As Ozzy's seminal 1991 album No More Tears celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, The Prince Of Darkness' longtime collaborator, Zakk Wylde, and its producer Duane Baron have been speaking to Metal Hammer about the making of the album and the rock'n'roll antics that ensued.
Regarded as the album that brought Ozzy back from the brink of addiction-led self-destruction, No More Tears put the musician on a new path of sobriety and, arguably, saved not only his career, but even his life.
With the sex and drugs antics abandoned during the album's recording process, Ozzy's bandmates had to find other ways to pass the time. Enter: whole bags of their own shit. Guitarist Wylde explains: "Every day Oz had this couch that he’d sit on to watch World War 2 videos or whatever, So I take my enormous shit in this bag and cut a tiny little hole, sliding it in until it’s properly hidden up the back of the couch.
"Meanwhile, Randy [Castillo] goes and takes a shit in some Tupperware, which he then stores in the fridge for later."
Grim. The stomach-churning pranks weren't carried out unprovoked, though. In fact, for Wylde, Castillo and Baron, it was revenge for Ozzy spending much of his time dropping lethal stink bombs around the crew. "Ozzy had these stink bombs he just kept letting off" the guitarist explains. "You could use them to clear fucking buildings, not rooms.
"Ozzy would be there at the back, 'Sorry...' and we'd be gagging, 'Ozzy what the FUCK?!' They were worried he wouldn't be able to finish the record."
"Honestly, at first we thought he had a real problem" adds Baron. "He'd drop them everywhere – the studio, on flights, we even went to Las Vegas for a weekend and he dropped them in a casino! He would terrorise us with them."
So, the trio agreed the frontman deserved his comeuppance. "I knew we had to get him back... so I took a shit in a bag," says Wylde.
Speaking of Ozzy's reaction to finding the box of faecal matter in the fridge, he continues: "Ozzy bellows down, ‘I was just trying to watch my World War 2 videos, thinking what is that horrendous stench?! I went to get something to eat, thinking we’d got some leftovers… they were fucking leftovers alright!’
"So fucking hilarious, man. There were shenanigans like that going on the whole time – it was a miracle anything got done! I can just see him pulling the shit from out the couch, thinking ‘how much do I pay these fucking scumbags to shit in my room – have I paid them to do this?!’"
The full interview can be found in the upcoming issue of Metal Hammer, which is on sale tomorrow. The issue also contains interviews with Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb Of God, Mastodon and much more.