Home > Uncategorized > OZZY AND GLENN ON THE EDGE


Ozzy Osbourne was Public Enemy Number one for twenty years.  He was protested, banned, slandered labeled and sued.  But through all the bad press and controversy he became the godfather of heavy metal.  The more the media attacked him, the more his legend grew.  As the frontman for Black Sabbath, he  was the voice for the dark flowing power of the Birmingham foursome.  Music critics hated Sabbath, called them untalented and even suggested that they should drop Ozzy as the lead singer!  Thirty years later, you will be hard pressed to find  the poor sorry sods that gave that advice.

Ozzy’s solo career may be the most storied in rock history.  Sold out arenas, number one hits, and groundbreaking music festivals mark Ozzy as proof that ignoring the naysayers can make you a very successful and wealthy person!  And after being the “anti-Christ” for most of his career, he is now a lovable cable television celebrity.  While many whine about him “turning normal”, we find great joy in seeing the mainstream embrace Ozzy.  He lived on th edge and was considered offensive for so long.  His mainstream popularity is vindication for Ozzy, and me.  We are happy to see him rewarded for the fruits of is labor.  The most subversive thing you can do is to accend to the heights of the very industry that once shunned you.

Then again, I am a black male conservative capitalist.  Throughout my youth I was was attacked, sometimes physically, for being all of these. I went to University City School District, the same one as Jeremy Davenport of the Harry Connick Jr. Band.  We’re not sure what it was like when he was there(he is about 6 years older than me) but during the 80’s it was lousy.  At this 80% black school in a fanatically liberal community, It took  me dishing out a few thorough beatings to convince the middle class  thug posers the virtue of musical tolerance. 

Ronald Reagan’s “Peace  Through Strength” was more than a mantra. For me  it was a way of life.  And we taught this to the pretty girls who were being bullied by their jealous rivals.     Being a conservative and being a metal head were naturally compatible.

And today, it makes all the sense in the world.  Glenn Beck, the Fox conservative talk show host is the man of the hour.  He, along with the rest of the conservative talk show family have been under fire much in the same way Ozzy and his heavy metal cohorts were.  Like Ozzy, Beck has been slandered, threatened, boycotted, and maligned.  And like Ozzy, his detractors tried to silence him, pushing the Fairness Doctrine as an underhanded way to eliminate talk radio.

And like Ozzy he knows  just the right counterattack; honesty.

Like Ozzy, Glenn Beck gives of himself  completely.  Ozzy won over millions of people who once called him a Satin worshipper.  And now Beck has been ranked as the number two television personality in the world next to Oprah.  Ozzy was forthright with his ambition when he said in 1988 that “I wanna make a lot of dough, and I milk it(protests) to a point.”  But he also loves his fans, donated millions to charity, and did thousands of autographs when he would a been justified in calling it a night.  And in 1992, he performed gig after gig on a broken leg. 

Glenn Beck has drawn a great deal of anger from those on the left and the right.  I have even strongly disagreed with him on several occasions.  But like him or hate him, one must admit that he is an amazing talent.  Rush Limbaugh has the highest rated radio show, and Bill O’Reilly is the dominate cable television commentator.  Rush, Mark Levin, and Laura Ingraham are phenomenal national hosts.  There are dozens of other national conservative hosts who are making their mark in this industry.

But no one in the business does what he does on both radio and  TV. 

When  Beck was asked somewhat  if  he made seven figures, he answered “yes” in a nod that conveyed a soft defiance to the question.  Glenn stands by the idea the in America “I have right to succeed, and I have the right to fail”.

During the late eighties, Ozzy really began to wear his heartstrings on his sleeve.  He was candid about his struggles with substance abuse and alcoholism.  He made his family the center of his connection with his beloved fans, and he brought us into their family.  Ozzy made the transition from being every parents nightmare to being every parent.  He taught the world that their is no need to be so freaked out by his music, and that before you demonize someone, you should first read their lyrics.

Now we hear Crazy Train at football games and see Ozzy on video game commercials.  We are as happy as we can be about that. 

Glenn Beck is never afraid to show his emotion.  He is a recovering alcoholic as well.  And like Ozzy, he makes the conservative listeners part of his family trial and tribulation.   

Glenn Beck is now doing tours and movies.  He is a political radio host, and he is playing in the same kind of venues that Iron Maiden and Kiss play in!  We saw him in St. Louis on February 5 at a venue that holds 12,000 people.  There was hardly a seat left in the house.    The walk into the arena had the same feel as when we waited to get into Motley Crew and Dio back in 1987.   (Remember Motley Dots!)

And like the metal shows of the eighties, their where opening acts.  For a political speaking engagement. Opening acts!  First there was a man we reading passages from he Bible.  Next the second opening act was Michelle Bachman, a member of Congress! 

 Ozzy’s second opener was Ratt.  Lay it down! Lay it down! Boy Lay……. Sorry.

When Beck took the stage, he came out crying.  He was so touched to have the opportinity to be heard by so many people. He truly appreciated his audience and the good fortune that allowed him to be where he was.  And Glenn Beck was very clear about his belief and relationship with God. 

Many people don’t know this, but Ozzy also is very open about his belief in God.  In 1989 Ozzy said “Before I go onstage every night I say a little prayer, it’s like me saying it’s in your hands now, not mine.”

Glenn Beck spoke and moved with the eloquence and grace of a classically trained theatre performer.  At one point he raised his arms in the air exclaimed “to get here” then ran about five steps, dropped to his knees with a slide, pulled his arms down to his body and finished with “I had to be down here.”  The crowd exploded with a roar.  It was one of the most endearing moments that we  had every experienced at any show! 

Nearly every major conservative talk show host has hard rock as intro-music, and at the St. Louis Tea Party in April the outro song was “we’re Not going to Take it” by Twisted Sister.  Many of the St. Louis conservative organizers and activists are metal heads.  Black Sabbath’s,  “Ironman” is the intro music for my guest radio spot on Dana Loesch’s 97.1 conservative radio show (Monday nights at 7:00 pm).  One day Dana and I   were talking about how now we, the grass-roots local conservatives, were like the metal crowd of the eighties in so many ways.

Tipper Gore, we told you and Al not to mess with us!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    i believe it.

  2. February 9, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Good story, James

  1. February 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm

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