyone but ourselves now. I’m excited to see what it leads to.” The Osbourne Media House is well and truly open for business. Listen to The Osbourne Podcast via all your usual podcast platforms. 

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.