Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons
Most days I wake up about 10 a.m., and it soon dawns on me that I have nothing to do until bedtime. Such are the perils of enforced early retirement. But I was mildly busy in recent months interviewing Ozzy Osbourne at his home on Feb. 4, and then Gene Simmons on the phone on April 8.
I have to double-check, but these were probably my first interviews since 2013 when, coincidentally, I met up with Ozzy and bandmate Geezer Butler to discuss the new Black Sabbath album for Billboard Brasil. Out of the hundreds of rock stars I interviewed over the decades, Ozzy and Gene were the ones I spoke to the most.
Both my recent interviews were for Brazilian publications ahead of upcoming concert performances there by both rockers. They did not get much traction in the English-speaking world, but I don’t mind too much: It was great to be creative for a change, and to get paid. Still, I wish my chat with Ozzy had gone viral. He told me he agreed with the Fox News “expert” who had been hauled over the coals for claiming that Ozzy’s UK hometown of Birmingham was a “totally Muslim city.” Ozzy also said Sabbath would not record another album, but would instead launch a farewell world tour later this year. After that, he would focus on his solo career. None of this has been reported elsewhere.
Click here to see the story in Portuguese, courtesy of Folha de S. Paulo, the biggest newspaper in the biggest city in the Americas.
The Gene Simmons interview, posted here on Brazilian online portal UOL, focused on Simmons’ new book, Me, Inc., and on the dire state of Brazil’s economy and political situation. You can get more back story on the interview here.
Both interviews were fun, and I got a thrill doing them. I like to think I added to people’s understanding of both men, and it hasn’t escaped me that my retirement has been a loss to rock ‘n’ roll scholarship. Oh well.
NOTE: Generally unrelated to the above interviews, my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com
Copyright © 2015 by Dean Goodman. PLEASE DO NOT CUT AND PASTE THE WHOLE THING