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Ozzy Osbourne - July 17th, 1998
David Harpe interviews Ozzy backstage at Ozzfest '98

Dave: How do you prepare for a show?

Ozzy: I do boxing...I punch the wall for about 500 times...that gets my upper body going. Then I warm up on my life cycle for five or ten minutes. Believe it or not, after many years of trying, my wife got me to have singing lessons. Two years ago. She's given me a CD....this warm-up thing. Which is a great help. I used to go on stage and attack the mike and blow my voice out all the time. Then I go in with the band and do a couple of songs to get my voice warmed up. I'm a sucker for a break one of my habits is hard. Sharon said that opera singers warm up for an hour and I said, "Fuck! I'm not going to fucking warm up for an hour before going on singing." But I do it enough to get it working. If I do too much singing I'm afraid that I'll be burned out by the time I get to the stage. Then I do a little's not a satanic thing...I don't butcher a fucking cow in the dressing room like everybody thinks. And then I just go on and it's in the hands of God. Compared to the last Ozzfest, I feel so much better. Some people in this business get to a certain point and say, "I'm here". I'm always trying to better myself. My job is to give that audience the best night that they've ever had in their life. I mean I must be doing something right because they keep coming back.

Dave: How are bands selected for Ozzfest?

Ozzy: Sharon comes in with a list and records but I'm not very good at listening to records. Snot and Soulfly come from several tours. Max [Cavalera - Soulfly] and I are very dear old friends you know. And I've known Lemmy from Motorhead for many years. I've known Dave Mustaine from Megadeth for a long time. But I saw Snot play with Soulfly in L.A. and one of the big surprises of this tour is Tool. I really like Tool...they really are a good band.

Dave: So why are you traveling on the bus this time instead of taking a plane?

Ozzy: I'm doing the bus travel because the family is on the road and the kids love being on the bus. The first time I ever took them out on the's a fucking challenge I can tell you that.

Dave: Do the kids like being on the road?

Ozzy: Oh it's all fun for's work for Dad. It kinda gets to be crazy...the phones are going on the road, I got my dogs on the road...the fucking dogs are going all over the place. But you's life. Then you get on the CB...Amy's upset, Jack punched me, we stop, one gets on the other bus, then we go on and someone wants to get on the first bus, we stop and start. Tonight we have a 14 hour drive. I said to them all: "I don't care if you kill yourselves. Do not expect me to stop, because when I'm going, I'm fucking going."

Dave: You've done a lot of living...

Ozzy: Sharon and I have been through a lot. One day I want to sit down and write a book. If I have one regret, it's not keeping a journal. But there where times when I was so fucked up on the drugs and alcohol that I couldn't remember what the fuck I did anyway. People come up to me all the time and say, "Do you remember me?" and I'll say, "No I haven't ever seen you before in my life", and they'll say, "You haven't seen me before? You spent three fucking months at my summer house" and I'll go, Whoah! At the end of the day, with the drinking and the drugs I was so fucked up at times.

Dave: How is it being on the road with your wife Sharon?

Ozzy: She's my wife. She's my partner. She's my lover. There's a saying that behind every great man there's a great woman. To be honest with you, I could not imagine life without her. She does so much for me. Some of the things she says I really don't want to know. But nine times out of ten she's fucking right, and that's a son-of-a-bitch to swallow, you know. I'm a very lucky man. We've been married sixteen years this year. And in rock & roll, that's a fucking eternity. We're a team, we're a partnership. We discuss everything.