Ozzy/Slash smackdown

Before heavy-metal heavyweights play the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, find out who wins in battle of sex, drugs and debauchery

February 4, 2011 

  • SLASH, OZZY OSBOURNE

    When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma

    Tickets: $29.50-$79.50

    Info: 253-272-3663

Listen up, people! It's time to hide your daughters, the contents of your medicine cabinets and any small animals that might be in your care. Why? Ozzy Osbourne and Slash are coming to town, that's why. They're the main attractions Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

In case you didn’t know, they are known as two of the most debauched rockers to ever be immortalized on VH1’s “Behind the Music.”

As a public service, we’ve compiled some incriminating confession from their biographies, “I Am Ozzy” (written with Chris Ayres, Hachette Book Group, $15.99) and “Slash” (with Anthony Bozza, It Books, $15.99). It’s just to let you know who to run from the fastest if you spot either strolling down D Street before that show:

NICKNAME ORIGINS

Ozzy: It’s derived from John Osbourne’s last name.

Slash: A friend’s dad, actor Seymour Cassel, gave it to teenage Saul Hudson because of his restless nature.

Who has the edge: Ozzy, who also goes by the Prince of (bleeping) Darkness. That can’t be good.

TROUBLED YOUTH

Ozzy: Spent time in prison for burglary before his 18th birthday. Not that he was a criminal mastermind, mind you. “I even had the bright idea to wear a pair of gloves (but) one of the gloves was missing a thumb, so I left perfect prints all over the place.”

Slash: “Once I was 12, I grew up fast. I had sex, I drank, I smoked cigarettes, I did drugs, I stole, I got kicked out of school. And on a few occasions, I would have gone to jail if I hadn’t been underage.”

Who has the edge: Ozzy, who could have starred in the British equivalent of “Cops” if the music thing hadn’t worked out.

SUPERHUMAN SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Ozzy: Yeah, you know what “Sweet Leaf” and “Snowblind” are all about – and why he doesn’t look so hot these days. “Over the last 40 years, I’ve been loaded on booze, coke, acid, Quaaludes, glue, cough mixture, heroin, Rohypnol, Klonopin, Vicodin and too many other heavy-duty substances to footnote.”

Slash: “A doctor installed a defibrillator in my heart when I was 35. Fifteen years of overdrinking and drug abuse had swollen that organ to one beat short of exploding. When I was finally hospitalized, they told me I had six days to six weeks to live. It’s been six years since then and this piece of machinery has saved my life more than twice.”

Who has the edge: Ozzy, who has reportedly cleaned up. But you might still get high from standing next to him with all of the trace chemicals still in his system.

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

Ozzy: The Great Ozz survived the plane and tour bus crash that killed guitarist Randy Rhoads, as well as nearly falling from a mountaintop gondola and an ATV accident that made the news a few years ago. “I’d been taking lethal combinations of booze and drugs for decades, but it was riding over a pothole in my back garden at 2 miles an hour that nearly killed me.”

Slash: He went into cardiac arrest during a 1992 drug binge. “I blacked out, and my heart stopped for eight minutes, or so I was told. ... I woke up when the defibrillators sent an electric shock through my chest and stunned my heart into beating again.”

Who has the edge: Ozzy, who takes Murphy’s Law to an epic, new level.

JAW-DROPPING DEBAUCHERY

Ozzy: “Our first really crazy groupie experience was in a Holiday Inn out in California. … I took the lift up to the pool on the roof, and when the doors opened, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like ‘Caligula’ up there.”

Slash: We can’t really quote the best anecdotes. But let’s just say he’s been known to associate with strippers and porn stars.

Who has the edge: It’s a draw, and we advise using several layers of protection before hooking up with either of these dudes.

RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE

Ozzy: As a kid, he tried to kneecap his sleeping grandpa with a hot poker. He went on to pull a gun on Black Sabbath bandmate Bill Ward (he was on LSD), take a shotgun to a coop of defenseless chickens and nearly strangle his wife, Sharon, during a particularly nasty blackout.

Slash: Tried to fight hallucinatory monsters during a drug-fueled freakout. “I punched them as hard as I could, sending the entire pane of (shower door) glass into pieces all over the floor.”

Who has the edge: Ozzy. It bears repeating: He tried to kneecap grandpa!

BAD COMPANY

Ozzy: Known to hang out with Black Sabbath, John Bonham and Miss Piggy. “I even did a version of ‘Born to be Wild’ with Miss Piggy, but I was disappointed when I found out she wouldn’t be in the studio at the same time as me.”

Slash: Known to hang out with Guns N’ Roses, Ron Jeremy and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. “He was a true, complete ... maniac and a genius riff writer. We’d hang out, smoke crack and come up with major heavy-metal riffs.”

Who has the edge: Slash. Doesn’t he know crack is whack?

SORDID MOTLEY CRUE CONNECTION

Ozzy: Recalling the Bark at the Moon tour: “Someone went to jail for one thing or another every night of that tour. And because Mick and Nikki looked so alike ... they’d sometimes get locked up for something the other one had done.”

Slash: “Six years later, I’d be doing lines with them off the flip-down meal trays on their private jet, but seeing them loitering outside Beverly Hills High is more memorable to me.”

Who has the edge: Ozzy, who once blacked out during a night of partying with the Crue, only to come to his senses in the middle of a busy Memphis highway.

HOTEL TRASHING 101

Ozzy: Didn’t get around to that until just a few years ago when guitarist Zakk Wylde talked him into chucking a TV out the window. “When I checked out, they added a ‘miscellaneous item’ to my bill: $38,000!”

Slash: “After a great day in the studio and a few hours of heavy drinking, we did the only thing that made sense: We destroyed our Oakwoods apartment, Keith Moon-style. We tore down everything that wasn’t nailed to the wall, and smashed everything else beyond recognition.”

Who has the edge: Slash. Those who work wherever he’s staying should definitely check his credit card limit.

DERANGED FOLLOWERS

Ozzy: Satanists. “I couldn’t believe it when I learned that people actually ‘practiced the occult.’ These freaks with white makeup and black robes would come up to us after our gigs and invite us to black masses.”

Slash: Angry mobs. Several Guns shows (and no-shows) have ended in riots. “As we made our escape (from a Montreal show in 1992), we saw overturned cars in the parking lot, we watched kids pulling down the giant light poles, lighting bonfires, breaking everything in sight – the whole deal. It was a fiasco.”

Who has the edge: Slash. Massive property damage trumps creepy Satanists.

TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

Ozzy: This guy must be PETA’s public enemy No. 1 with all the critters he’s topped through the years: stray cats, cows, chickens, doves. And stop us if you’ve heard the story about him biting the head off of a live bat in concert. “Every night for the rest of the tour, I had to find a doctor and get more rabies shots. … I had more holes in me than a lump of (bleeping) Swiss cheese.”

Slash: Actually digs animals and collects exotic pets. “There have been many – from my mountain lion, Curtis, to the hundreds of snakes I’ve raised.”

Who has the edge: Slash; animal cruelty is pretty jacked up, but we’re hoping Curtis doesn’t get loose in Tacoma.

VERDICT

We’re thinking Slash might actually be safe to approach for an autograph these days, but we’re not fooled by that foul-mouthed-but-cuddly guy we saw on MTV’s “The Osbournes.” Ozzy might, indeed, be the Prince of (bleeping) Darkness.

Ernest Jasmin: 253-274-7389, ernest.jasmin@thenewstribune.com, blog.thenewstribune.com/tacomarockcity

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