Some know him as the “Godfather of Heavy Metal”, while others as the “Prince of Darkness”. But for most of us, he is simply our beloved Ozzy. With a career that spans four decades, Ozzy Osbourne has contributed to the evolution of music as well as pop culture. This led to Converse’s creation of the Chuck TaylorÂ® All StarÂ® Ozzy Osbourne collection in honour of this rock legend.
Way back in 1968, before he and his dysfunctional family became stars on their own reality series, Ozzy was the frontman of proto-metal Black Sabbath. Noted by many musicians as the first metal band, Ozzy and his cohorts took blues-rock and ran it through a grinder with detuned guitars and pounding drums.
Flirting with the dark side, Ozzy was heavily inspired by horror movies and incorporated lyrics about the occult in his music. Black Sabbath soon became known as devil-worshippers among the more conservative, who feared the band would come to their town to steal their children. Still, support for the band was strong as they topped the charts with classic hits like ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Iron Man’.
Ozzy has also been known for working closely with his lead guitarists, resulting in some of the most spectacular rock compositions ever made. Among the alumni of shredders that complimented Ozzy’s own eerie vocal style, with Black Sabbath and as a solo artist, are Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde and Steve Vai.
The 80s was a wild time for a lot of people and who can forget Ozzy’s own bizarre antics during this period. After signing his first solo career record deal, Ozzy decided to release doves at an event to capture the audience’s attention. When that failed, Ozzy grabbed one of the doves, bit its head off and spat it out, with blood drippingÂ from his lips.
In a similar incident, he bit the head off a bat he thought was made of rubber while performing on stage. Although the concert-goer that threw the bat on stage claimed it was already dead, Ozzy argues in the booklet of his album Diary of a Madman that the bat was not only alive, but also managed to bite him back, resulting in Ozzy having to take rabies shots. One thing for sure, while on tour in Texas in 1982, a drunken Ozzy in a dress peed on a portion of the Alamo and was banned from San Antonio for a decade.
In honour of rock’s true madman, Converse nails out the Chuck TaylorÂ® All StarÂ® Ozzy Osbourne collection with Ozzy drawn as both the angel and the devil, and the Ozzy logo emblazoned on the tongue. Available as a Chuck Taylor All Star high-top shoe black/white and white/black canvas and a Jack Purcell Straight Jacket high-top shoe in milk/brown/black.
Get your kicks at Converse stores from now until May 2009 only. More at www.converse.com.